Echalions are best stored in a cool dry place. Remove them from any packaging, particularly if it is plastic film. For the majority of the year they will see their stated shelf life out without any problems but when they are nearing the end of their storage lift, in May and June, the green sprout will start to grow a lot faster and the bulbs will become soft if left too long. This green shoot is the bulb attempting to reproduce and does not affect the eating quality.
Echalions are similar to their rounder cousins in that they share a delicate piquancy. They have crisp white flesh with a pink tinge and single centres which make them ideal for chopping into rings and lightly sautéing. We are proud that we brought these fantastically versatile vegetables to the supermarket shelves before anyone else.
Echalions can be used as an alternative to shallots although they have a slightly tougher texture. They are easier to slice and dice though so will save some time in the kitchen. For some great echalion recipes, visit www.UKshallot.com
Echalions are now available all year round. The British season runs from September all the way until the following June when we have to bring in some Australian crop to maintain optimum quality.