Sep 20, 2014

Shallots, Scallions and Chives

Familiar Site in Herb Gardens
For some reason, as yet unknown to me, onions do not agree with my digestive system; meaning that I like onions but they do not like me – whole traditional onions especially, even mild red onions.
But I have learned that scallots and scallions ('green' onions) digest better, and thus does not produce uncomfortable gastric results. Many recipes call for onions, and rightfully so, because they add flavoring. 
Recipes archived here, I replace with either scallion or minced/powdered onion, to prevent gastric problems. During the course of this process of compromise, I have learned how using these two green-stalked varieties can be a bonus - adding chive flavoring by chopping the greens and adding and enjoying mild/sweet onion flavoring.

Scallots and scallions are less pungent than the larger, 'whole' onion family, like the Bermuda onion.
Spring Shallots
Shallots are small garlic-like bulbs covered in a tough brown skin. Typically, shallots produce clusters of two bulbs together.
Scallion or 'Green' Onion
Scallions, sold in bunches at the supermarket and found more readily, are often used raw in the Western world with their delicate chive-like flavor and less costly than scallots. Scallions are used in soups, salads, egg-dishes, and stir-fries or as a flavor base for broths and sauces with ginger and garlic.
Shallots are used mostly in cooking recipes, their flavor milder than their onion counterpart. In classical French cuisine, shallots are often infused in wine or butter – or both, definitely sweeter than the scallion or onion family. Asian cooks most commonly use shallot over scallion, especially foods from Vietnam and Thailand, accompanied with ginger and garlic.
If you see a recipe that calls for shallots, it can be substituted with scallions; the reason being you cannot find it at the local store or you are tightening your budget.
The other differences: a shallot contain 72 calories versus 32 calories for a scallion. 
A Shallot contain 17 grams of carbohydrates, while a scallion has only 7 grams of carbohydrates. The scallion has more Vitamin A (997 IU) than a shallot at 4 IU.
Allium schoenoprasum
Chives are grown for their greens, called scapes, used in culinary dishes as a flavoring herb. It is used extensively in France and Sweden with soups, fish, sandwiches and even pancakes. In Poland, chives are served with quark cheese. It is used in recipes that calls for tarragon, chervil and/or parsley. Chives are found fresh at most markets year-round and is an eye-pleasing addition to your herb garden. They can be dry-frozen without ruining the taste, which provides the home grower opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their herb garden.
Chives are similar to garlic in its medicinal properties, but weaker than garlic, listed in the medicinal herb books. It contains compounds of organosulfur and have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system. Chives also has mild stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. Chives are usually served in small amounts and rarely are negative effects encountered, although digestive problems can occur if consumed in large amounts. Chives are rich in Vitamin A and C, as well as calcium and iron; with trace amounts of sulfur.
The Clive plant produces violet flowers which affords them to be used as ornamental dry bouquets and dressing up the herb garden with color. It is a perennial plant, so in cold regions, they die back to underground bulbs in winter, with new leaves appearing in early spring.
Chives have been cultivated in Europe since the Medieval period from the 5th and until 15th centuries, although its use dates back as far as 5,000 years. The Greeks referred to them as rush leeks. The Romans believed chives could relieve pain from sunburn or a sore throat; as well as a diuretic that increases blood pressure. Romanian Gypsies have used chives in fortune telling and believed that bunches of dried chives hung around a house would war off disease and evil, just as garlic. During the growing season, the plant will continually regrow leaves, which allows a continuous harvest.

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