The United States has two shallot grades, which refer not to the shallot of French cuisine but to the supermarket bunches of “little green onions.”
The maturing shallot puts up a stem, the “seedstem,” which bears a flower and subsequently seeds. In grading shallots, if the flower bud has been removed and the resulting seedstem is shorter than the plant's longest leaves, the shallot is judged undamaged.
In addition to the grades, “standard bunches” are specified. The shallots in any lot, and in any bunch, are to be of “fairly uniform” size. In describing lots,
A dozen bunches must weigh not less than 4 pounds, after wetting and shaking or draining of excess water.
Similar varietal characteristics. Overall length, not counting roots, cannot exceed 22″. Diameter between ¼″ and ¾″. “Fairly well formed, firm, young and tender, well trimmed, fairly clean, free from decay and from damage caused by seedstems, foreign material, disease, insects, mechanical or other means. The tops shall be fresh, of good green color, and free from damage caused by broken or bruised leaves.” In any lot 10%, by count, may be offgrade, but not more than 5% seriously damaged, and not more than 2% affected by decay. Ten per cent can be offsize in one way or another, but not more than 5% can be too thick, too thin, or too long.
No length criterion, minimum diameter is ¼ inch. Like No. 1 but “fairly firm, fairly young and tender, fairly well trimmed...fairly good green color.” Grading tolerances are similar to those for No. 1, but the 5% maximum for serious damage is dropped.
18 FR 7134, Nov. 11, 1953; redesignated at 42 FR 32514, June 27, 1977 and at 46 FR 63203, Dec 31, 1981.
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Last revised: 1 August 2007.