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Vegetables in the Allium Family
These vegetables grow from bulbs, common Allium Vegetables include Garlic, Onions and Shallots.
- Garlic (Allium sativum) is a perennial in the family Alliaceae, closely related to the onion, shallot, and leek. It does not grow in the wild, and is thought to have arisen in cultivation, probably descended from the species Allium longicuspis, which grows wild in south-western Asia. Garlic has been used throughout all of recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes.
- The leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.) J. Gay) is a vegetable belonging, with onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae, the onion family. Also in this species are two very different vegetables: The elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) grown for its bulbs, and kurrat which is grown for its leaves in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The leek is also sometimes classified as Allium porrum (L.)
- Onion in the general sense can be used for any plant in the Genus Allium but used without qualifiers usually means Allium cepa, also called the garden onion. Onions (usually but not exclusively the bulbs) are edible with a distinctive strong flavour and pungent odour which is mellowed and sweetened by cooking. They generally have a papery outer skin over a fleshy, layered inner core. Used worldwide for culinary purposes, they come in a wide variety of forms and colours.
- Shallot, as the word is commonly used, or eschallot in some countries, refers to two different Allium species of plant. The French grey shallot or griselle, which has been considered to be the "true shallot" by many, is Allium oschaninii, a species which grows wild from Central to Southwest Asia. Other varieties of shallot are Allium cepa var. aggregatum (multiplier onions).  The name of the shallot derives from the name of the city of Ashkelon (Latin ‘Ascalon’) in ancient Canaan.