Chives are native to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. They are related to scallions and onions, and are used in many cuisines around the world.
Asian or Garlic chives originated in the Himalayas and the high Mongolian plains, Asian or Korean chives have a distinct garlic flavor and have flat leaves. Buchu are used in many types of Kimchi, some ban chan dishes, in soups, stews, braises, and stir fries.
When buying select uniform green bunches with little or no blemishing.
How much does a bunch of chives weigh?
Chives have a mild onion or sometimes garlic flavor.
|Asian or Korean Chives (Garlic Chives)|
Common Names: Buchu, Korean Chives, Chinese Chives, Garlic Chives.
Originating in the Himalayas and the high Mongolian plains, Asian or Korean chives have a distinct garlic flavor and have flat leaves. Buchu are used in many types of Kimchi, some ban chan dishes, in soups, stews, braises, and stir fries.
What You Need to Know about Chives
Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) is a member of the amaryllis family that has beautiful and edible flowers. As a member of the Allium genus, chives is related to onion and garlic. Aside from its use in the kitchen, chives is known to be a good company for garden plants because of its ability to drive away pests like the aphids and Japanese beetles. Do you know that chives is a symbol of usefulness? Read this article to learn about the fascinating history of chives and its popular uses.
Chives is said to be the oldest species of edible onion that has been cultivated since 3,000 B.C. in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America. The Romans believed that the strong tasting chives provided physical strength to their race horses, wrestlers, and workers. They also used it to relive sunburn and sooth sore throat. On the one hand, Roman Gypsies used chives for fortune telling.
In the 13th century, chives has been used in mystical practices in Europe. It was hung over doors in a belief that it will stop disease and evil spirits from entering the house. In the 19th century, chives was fed to cattle by Dutch farmers to give their milk a different taste.
Where It’s Grown
Chives has been cultivated for centuries in China and India and is widely grown in the tropical regions of Asia. It thrives in a fertile, moist but well-drained soil rich in organic matter with full sun or partial shade.
Chives contains high levels of iron, calcium and antioxidants including beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, malic acid, glycine, thiamine, niacin and vitamin C.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), one (1) tablespoon of chopped chives contains:
- Energy: 0.9 calories
- Vitamin K: 6.38 micrograms (mcg), or 5% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 1.74 milligrams (mg), or 2% of the DV
- Folate: 3.15 mcg, or 1% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 6.43 mcg, or 1% of the DV
- Calcium: 2.76 mg, or less than 1% of the DV
- Potassium: 8.88 mg, or less than 1% of the DV
There are four common species of chives which are described in the list below.
- Allium schoenoprasum (Common Chives). Common chives feature large tubular leaves which produce lilac-colored blooms. Their taste is similar to onions. Its leaves are used to as condiments in soups, cooked meals, salads, and also as sandwich filling.
- Allium ledebourianum (Giant Siberian Chives). Giant Siberian chives look similar to common chives but are taller when they flower. This highly ornamental species has a stronger taste than other varieties and is commonly used as an insect-repellent in the garden.
- Allium tuberosum (Garlic Chives). Also known as Chinese chives, garlic chives has flat leaves that resemble grass. Unlike the common chives, this variety produces white star-shaped florets. With a taste similar to onions but with a hint of garlic, garlic chives are commonly used in the kitchen for herbal vinegars, salads, soups, soft cheeses, compound butters, and grilled meat
- Allium nutans (Siberian Garlic Chives). The Siberian Garlic chives has a blue foliage and pinkish flowers. Just like garlic chives, it also has the combined flavor of onion and garlic.
Chives are known for at least three uses: culinary, gardening and ornamental, and medical.
- Culinary – Chives is a common household herb that has the combined flavor of its close relatives, onion and garlic. Harvested for its leaves, chives is commonly added as a condiment for soups, salads, entrees, and eggs. It is added to the dish near the end of cooking time to retain most of its flavor. Its edible flowers can also be used as garnishment for food. Chives is commonly used in French and Swedish cuisines.
- Gardening and Ornamental – Chives is commonly planted in gardens as an ornamental. Aside from this, chives is also used as an insect-repellent that can control aphids and Japanese beetles. Farmers plant chives between rocks that border flowerbeds to keep the plants pest-free. Interestingly, the sulfur compounds in chives attract bees which are important for plants in need of pollination.
- Medical – Chives has a long history of being used a medicinal herb. The Romans believed that chives could be used to relieve sunburn pain and soothe sore throat. Europeans even hang them over doors to ward off diseases. Additionally, the juice of chive foliage can be used to treat fungal infections, mildew and scab. Its organisulpide compounds also have the beneficial effect of lowering blood pressure.