Banana shallots

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Mike T
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Banana shallots

Postby Mike T » Thu Dec 08, 2005 1:14 pm

Having tried unsuccessfully to buy in the UK sets or seeds of banana shallots, I found some on sale in our local farm shop. I bought a few (roughly 10p each)and intend to plant them when the weather gets a little warmer. Has anybody tried this? Am I just wasting my time and would be better just eating them now??

Best wishes,

Mike T
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Deb P
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Postby Deb P » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:50 pm

I'm glad you have asked this, as I've just returned from my local Lidl with a pack of super French banana shallots for 99p a bag! I was just wondering the same thing!
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richard p
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Postby richard p » Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:49 pm

provided they are tolerent of uk weatherconditions they should do ok, the only way to find out for sure is to try
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pigletwillie
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banana shallots

Postby pigletwillie » Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:44 pm

I found some really long banana shallots whilst in Normandy (France)and according to the stall holder his brother originally grew them in Britany, gave him some a few years ago and he has grown then successfully ever since. I bought a couple of kilos of them to try exactly the same thing as you as the sets available from the seed houses are nowhere near these beauties. You can import without restrictions from Eu countries.
For success you need to save only really firm ones that are in good order and hang them in a cool place as for storing onions and then plant out in the spring. Lets keep each other informed on how we get on.

David
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Iain
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Banana shallots.

Postby Iain » Fri Dec 23, 2005 9:35 am

According to gardenorganic, "banana shallot" is "more of a cook's term than a gardening one." They refer to gardenorganiccatalogue.com where, apparently, we'll find "Long Red Florence" (listed under onions), and "Longor" a true shallot. They imply that these might be termed "banana shallots".
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Postby A. Guest » Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:41 am

If the old forum archive had a search facility, you could have been directed to several theads that delt with "banana " shallots. The whole subject was covered comprehensively by many of the old regulars. including "shallot man" Banana is not a variety just a general discription of the long type shallots that have always been grown in France and Italy but have found favour here in recent years. Jermor is one that you should be able to source quite easily, there are others.
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pigletwillie
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Postby pigletwillie » Sun Dec 25, 2005 9:13 am

Jermor are ok, but the babies I brought back from France make them look like pickling onions and are exceptionally flavoured. I hope that they do well. Most of the French Longue shallots sold here are really only demi longue, primarilly I think as the French do not want to give up there seed and until recently poor demand over here.

David
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Mike T
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Postby Mike T » Tue Jan 03, 2006 12:01 pm

So do they have to be sown from seeds, or can I grow them from the "sets" that I bought, just like normal shallots?

I already grow Jermor shallots, but was looking for something longer.

I have searched the old forum for banana shallots but can't find any postings.

Happy New Year,

Mike T
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Carole B.
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Postby Carole B. » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:25 pm

Hi Mike,
going slightly sideways on this Seeds of Italy do a long sweet onion called 'Long Red Onion of Florence' which is described as good raw.I had already marked it down in the catalogue for trying this year so I'll let you know about August how it does!
Carole.
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Lisa
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Postby Lisa » Sat Jan 07, 2006 11:26 am

Waitrose are selling what they called Echalion Shallots. They are long and large (4-5" long) so I guess they are also banana shallots then? I'm going to try growing them - certainly easier to peel one large shallot than several smaller ones :P

Any tips on growing shallots anyone? Best time to plant, best conditions etc?
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Mike T
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Postby Mike T » Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:18 pm

Mmm.
There is a reply to this by Sue Stickland in the letters section of the March issue of KG.

She seems to imply that Banana Shallots are onions rather than shallots. She also says that they have to be grown from seed rather than planted as sets. I have already planted the shallots that I bought from the local farm shop and my daughter bought for me from Lidl. They are in pots in a cold greenhouse. I will persevere with the experiment, although I am now expecting them to just go to seed. Perhaps I will now plant them at the back of a flower bed and hope my wife doesn't notice them!

Sue does also say that you can't buy the seed in the UK. However Simpson's Seeds have some seeds called "Echalion (new name for long shallots) 'Cuisses de Poulet du Poitou'" described as "Long French type of shallot" (£1.50). These sound like they could be banana shallots to me, so I have sent off for a packet to beat the rush. And no, I have no connection with Simpsons Seeds apart from being a satisfied customer. I will try these seeds where I was going to plant the sets I have.

Best wishes,

Mike T
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pigletwillie
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Postby pigletwillie » Fri Feb 03, 2006 5:54 pm

Mike,

the really long banana shallots I brought back from France were originally grown from the Farmers brothers sets as he wouldnt give him seed. He has grown them from sets since with no problems as long as he selects sets that are not to big to grow on. They are definitley shallots as one set forms a clump of up to 8 or 9 individual shallots that can be 6 inches long.

Long red florence is just a long sweet onion, not a shallot.

Seed for these banana (just a culinary term) is very much coveted even on the continent. If some of mine do go to seed, I can then save that for the following year and perhaps pass some on. I will be planting mine in pots this weekend.
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