Allium cepa ascalonicum

Botanical Name : Allium cepa ascalonicum
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Allioideae
Genus: Allium
Species: A. cepa
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales

Common Names: Shallot, Small onion

Shallots probably originated in Central or Southwest Asia, travelling from there to India and the eastern Mediterranean. The name “shallot” comes from Ashkelon, an ancient Canaanite city, where people in classical Greek times believed shallots originated.

Indian names for shallots include kaanda or gandana or pyaaz (Hindi, Marathi, Marwari and Punjabi), gundhun (Bengali), cheriya ulli or chuvanna ulli (Malayalam), (ulli piaja in Odia), chinna ullipayi (Telugu) and chinna vengayam (or sambar vengayam in the Chennai region) (Tamil). In the Kashmiri language, shallots are called praan. In Nepal, shallots are called chyapi .

In Southeastern Asia, shallots are called bawang merah kecil (small red onions) in Malay, brambang in Java, sibuyas bombay (Indian onion) in the Philippines (in contrast with sibuyas Tagalog, the larger, red onion), and hom (???, fragrant) in Thai. In Cambodian (Khmer), shallots are called katem kror hom, where katem or ktem is a species of onion, and kror hom or hom meaning “red”, describes their colour

The name shallot is also used for the Persian shallot (A. stipitatum), from the Zagros Mountains in Iran and Iraq. The term shallot is further used for the French red shallot (Allium cepa var. aggregatum, or the A. cepa Aggregatum Group) and the French gray shallot or griselle (Allium oschaninii), a species referred to as “true shallot”; it grows wild from Central to Southwest Asia.

The term eschalot, derived from the French word échalote, can also be used to refer to the shallot. The usage of green onion for shallot is found among English-speaking people in Quebec; but when shallot is used, stress is on the second syllable.

Habitat : Allium cepa ascalonicum or sallot is a botanical varity of Allium cepa or plain onion, is cultivated and grown throught the world for culinary uses.

Description:
Allium cepa ascalonicum is a bjulb growing to 0.3 m (1ft). It is not frost tender. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, insects.

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Like garlic, the bulbs are formed in clusters of offsets with a head composed of multiple cloves. The skin colour of shallots can vary from golden brown to gray to rose red, and their off-white flesh is usually tinged with green or magenta.

Shallots are extensively cultivated for culinary uses, propagated by offsets. In some regions (“long-season areas”), the offsets are usually planted in autumn (September or October in the Northern Hemisphere). In some other regions, the suggested planting time for the principal crop is early spring (typically in February or the beginning of March in the Northern Hemisphere).

In planting, the tops of the bulbs should be kept a little above ground, and the soil surrounding the bulbs is often drawn away when the roots have taken hold. They come to maturity in summer, although fresh shallots can now be found year-round in supermarkets. Shallots should not be planted on ground recently manured.

In Africa, shallots are grown in the area around Anloga in southeastern Ghana.

Edible Uses:
Shallots are used in fresh cooking in addition to being pickled. Finely sliced, deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine, often served with porridge. As a species of Allium, shallots taste somewhat like a common onion, but have a milder flavor. Like onions and garlic, when sliced, raw shallots release substances that irritate the human eye, resulting in production of tears.

Chemical Composition:
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Root (Fresh weight)

•72 Calories per 100g
•Water : 79.8%
•Protein: 2.5g; Fat: 0.1g; Carbohydrate: 16.8g; Fibre: 0.7g; Ash: 0.8g;
•Minerals – Calcium: 37mg; Phosphorus: 60mg; Iron: 1.2mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 12mg; Potassium: 334mg; Zinc: 0mg;
•Vitamins – A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.06mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.02mg; Niacin: 0.2mg; B6: 0mg; C: 8mg;

Medicinal Uses:
Although rarely used specifically as a medicinal herb, the onion has a wide range of beneficial actions on the body and when eaten (especially raw) on a regular basis will promote the general health of the body. The bulb is anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive, lithontripic, stomachic and tonic. When used regularly in the diet it offsets tendencies towards angina, arteriosclerosis and heart attack. It is also useful in preventing oral infection and tooth decay. Baked onions can be used as a poultice to remove pus from sores. Fresh onion juice is a very useful first aid treatment for bee and wasp stings, bites, grazes or fungal skin complaints. When warmed the juice can be dropped into the ear to treat earache. It also aids the formation of scar tissue on wounds, thus speeding up the healing process, and has been used as a cosmetic to remove freckles.

Other Uses:
Cosmetic; Dye; Hair; Polish; Repellent; Rust.

The juice of the plant is used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. The plant juice can be used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs. Onion juice rubbed into the skin is said to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness. It is also used as a cosmetic to get rid of freckles. The growing plant is said to repel insects and moles. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled onions is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.
Known Hazards :There have been cases of poisoning caused by the consumption, in large quantities and by some mammals, of this plant. Dogs seem to be particularly susceptible.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shallot
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+cepa+ascalonicum

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