Garlic chives, native to China, are the smallest species of the onion family. They are referred to only in plural, because they grow in clumps. The chives plant is 30-50cm tall and has narrow, hollow leaves. They produce edible pinkish-purple flowers in late spring and early summer. Garlic chives are a type of onion grown for the leafage and not the bulb. The herb has a fresh garlic-like taste.
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Garlic chives are available from Israel and Kenya.
Copper, Fiber, Riboflavin, , Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus , Potassium, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Zinc Vitamin A, B6, C and K.
When the garlic chives are washed they are ready to be chopped and add to a dish raw or cooked.Consumption
Garlic chives are used fresh to season soups, sauces, fish, poultry and egg dishes, giving them a lively flavour, with just a hint of onion. Fresh chive leaves may also be used as garnish and flavouring for salads, mashed potatoes, spreads, dips and herbal butters. The flowers are also eaten.When to eat
Look for the ones that are plump, green and have no brown spots. Unopened flowers of Chinese chives are an indication that the plant is young and therefore more tender than one with fully opened flowers. Chives can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.
Did you know?
- The name Chives derives from the French word cive, which was derived from cepa, the Latin word for onion.
- The flowers are popular to dry to make ornamental dry bouquets. It was believed that bunches of dried garlic chives hung around a house ward off disease and evil.
- The Romans believed chives could relieve the pain from sunburn or a sore throat.