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What Do Chives Taste Like?


What do chives taste like? Chives are tasty herbs, especially when served right. Do they taste like onions or, perhaps, scallions? Read this article to find all the facts you need to know!

Chives are popular but rarely eaten alone. Often you will find them added in small amounts to top the dish and make it even more flavorful.

wooden cutting board with diced chives

What are Chives?

Chive stems or leaves are green, long, thin, and usually hollow. When sliced thinly, they look like tiny green rings. In this form, they add a pop of color and aesthetic appeal to many dishes. 

Chives are one of the hardiest herbs, easily grown in most climates and requiring minimal maintenance.

They come from the Allium family, commonly known as the onion family. They sit right with garlic, onions, leeks, and shallots. The plant produces edible leaves and flowers. These chive blossoms are edible and share the same flavor as the leaves.

Chives can also be dried and ground into a powder to be used as a seasoning. These dried flakes come in a glass bottle and offer a more intense flavor.

Types of Chives

There are different types of chives; here are the most commonly used types.

Onion Chives

These kinds of chives are also called common chives, as they are the most popular ones. They have that signature hollow leaves that grow to 15 inches at the most. When you go to the grocery store to pick up some chives, most often, you will find this kind.

Garlic Chives

Garlic chives also go by Chinese chives. Their leaves tend to be flatter than the common variety. Plus, they grow longer, reaching up to 20 inches in height. These chives are also known for their white, edible flowers. Unlike onion chives, garlic chives are not hollow.

Siberian Chives

On the other hand, Siberian chives are famous for their bluish-green leaves. They grow the tallest out of the different types mentioned here. These chives can reach up to 24 inches and are not usually spotted in grocery stores. With some luck, you may be able to find them in farmer’s markets. 

What Do Chives Taste Like?

The taste of chives would depend on the type.

  • Common chives got their other name because they offer a mild onion flavor. Yet, this flavor is so subtle. It is nothing compared to the pungent flavor and aroma of red onions. 
  • Garlic chives‘ taste is similar to garlic. They have a more potent taste than common chives and have a different flavor profile. Yet, they’ll also come up lacking when compared to garlic itself.
  • Siberian chives have a mild, onion-like flavor with a hint of garlic.

Note: It is important to note, though, that the flavor of chives quickly fades when cooked. For this reason, chives are best eaten raw.

What do chives look like?

Chives are slender and cylindrical in shape, growing up to approximately 10 inches in length. They have a hollow center and can range in color from deep green to yellow-green.

Texture of Chives

Chives have a delicate crunch, making them ideal if you want a bite in your dish. Raw chives have a juicy bite that you’ll definitely feel in your mouth. Meanwhile, dried chives tend to crumble when you chew them.

Note: This crunchy texture will disappear the thinner you slice your chives.  

Do Chives Taste Like Green Onions?

Green onions are also known by the name scallions. Chives and green onions have striking similarities. In fact, some people even think that the green part of green onions is actually what becomes chives. That’s not true, though, because chives are not green onions. 

Like chives, green onions have long green leaves. However, they are most commonly sold with their bulbs, while chives are not. 

Now, do chives taste like green onions? Do chives and scallions taste the same? They have a similar flavor profile. Chives do taste like green onions, but green onions taste more potent.

Despite this, you can substitute one for the other in most recipes. You’ll have to use more chives to replace green onions.

Chives Vs Spring Onion

Chives and spring onions belong to the same family but are two different vegetables. Chives have a mild onion flavor, while spring onions have a stronger onion taste.

The biggest difference between chives and spring onions is in their appearance. Chives are thin and tubular with green or purple tops, while spring onions look like scallions but are thicker and have a white base.

Chives also have a more delicate flavor than spring onions, making them great for flavoring soups, salads, and appetizers. Spring onions are typically used as a garnish or in stir-fries and other cooked dishes.

What Flavors Do Chives Go Well With?

