Onions and shallots are both members of the Allium family, which includes garlic, leeks, and scallions, but they differ in flavor, texture, and appearance. Onions are large and round with a thin layer of papery skin and a pungent flavor. They come in a variety of colors including yellow, white, red, and purple. Shallots are small and oblong in shape, with a thin, smooth brown skin. Their flavor is milder and sweeter than onions, and they are often used in French cooking. Shallots can be used in place of onions in many dishes, but they do not have the same pungent flavor and are not as strong.
Onions can be eaten raw or cooked, while shallots are best when cooked. Raw onions are used in salads and sandwiches, while cooked onions are popular in soups, stews, and sauces. Shallots are used to add flavor to dishes such as roasted vegetables, stir-fries, and sauces. They can also be used as a substitute for onions in a variety of recipes. Shallots can also be used to make a type of onion jam, which is popular in France.