Similar to an onion, but milder and with smaller bulbs. The leaves are cylindrical and hollow. The purple-pink flowers are borne in dense terminal clusters. Probably a native of China, it has been used in cooking since the dawn of history.
In French cooking chives are combined with shallots, marjoram and tarrigon. Chives are used in salads, soups, sauces such as remoulade and ravigote, in flavored vinegars, and with a wide range of vegetables. Some authorities state that chives cannot be dried using ordinary methods, but find freeze drying acceptable.
History and Lore
Cooking with chives spread to Greece and then throughout Europe from the Orient in ancient times. Chives haven't been much used by herbalists, who have preferred their stronger cousins in genus Allium. However, some have believed they protect against evil spirits, and for that reason bunches have been hung on the walls of homes in Europe.