Chives and Chive Flowers

Spice Profile: Chives

Scientific Name Allium Schoenoprasum

What are Chives?

Chives are a member of the onion family. They have a light onion-y flavor and can be used fresh in a large variety of dishes.

What is the History of Chives?

Chives are native to Europe and North America. They began being cultivated in the Middle Ages and became popular in the 1800s.

How are Chives Grown?

Chives grow easily in the home garden. They can be purchased at most nurseries and will thrive even in very cold climates. The green stems sprout early in spring and can be harvested until they die back in late winter. The flowers can also be harvested to use as garnishes in salads. 

How Can I Use Chives?

Chive stems can simply be chopped and added to fresh salads, potato dishes, eggs and many other dishes. Chives lose their flavor if cooked, so they should be added fresh. Chives can also be dehydrated or frozen for use in winter.

Fun Facts

  • Chives have similar, but milder, medicinal properties to garlic.
  • Romanian Gypsies used chives in fortune telling.

Sources

Herbs and Spices by Jill Norman

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