A distinct species, different from all other shallots; in fact, they are classified not as A. cepa but A. oschaninii. In France they are considered “true shallots” in that they absolutely will not bolt and are highly sought after. It has thick, rough skin that is nearly impossible to clean (we don’t bother) but the flesh has fine purple rings and its flavor is exquisite. Fresh from harvest it excels raw in salads but as it ages, pungency and acridity intensify and light sautéing brings out its outstanding flavor. French Grey will not yield as heavily as other shallots and it has shorter dormancy. It matures a little earlier as well.