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Chives are a member of the onion family grown for their stems, which are used as an herb.[1]



Growing in bunches, chives consist primarily of thin, hollow, green stems.[2] Unlike garlic chives, chive stems are rounded instead of flattened and have a mild onion rather than garlic flavor.[2][3][4] Chives also produce edible purple flowers.[4]

Selection and storage


When selecting fresh chives, look for bright green and unblemished stems. They shouldn't be wilted or slimy. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a few days. Dried chives are also available, but they are much less vibrant.[3][4]

Due to their mild aromatic flavor and delicate texture, chives are commonly used as garnish.[1][3] For example, they may be very finely sliced or chopped so they appear as small green speckles. Because they are so delicate and vibrant, avoid long or high-heat cooking.[2]




  1. a b Davidson, Alan (2014-01-01). Jaine, Tom (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199677337.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  2. a b c Labensky, Sarah R.; Hause, Alan M.; Martel, Priscilla (2018-01-18). On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals. Pearson. ISBN 978-0-13-444190-0.
  3. a b c Van Wyk, Ben-Erik (2014-09-26). Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0-226-09183-9.
  4. a b c The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) (2015-02-25). Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-92865-3.