There is no confusion here – shallots are clearly a member of the Allium family, displaying some of the most obvious characteristics of other members. They taste very similar to an onion and have physical structure that is more akin to garlic. Shallots are formed in clusters of multiple cloves and their skin is usually a reddish-brown color with lavender flesh underneath. When cut, shallots release a chemical similar to that found onions, which irritates the eyes. But their flavor tends to be milder and sweeter, yet still pungent, and for this reason, is a favorite ingredient among chefs. In Asian cuisines, shallots are often fried or pickled and a popular Persian dish mixes crushed shallots with yogurt. Shallots can be stored for at least 6 months.