Onion vs. Shallot

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Onion and Shallot is that the Onion is a species of plant (for the onion, use Q3406628) and Shallot is a botanical variety of the onion species Allium cepa (for the culinary ingredient, use Q67206407)

  • Onion

    The onion (Allium cepa L., from Latin cepa “onion”), also known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable that is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, shallot, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.This genus also contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion (Allium fistulosum), the tree onion (A. ×proliferum), and the Canada onion (Allium canadense). The name “wild onion” is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is exclusively known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions. The onion is most frequently a biennial or a perennial plant, but is usually treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season.

    The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached. The bulbs are composed of shortened, compressed, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale (leaves) that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn (or in spring, in the case of overwintering onions), the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle. The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases, particularly the onion fly, the onion eelworm, and various fungi cause rotting. Some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs.

    Onions are cultivated and used around the world. As a food item, they are usually served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can also be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when chopped and contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes.

  • Shallot

    The shallot is a type of onion, specifically a botanical variety of the species Allium cepa.The shallot was formerly classified as a separate species, A. ascalonicum, a name now considered a synonym of the currently accepted name.Its close relatives include the garlic, leek, chive, and Chinese onion.

  • Onion (noun)

    A monocotyledonous plant (Allium cepa), allied to garlic, used as vegetable and spice.

  • Onion (noun)

    The bulb of such a plant.

  • Onion (noun)

    The genus as a whole.

  • Onion (noun)

    A ball.

  • Onion (noun)

    A person from Bermuda or of Bermudian descent.

  • Shallot (noun)

    A vegetable in the onion family.

  • Shallot (noun)

    Allium ascalonium.

  • Shallot (noun)

    Allium oschaninii.

  • Shallot (noun)

    Any small onion.


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