Believed to have originated in the Middle East the shallot is a member of the onion family. It's flavor is much lighter than a regular onion, and it has a mild sweetness to it. Shallots are often used in reductions for sauces to round out the flavors. Shallots come in several varieties: Grey shallots, Jersey shallots, Red shallots, and Simiane. The shallot is characterized by it's small oval shaped bulb.