The slender, hollow stems of Allium Schoenoprasum, commonly known as chive, are a perennial member of the lily family. They have a subtle, almost sweet, onion flavor that hints at their membership in the larger onion family. Chives are available freeze-dried, a form that preserves their subtle flavor and vivid green color.
Picture a baked potato with sour cream and a sprinkling of bright green chives and you have an idea of this herb’s value in the kitchen. Chives make a beautiful green garnish, as well as lend a hint of onion flavor to eggs, cream soups, potato salad and all sorts of spreads. They are often included in the French herb blend fines herbes, which also features parsley, tarragon and chervil.
Native to China and Taiwan as well as Europe, chives have been cultivated since the 17th century. Traditionally grown in the cooler climates of the Northern Hemisphere, they are favorite plants for small home gardens. Chinese chives have wider and fatter stems than other varieties and offer stronger hints of their more pungent cousins, garlic and onion. Chives have long lent an elegant touch to European and Chinese cuisines.
BELIEVE IT…OR NOT
At 5,000 years old and counting, the historical record for the use of chives in the kitchen has yet to be beaten.
Sour Cream and Chive Potato Topping
Fluffy Eggs and Chives