If you’ve ever asked yourself the question; what are chives, you’ve come to the right place!
In this post, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about this popular herb including what it is, what it tastes like, how it can be used, and so much more.
Chives are used all over the world to add extra flavor to a huge range of different dishes. However, if you’ve never used chives before, you might not know much about it.
All that is going to change today! By the end of this post, you’ll be a chives expert.
You’ll be able to garnish your dishes with this delicious herb to create the most amazing food.
Let’s not waste any more time, let’s get straight into the post, starting with what chives are!
What Exactly Are Chives?
Known scientifically as Allium schoenoprasum, chives are a species of flowering plant that belongs to the Allium family.
Closely related to shallots, leeks, scallions, and onions, chives are a popular type of herb used all around the world.
Most commonly available in the warmer months, chives produce edible flowers and leaves that we can use to add color and flavor to almost any dish.
They have been used as herbs in Europe and Asia for centuries but they can be found almost everywhere.
In terms of appearance, chives have a long green stem and a hollow center. They grow in large clumps and require very little preparation.
A lot of people compare their appearance to grass.
What Do Chives Taste Like?
Chives have a very similar taste to their allium counterparts. However, despite having a noticeable oniony flavor, chives are much milder.
They tend to offer a more delicate flavor that doesn’t overpower. As a result, some people refer to chives as ‘little onions’.
Typically used fresh, chives still have a pungent flavor that’s easily distinguishable, but that flavor is nowhere near as strong as other members of the Allium family.
Chives are also similar to onions when it comes down to nutritional benefits.
Having said that, chives are smaller so you can expect more nutrients from larger herbs and vegetables.
Chives are a great source of vitamins A and C, folate, and choline.
That’s not all though, as chives, along with other alliums, have been shown to have a wider range of health benefits too.
We’ve listed some of the best health benefits associated with chives below.
While more research is needed to find the true benefits of chives, these are the believed benefits so far.
- Decreased risk of disease
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved eye health
- Improved sleep
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Improved mood
- Improved cardiovascular system
How To Cook With Chives
One of the greatest things about chives is their versatility. We can use chives in a wide range of different ways.
When using chives, it is recommended that we use them raw because cooking them can cause them to lose their tasty flavor.
In the next part of this post, we’re going to show you how you can use chives in your recipes.
The most common use for chives is as a garnish. Most people use chives to sprinkle over their dishes to add more flavor and color.
To use chives as a garnish, all you have to do is chop them up and throw them on top of your food.
Thanks to their versatility, we can use chives as a garnish for almost any dish.
Some cooks also like to use chives as a soup topper. Working well in virtually any soup dish, you can once again chop the chives up and place them on top of your dish.
One neat trick is to put your chopped chives into a relish that goes on top of your soup too.
Mixed Into Dressings
We can mix chives into dressings too. This is a great way to bring a delicate flavor to your favorite dips and sauces.
A handful of chives in a ranch dressing helps the dip taste even better.
The beauty of this is that the chives don’t overpower the dressing, they simply enhance the flavor.
Add To Crab Cakes
If you’re making crab cakes or a salmon patty, consider adding some chives into the mix. Chives and seafood complement each other brilliantly.
Throw Chives In A Salad
Another super simple way to use chives is to throw them in a salad.
Chives are a great addition to potato salad or seafood salads, as their flavors add a mild flavor that compliments the other ingredients nicely.
If you want to put a unique twist on things, you could bake your chives.
Mix your chives into your favorite baked goods like bread and biscuits to create a delicious snack or lunch.
Keeping chives fresh is relatively easy. Chives sold in supermarkets tend to come in small plastic bags or containers.
Chives sold like this can be kept in their container and stored in the refrigerator.
Chives will stay fresh in your refrigerator for approximately one week or so.
If you decide to grow your own chives or purchase them locally, you should wrap the herb in a piece of parchment paper.
You can then store the chives in your refrigerator for up to a week.
That concludes this post telling you everything you should know about chives.
Now you’ve made your way through all the information we provided you with, you should know exactly what chives are, what they taste like, how to use them, and how to store them correctly.
Chives are a popular herb that we can use to add extra flavor to our food.
Now you know what to do with chives, you should start adding them to your dishes. We already know you’ll love the results.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, green onions and chives aren’t the same thing.
They may have a similar flavor profile and appearance but they are different. Chives are smaller, thinner, and have a more mild flavor.
Yes, you can grow chives at home. In fact, chives are one of the easiest herbs you can grow. You can grow them indoors or outdoors.
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