Difference Between Leeks and Shallots (With Table)

Leeks and shallots are both categories of different types of onions. They both are a breed of onions that grow underground. Both these vegetables are widely used for cooking knowingly or unknowingly, thinking they are onions in many families.

Even though leeks and shallots belong to the same category under onions, they both differ in appearances and their qualities. Both these vegetables have their characteristics and properties, which set them apart.

Leeks vs Shallots

The difference between leeks and shallots is that the botanical name of leeks is allium porrum with has an average height of 24 inches, and on the other hand, the botanical name of shallots is allium cepa which has an average height of about 14 inches only as compared to leeks.

Leeks are vegetables that look like overgrown onions. Even though they look like onions, their flavor is more delicate than onions. The white base and green stem attached in the leeks are used for making creamy soups and stocks by the people while cooking. Leek plants can be directly seeded outdoors or indoors too.

Shallots are vegetables that look like onions that are undergrown. Even though they look like onions, their flavor is a bit mild as compared to onions. They are the best replacement for red onions. Their flavor stands out when they are sautéed with butter and garlic or even with olive oil.

Comparison Table Between Leeks and Shallots

Parameters of ComparisonLeeks Shallots
Botanical nameThe botanical name of leeks is Allium Porrum.The botanical name of shallots is Allium Cepa.
Average heightThe average height of leeks is around 24 inches.The average height of shallots is around 14 inches.
Sunlight RequiredOnly partial sun with light shade is required for a leek to grow.There is full sun required for a shallot to grow.
FoliageLeeks have foliage like an onion that is dark green.Shallots have foliage like a normal onion.
Size compared to onionsLeeks are larger than compared to the onion.Shallots are small as compared to an onion.
Span of maturityIt takes around 75 days for leeks to attain maturity.It takes around 90 to 120 days for shallots to attain maturity.

What are Leeks?

Leeks are vegetables that look like overgrown onions. Even though they look like onions, their flavor is more delicate than onions. The white base and green stem attached in the leeks are used for making creamy soups and stocks by the people while cooking. Leek plants can be directly seeded outdoors or indoors too.

When the leek is trimmed while it is in the process of growing, it allows it to grow even faster and larger than usual. After the process of harvesting, leeks can be stored for around 14 days. Leeks look like giant onions. They have a taste that is mild and sweeter than compared to shallots. When leeks are used for cooking food, they provide vitamins proteins that are rich in nature.

Some people bake and grill the leeks. This is used in soups as well as salads. It is high in protein and vitamins. This vegetable is used in large areas for cooking purposes. The only difference is that people don’t know that they are leeks because they feel it’s just a large onion.

What are Shallots?

Shallots are vegetables that look like onions that are undergrown. Even though they look like onions, their flavor is a bit mild as compared to onions. They are the best replacement for red onions. Their flavor stands out when they are sautéed with butter and garlic or even with olive oil.

After shallots are harvested, the bulbs of shallots can be stored for up to 6 months. Shallots can be easily grown inside a house garden just by the seeds. The size of shallot is half of that of an onion. They are covered with paper-like bulbs around them. Some people eat shallots, even raw. A person who uses shallots in their cooking strengthens the immunity of the person who intakes them.

Shallots are a bit more expensive as compared to red onions and leeks. There involves a lot of work like peeling and trimming once the shallots are harvested. Shallots cannot be used and stored as long as regular onions, so one should keep that in mind before committing to buy them in the replacement of onions and red onions.

Main Differences Between Leeks and Shallots

  1. The botanical name of leeks is allium porrum, and on the other hand, the botanical name of shallots is Allium cepa.
  2. The average height of leeks is around 24 inches, and on the other hand, the average height of shallots is around 14 inches.
  3. Only partial sun with light shade is required for a leek to grow, and on the other hand, there is full sun required for a shallot to grow.
  4. Leeks have foliage like an onion which is dark green, and on the other hand, shallots have foliage like a normal onion.
  5. Leeks are larger than compared to the onion, and on the other hand, shallots are small as compared to an onion.
  6. It takes around 75 days for leeks to attain maturity, and on the other hand, it takes around 90 to 120 days for shallots to attain maturity.

Conclusion

Leeks and shallots are both categories of different types of onions. They both are a breed of onions that grow underground. Both these vegetables are widely used for cooking knowingly or unknowingly, thinking they are onions in many families. When leeks and shallots are used for cooking food, they provide vitamins proteins that are rich in nature, which strengthens the immunity of the person who intakes them.

The botanical name of leeks is allium porrum with has an average height of 24 inches, whereas the botanical name of shallots is allium cepa which has an average height of about 14 inches. Even though leeks and shallots belong to the same category under onions, they both differ in appearances and their qualities. Both these vegetables have their characteristics and properties, which set them apart.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781845690175500221
  2. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/bk-1992-0507.ch016
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