Chives belong to the onion family and have long, hollow, succulent, waxy green stems. They have a delicate, earthy onion flavour with hints of garlic.
Chives have a particular affinity with potatoes, cheese and creamy sauces, but also pair well with lemon and tarragon, ginger, garlic, eggs, parsley, chilli, vinegar and soy sauce. Soups, sauces, salads, sandwiches, poultry, fish, butter, dressings and dips are all enhanced by chives.
Chives, like their cousin garlic, are useful for the heart and blood vessels, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. The aromatic oil also has anti-microbial effects, lending it to the reduction of bacteria, fungi, and yeasts, even during digestion.
Store in the fridge in the vegetable drawer in original punnet. Use within two days of opening. Chives can be dried for storage by chopping and placing in a bowl or paper bag and keeping in a cool, dry, dark place for a few days. It can also be frozen by roughly chopping and placing in a zip-lock bag, as is or with olive oil added. Flatten the contents of the bag to make it easy to break into portions. Freeze overnight. An ice cube tray can also be used by pouring a little water or olive oil over the chopped herbs inside the tray.
Culture and History
Chives are the oldest of all the onion family to be eaten and cultivated. They are unique in their distribution, growing wild in both the old world (Europe and Asia) and the new world (the Americas). First recordings of its use dates back to 3000 BC in China.