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Fri Sep 19, 2014, 01:06 PM

Why are shallots so expensive?

Why are shallots so expensive?

$5.95# where I live in the midwest, and it's been expensive for a very long time. I came upon this reply to the question above from yahoo answer and couldn't find any data to back up the notion that growing shallots commercially in the US is illegal.


HALFWAY-to-ITALIA answered 5 years ago

Shallots are more expensive than the regular yellow onion because, truthfully, of politics. As you probably know shallots are not grown in the US for a variety of reasons. The first being they simply do not grow too well here. Second, the commercial growing of shallots is prohibited in the US (I will get to this in a minute) And finally, it is much cheaper to import them from other countries.

As stated, the commercial growing of shallots is prohibited in the US. This is mostly because of the harmful growing conditions of shallots. When sunlight interacts with the roots of the shallot plant, nitrogen dioxide is released into the air (a very small amount) However, when nitrogen dioxide comes into contact with water, hydrochloric acid is formed, which is very dangerous. Now this does not affect the shallot, but the farmers. The danger that is present in the growing of shallots is enough reason for the US to prohibit commercial growing of shallots and for them to be very expensive. I hope I answered your question!
And by the way you can substitute regular yellow onions with shallots, its completely fine.

Have a great day!


Source:

20+ years in the farming industry



https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090930151637AA1uaLy

8 replies, 20260 views

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Reply Why are shallots so expensive? (Original post)
Seedersandleechers Sep 2014 OP
LiberalAndProud Sep 2014 #1
grasswire Sep 2014 #2
Luminous Animal Sep 2014 #3
DavidG_WI Sep 2014 #4
Major Nikon Sep 2014 #5
azurnoir Sep 2014 #6
greatauntoftriplets Sep 2014 #7
locks Sep 2014 #8

Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Fri Sep 19, 2014, 03:45 PM

1. Weird.

Dutch Valley Growers sells shallot bulbs in bulk. They must be growing them?

I did find this interesting tidbit though.


http://www.gracelinks.org/blog/3445/real-food-right-now-and-how-to-cook-it-shallots

But shallot cultivation is not without controversy. I said that shallots are “frequently” cultivated by planting bulbs from the previous season’s harvest. There are some varieties of shallot, ironically developed by those bulb-growing savants the Dutch, which can be planted by seed (a much cheaper way to grow shallots, because the planting can be fully mechanized). The controversy here is this: shallot aficionados, led by the French, believe that “true” shallots are those varieties that are only propagated by planting bulbs from the previous season. So-called “false” shallots are those Dutch types that are grown from seed. How do you know if you’re getting a “true” or “false” shallot? As this article explains, “true” (bulb-planted) shallots can be differentiated from “false” (seed-planted) shallots thusly:

“Firstly, a bulb-planted shallot will always have a faint circular scar at the root end where it was separated from the parent cluster. Also, when cut in half, a true shallot will always have two cloves or sets of concentric layered scales; a seed-grown shallot has a singular bulb, no secondary clove, and looks very much like a tiny onion globe.”

The reality is that most people can’t really differentiate between “true” and “false” shallots, taste wise (although I’m sure that there are many French folks who would disagree).


I also saw that most shallots are imported from France. Who knew?

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Fri Sep 19, 2014, 06:20 PM

2. I've seen them at farmers markets

So it must not be universally prohibited

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Fri Sep 19, 2014, 08:18 PM

3. I do believe the person who answered that question is pulling our legs.

There simply is not that much of a demand for shallots. What we eat in the U.S. is mostly imported from Canada but, according the the googles, New Jersey used to supply near all U.S. shallots.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Fri Sep 19, 2014, 10:59 PM

4. Food network

 

They are treated like a gourmet item. Much the same way all of the fad food items like "acai berries" which are basically overpriced blueberries as far as nutrition goes or "antioxidants" which are found all over, I even remember McCormic trying to jack up the price of black pepper by slapping a "good source of antioxidants" banner on the can...

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Sat Sep 20, 2014, 03:09 PM

5. Sounds like the person answering doesn't have any idea what they are talking about

Shallots are nothing more than a particular variety of onion and are not biologically separate. All onions form acids as part of their production. Nitrogen dioxide and water create nitric acid (as in acid rain), not hydrochloric acid. The gas that is actually released by shallots (and all onions) is allyl sulfide gas which forms sulfuric acid and is what gives all onions their bite. Shallots tend to have less of it than other onion varieties. Vidalia onions are prized because the soil they are grown in is very low in sulfur and the resultant unions produce very little allyl sulfide gas.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Sat Sep 20, 2014, 03:16 PM

6. To be honest I'm not sure however

a couple of days ago I purchased a 1lb bag of shallots at a local Asian grocery store for less than $2, maybe it just depends on where you buy them

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Thu Sep 25, 2014, 04:38 PM

7. I just bought shallots for $2.99 a pound in suburban Chicago.

Not sure why you're paying so much.

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Response to Seedersandleechers (Original post)

Thu Sep 25, 2014, 08:34 PM

8. Reminds me of the tulip mania in Holland

in 1600 that brought down the economy (actually it was a tulip virus which did it). Like truffles, caviar, saffron, wine or gold it's how much you like them and what you're willing to pay.

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