I get, on a visceral level, that lovely produce isn't always the best, if by best one means "most flavorful," or "not sprayed with poison." I've eaten enough fruit that bugs tasted first, or knobby-looking carrots, or greens with -- gasp -- aphids on them to not get all caught up in the beauty contest that is modern food sometimes.
But apparently, I'm just as judgy as the next person. I confess, really I do, and I won't fall into that trap again too soon, I hope. This fall, alliums ruled the garden roost. Garlic, keeper onions, leeks (which still escape my gardeny success, drat them), and of course shallots.
"Of course," because nothing makes a fresh tomato soup like a shallot. Nor a cream sauce, nor many other delicate and lovely tasty things. And because I'm practicing to be a food snob. At any rate, I tried three different kinds: Gray shallots, Dutch yellow, and Santé, all from Territorial.
The Dutch yellow and the Gray got pulled early this month. The Dutch are sort of long, like bulby scallions, and not at all what I remember planting. I must have done something wrong. The Gray shallots proved that black aphids are gourmands, because 90% of them were gobbled up into slime by the bugs.
The Santé were off in a side bed, completely ignored. Then right after dinner tonight I wandered outside for some reason, and got sidetracked. The light in summer keeps me outside much longer than usual. I can't get enough! I was poking around and noticed some Evil Bermuda Grass in the shallot bed. I'd ignored the bed, because the shallots looked awful. Not awful as in "ready to harvest," but puny and unprepossessing, like anemic grass.
Imagine my surprise when, as I was pulling a weed, up came a classically-shaped shallot bulb:
Maybe not the biggest, although some were adequately sized, but definitely the nicest shaped ones in the garden. Go figure. They're out there so the roots can dry a bit, then I'll sift through them and clip them for storage. Maybe these are the shallots I'll replant next fall.
1 hour ago