Tips on when to know if a shallot is bad or when you can still cook with it. Storage tips included as well.
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We all want our food to last. Some food we pay attention to closely because they go bad quickly. Others last a lot longer so we can end up forgetting about them, only to discover they aren't good.
Shallots fall in the later category. They last a long time, but not forever. Today, we are going to teach you how to know if your shallots have gone bad.
📅 How Long Do Shallots Last?
First off, let's explore how long they should last. Shallots when stored properly (more on that in a moment) should last anywhere from 1 to 3 months.
The trouble is it's hard to know how long the shallots spend at the grocery store or how long it's been since they have been harvested. A busier store that sells them quicker is going to turn over their product more, so less likely to be old. If the shallots are found in some out of the way location in the grocery store, they are more likely to be old.
🌱 What If Shallot is Green Inside?
Sometimes you might cut into a shallot only to find that it's green on the inside. Why does it happen? The shallot is starting to sprout. It wants to grow! This is a sign that the shallot is older or has not been stored in the optimal conditions.
The downside of that is that the flavor of the shallot tends to be more bitter and less sweet. Can you still eat them? Yes. I have before and they still were ok. Maybe not the greatest shallot ever, but I didn't feel like I should have just threw them out instead.
Is there a way to know? Well unless the green sprout is coming out of the top, often you can't tell. The shallot you see in the photo above looked perfectly fine outside. It was only when I cut it open could I see the green in the middle.
☁️ What If It Feels Light?
If shallots feel light for their size, they are probably old. They have lost moisture. Still safe to eat just may not be all that good. Use your best judgment.
Do your shallot have mold on them? This is the case where I would throw them away instead. Some people cut mold off of cheese but I wouldn't do that with a shallot.
👃 Smells Bad
If the shallot doesn't smell right I would not use it. Often ones that smell bad have oozing liquid out of them too. Gross.
📦 How to Store
Shallots are best stored at room temperature, in a cool, dry place. If you have a drawer you can dedicate to them and onions that's great. Or place them in your pantry inside of a paper bag that has holes punched in it for air flow. Often onions and shallots in the grocery store come in bags that allow airflow, so you should continue that at home.
People say you shouldn't store them with potatoes as they both give off gases that could cause each other to sprout. I think it's good advice as well.
What about the fridge? The problem with the fridge is that is too humid. If you don't have enough air circulating around your shallots they could get soft and moldy. You could store them in there for a short while if you really have no other place or you are going to forget about them elsewhere.
Try to store them in the crisper drawer and away from other produce so you don't make that produce smell like shallots. No one wants to eat grapes that smell like shallots!
🔪 Cut or Chopped Shallots
If you have leftover shallots that have been cut at all, then they must be stored in the fridge. At that point I would say you have a week out of them. If you want more time, then you can put them in the freezer. If you seal them up well they could last 3-6 months. Even if they get a little freezer burnt they will still be ok to cook with.
🗑️ Toss or Keep
Here are some more posts on how to know when veggies are bad.