A small allium, also in the onion family. They have a pale purple or orange-brown exterior and a white interior with multiple layers. They are milder than an onion in flavor.
Most likely in Central Asia and the Middle East.
It is believed that Crusaders brought shallots back to Europe from the Middle East.
Shallots are especially popular in French and Southeast Asian cuisine.
New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan et al. (2009)
“Shallots” by Kurt Nolte https://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals.arizona.edu.fps/files/cotw/Shallot.pdf