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Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee, this is a smaller, flat, pale onion. The flesh is a slight yellowish color and the skins are thin and papery. The color of the skin ranges from pale yellow to the light brown color of Spanish onions. These are sweeter onions, having more residual sugar than garden-variety white or yellow onions, but not as much as shallots.
The advantage to cipollinis is that they are small and flat and the shape lends them well to roasting. This combined with their sweetness makes for a lovely addition to recipes where you might want to use whole caramelized onions.
These can be a little more difficult to find as they are not as popular. Specialty markets and grocery stores will have them but even my Whole Foods has spotty availability. They are harvested in autumn and may not be easily available year round (or may be quite expensive in other seasons).