Frieda's Inc.

Frieda’s introduces the not-your-average shallot for not-your-average holiday cooking

These large, oval bulbs have amber-colored skin that can be peeled back to reveal juicy, white meat that combines the ease of an onion with the sweet, subtle flavor of a shallot.


Los Alamitos, California -- (ReleaseWire) -- 12/01/2006 --Traveling through the South of France last summer, Karen Caplan, President of Frieda’s specialty produce company, spent time shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables at the daily farmers' markets. She watched as local chefs and shoppers scooped up elongated shallots by the handful.

“They were so beautiful and unusual in shape, not like a regular shallot or onion,” said Caplan. “A friend in France told me they are Echalion, a regal cross between an onion and a shallot.”

Available exclusively from Frieda’s, Echalions, also known as Banana Shallots, are sweeter and easier to peel than a traditional shallot. A specialty of the La Motte Farm in France, Echalion is the result of a subtle mixture of the intrinsic qualities of the onion and the shallot. From each one, the Echalion has retained only best qualities. These large, oval bulbs have amber-colored skin that can be peeled back to reveal juicy, white meat that combines the ease of an onion with the sweet, subtle flavor of a shallot.

The versatile Echalion can add a subtle hint of flavor or be the main ingredient for any recipe calling for shallots. They are perfect for braising with meats, roasting with vegetables or simmering with soups. Finely chop and add to broths and sauces or include Echalions in your next seafood dish. Slice thinly and use raw in salads, sauté with mushrooms or combine with freshly steamed rice. To store, Echalions should be kept in a cool dry place, un- refrigerated, for up to a month.

Include Echalions in your holiday cooking as they are a wonderful accompaniment to virtually any dish being prepared for Thanksgiving or Christmas. This recipe, one of Frieda’s holiday favorites, features Echalions in place of traditional shallots.
Squash Provencal
4 Frieda's Sweet Dumpling, Delicata or Golden Nugget Squash
1 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2-3 Frieda's Echalions, peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Frieda’s Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. mozzarella cheese, shredded

With a small, sharp knife, cut two slits in top of each squash. Place squash in a microwaveable dish with 1/4-cup water, cover with plastic wrap leaving one corner vented. Microwave on high for 14 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking time. Squash should be tender when pierced. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. In another shallow dish, stir together the zucchini, tomatoes, Echalions and garlic with 2 tablespoons water. Cover loosely; microwave on high for 4 minutes, stirring once. Drain mixture well. Slice-off tops of squash and carefully scoop out seeds and discard. Then scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact. Combine pulp with cooked vegetable mixture, basil, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture back into shells cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 1/2 minutes, turning once. Top with cheese; microwave 2 1/2 minutes more. Makes 4 side-dish servings.

Founded in 1962 by Frieda Caplan, Frieda’s, Inc. was the first wholesale produce company in the U.S. to be founded, owned and operated by a woman. Once a small produce stand at the Los Angeles Produce Market, Frieda’s has emerged as the nation’s premier marketer and distributor of specialty produce and now offers more than 600 specialty items to grocery and specialty stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. America has Frieda’s to thank for introductions to Kiwifruit, Shallots, Cherimoyas, Donut® Peaches, Sugar Snap™ Peas and Habanero Peppers and the innovations just keep coming.