Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the smallest species of the onion family.
Chives are grown for their leaves, which are used for culinary purposes as condiment, which provide a somewhat milder flavour than its neighbouring Allium species.
Chives have a wide variety of culinary uses, such as in traditional dishes in France and Sweden, among others. In his 1806 book Attempt at a Flora (FĂ¶rsĂ¶k til en flora), Retzius describes how chives are used with pancakes, soups, fish and sandwiches. It is also an ingredient of the grĂ¤ddfil sauce served with the traditional herring dish served at Swedish midsummer celebrations. The flowers may also be used to garnish dishes.
Chives are one of the "fines herbes" of French cuisine, which also include tarragon, chervil and/or parsley.
Chives can be found fresh at most markets year-round, making it a readily available spice herb; it can also be dry-frozen without much impairment to its taste, giving home growers the opportunity to store large quantities harvested from their own garden.
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