French Grey or Grey Griselle is a distinct species, different from all other shallots; in fact, it’s classified not as A. cepa but A. oschaninii. I have yet to find historical data on how it wound up in Southwestern Europe, much less when, but in France they are considered “true shallots” and 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 sauteing 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 and will not bolt.