Several varieties of Chives Chives

There are a number of rather different members of the Onion family sold as "Chives", usually without modifiers, so it's a bit confusing. To straighten this out, and to provide an easy link from recipes, we have created this Chives page.

More on the Onion Family.

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Chives   -   [Allium schoenoprasum]
Bunch of regular Chives

Native to Europe, North America and Asia, these chives are what is expected in American and European recipes. The stems of these chives are round and tubular, similar to scallion stems but more perfectly round and much smaller. Flavor is similar to scallions but the texture is much different due to the small size. The photo specimens, purchased from a Korean market in Los Angeles are unusual in including the white part.

Small packets, usually cut to about 6 inches long (green part only), can be found in nearly every supermarket in North America, usually at rather high prices, but they are rare in ethnic and produce markets here in Southern California, Garlic Chives prevail in these markets. Round chives are often chopped fine and sprinkled over salads and other dishes as garnish, but are also used within recipes, particularly for fish and potatoes.

Garlic Chives   -   [Chinese Chives; Gau choy, Kow choi (China); Gui chai (Thailand); Maroi nakupi (Nepa); Buchu (Korea); Nira (Japan); Ju hpu (Burma) Ju Myit (roots Burma); Allium tuberosum]
Bunch of Garlic Chives

Used throughout East and Southeast Asia, these chives have more of a mild garlic flavor than regular chives. The leaves are thin narrow and flat, not "V" shape. They are used in stir fries, and as an ingredient in dumplings, soups and flat breads. While found in all the Asian markets here in Southern California, Korean markets may have them in more than one size. I have purchased them up to 19 inches long. Though the flavor is a bit different, they can be used to replace regular chives. Small ones have a very short storage life, at most a couple of days in the refrigerator, but I've had larger ones last a week.

Roots of this plant are a popular item to accompany snacks in Burma, and are chewed on for their flavor. For this use they are usually called "Leek Root", or ju myit.

Flowering Chives   -   [Chinese Flowering Chives; Allium tuberosum]
Bunch of Garlic Flower Stalks

These are the tall flowering stalks of Garlic Chives, always sold before the flower heads open (as shown in the photo). They are sold separately from the leaves (and at a higher price) and are a popular vegetable for Asian soups and stir fries. They store much better than the leaves, more than a week or so loosely wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

Tarah Chives   -   [Tara, Tarah (Persian); Allium ampeloprasum var. persicum]
Bunch of Tarah Chive Leaves

This is what is sold as "chives" in many Southern California produce markets. particularly those serving Near and Middle Eastern communities. While Asian Garlic Chives have flat leaves, these leaves markedly "V" shaped like those of leeks - in fact, if you read the binomial name, they are a variety of leek greens. They are a bit firmer and stronger in flavor than Garlic Chives, but last a couple of days longer in the fridge.

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©Andrew Grygus - - Photos on this page not otherwise credited © cg1 - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page permitted