Knowing what chives taste like, they will pair with any other flavor that goes well with onion. Its taste pairs well with the following:

  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Sour cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Lemons
  • Lime
  • Oranges
  • Asparagus
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Walnuts
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Oregano

Nutritional Benefits of Chives

As a green herb, chives offer many nutrients and vitamins that can form part of a healthy diet.

  • It is a good source of Vitamins K and C.
  • In addition, chives also contain Vitamin A, potassium, folate, and calcium.
  • This herb also has lutein, which experts link to better eye health.

Culinary Uses of Chives

Chives also have many uses in the kitchen. If you add chives to cooked dishes, it’s better to add them at the end of the cooking process. Doing so helps keep their flavor intact as they’re exposed to heat less. 

They can be used fresh, frozen or dried and add color, texture and flavor to a variety of recipes. Here are some ideas for using chives in your cooking:

Soups – Chives make a great garnish for just about any soup. You can add them fresh or dried to the top of the bowl, or add them in while you’re cooking for a more subtle flavor.

Salads – Chive greens can be added to salads as well as used as a garnish on top. Use both the leaves and flowers for maximum flavor and color.

Baked goods – Chives make a great addition to baked goods like scones, muffins and bread. You can either add the chopped leaves or use the blossoms for color and flavor.

Egg dishes– Chives are a classic addition to any egg dish, from frittatas and omelets to quiches and scrambled eggs.

Sauces, dressings and marinades – Add some finely chopped chives to your favorite sauce, dressing or marinade for a hint of onion flavor without the bite.

Cheese dishes – Chives are great in dishes like macaroni and cheese or potato gratin – use them in place of onions for a milder flavor.

Stir fries – Chives make a great addition to stir fries and sautés – just add them towards the end so they stay crisp.

Roasted vegetables – Sprinkle some chopped chives over your favorite roasted vegetables or even baked potatoes before serving for added flavor and color.

How to Store Chives Properly

Before storing chives, it is important to ensure that there are no wilting leaves. It would be best if you also discarded any discolored leaves before storage. 

Chives will stay good for around 2 days even when left on the counter. If you want to prolong the life of your chives, you can refrigerate them. 

To store in the fridge, wrap the chive in a moist paper towel and store them in a plastic bag. Kept this way, they’ll last for 2 weeks at the most. 

You can also dehydrate or freeze chives to extend their shelf life. To freeze chives properly, you need to chop them finely first. Then, spread the chopped chives on a baking sheet. This way, they won’t freeze into a big clump that will be hard to defrost. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. Frozen chives can last for a maximum of 6 months. 

Meanwhile, properly dehydrated chives will keep for at least 2 years. Do note that dried chives will have a more potent flavor. You should adjust your proportions accordingly.

Can I Freeze Chives?

Yes, you can indeed freeze chives. However, you must chop and freeze them evenly before storing them for good. Doing this will ensure that they’ll be ready for your next use.

Can You Eat Fresh Chives Raw?

Like raw onions, you can eat fresh chives raw. In fact, it is the best way to eat them. This is because it will quickly lose its flavor once cooked.

Is The Green Part Of Green Onions Chives?

No, chives do not come from green onions. Green onions and chives are two different plants. Chives have the scientific name Allium schoenoprasum. They are herbs that taste like mild onions. On the other hand, green onion is Allium cepa. These onions, also called scallions, come from other onions. 

what chive’s taste is similar to?

Chive’s taste is similar to onions, with a milder and slightly sweeter flavor. It has a slightly grassy aroma, which can add depth and complexity to dishes.

Summary

Chives are one of the most common herbs used in cuisines worldwide. They look like spring onions at first glance, but they are not the same. There are many kinds of chives, but the most popular ones are onion and garlic. 

What do chives taste like? Onion chives have an onion-like flavor, while garlic chives have a mild garlicky taste. Remember that the taste of chives is sensitive to cooking. They’re best eaten raw or added at the very end of the cooking process.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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