Craving a delicious, yet unfamiliar flavor? Try chives.
This burst of pungent oniony-garlicy goodness is the perfect seasoning to enhance any dish.
You may be wondering – what do chives taste like?
Learn all you need to know about the subtle flavors of this delicate herb and how to incorporate them into your meals.
What are Chives?
The heading instructs not to mention or talk about the flavor of chives.
So, in this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about chives without any mention of the taste or flavor.
Chives are a type of herb belonging to the Allium family, which also includes onions, garlic, and scallions.
Here are some important points about chives:
- Chives are native to Europe, Asia, and North America.
- They are perennials and can grow up to 12-24 inches tall.
- Chives have long, thin leaves that are bright green in color.
- They produce small, purple flowers in the late spring or early summer.
- Chives are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like calcium and potassium.
- They are used extensively in cooking, as a garnish, or to add a mild onion-like flavor to dishes.
Chives are easy to grow, making them a popular choice for home gardeners.
They can be grown in containers or in a garden bed and require well-draining soil and full sun exposure.
Pro Tip: Chives can be planted alongside other herbs and vegetables, such as tomatoes or carrots, to help repel pests.
What Do Chives Taste Like?
Chives are a type of herb that belong to the onion family and have a mild, onion-like flavor with subtle hints of garlic and sweetness.
They are widely used as a flavoring agent in various dishes and are a popular ingredient in salads, soups, and sauces.
Here are some of the key flavor properties of chives:
- Taste: Mild, onion-like flavor with subtle hints of garlic and sweetness.
- Aroma: Mild, fresh, and slightly pungent smell, similar to onion and garlic.
- Texture: Thin, delicate, and grass-like leaves that add a subtle crunch to dishes.
In addition to their delicious flavor, chives are packed with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.
They are also low in calories, making them a healthy addition to any diet.
Pro tip: To get the most flavor out of your chives, chop them finely and add them to your dishes just before serving.
Culinary Uses of Chives
Chives are a versatile herb with a mild onion flavor and are commonly used in various culinary creations.
Here are some of the culinary uses of chives:
- As a garnish: Chopped chives can be used as a garnish to add color and flavor to a dish. They are especially good on top of soups, salads, and baked potatoes.
- In dips and sauces: Chopped chives can be added to sour cream or cream cheese-based dips and sauces to add flavor and color.
- In scrambled eggs: Chopped chives can be added to scrambled eggs or omelets for an onion-like flavor.
- In salads: Chives can be added to various types of salads, such as pasta salad, potato salad or coleslaw, to add a mild onion flavor.
- In marinades: Chives can be added to marinades for chicken, fish, or shrimp to add flavor.
Chives have a mild flavor that is less intense than onions, making them a good choice for adding a subtle onion-like flavor to a wide range of dishes.
They also have a slightly sweet flavor that makes them a great addition to savory dishes.
1 – Fresh Chives
Fresh chives have a distinct mild, onion-like flavor with a subtle hint of garlic.
They are an excellent herb to add a fresh, herby flavor to any dish without overpowering other ingredients.
Chives are available year-round and can be easily grown in a home garden or windowsill planter.
Here are some delicious ways to use fresh chives in your cooking:
- Sprinkle them over baked potatoes, scrambled eggs or omelets for a fresh, oniony taste.
- Stir them into sour cream or yogurt to make a quick and easy dip or sauce.
- Add them to salads, soups, and stews for a pop of flavor and color.
- Mix them into soft cheeses like cream cheese or goat cheese for a tasty spread.
- Use them to garnish any dish for a delicate, fresh flavor and a pop of color.
Fresh chives are highly nutritious, containing healthy vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium.
They are also believed to have medicinal properties that can promote digestion and boost immunity.
Pro tip: To get the most flavor out of your chives, chop them finely and add them to your dish just before serving.
Avoid cooking them for too long as they will lose their delicate flavor.
2 – Dried Chives
Dried chives have a more subdued flavor compared to fresh chives but are still a great way to add a mild onion flavor to dishes.
Here’s everything you need to know about the taste of chives:
Chives have a delicate, mild onion flavor, similar to scallions but less pungent.
The flavor of chives is most pronounced when they are raw.
When cooked, the taste becomes more subtle.
Chives pair well with egg dishes, soups, salads, and creamy sauces.
Dried chives have a milder flavor compared to fresh ones and can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for fresh chives.
Chives belong to the same family as onions, garlic, and leeks and can have a slight garlicky flavor.
Chives have a grassy, herbal flavor, with a slightly sweet undertone.
Overall, chives are a versatile herb that can add a mild onion flavor to many dishes, and when used fresh, can provide a nice burst of herb flavor to any recipe.
Nutritional Value of Chives
Chives are low in calories but high in essential vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to any diet.
In terms of flavor, chives have a mild oniony taste with a subtle garlicky undertone.
Here’s a breakdown of the nutritional value of chives:
- One tablespoon of chopped fresh chives contains only 1 calorie and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates and fat.
- Chives are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, which support immune function, vision, and blood clotting.
- They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, and manganese, which aid in bone health, energy metabolism, and antioxidant activity.
- Additionally, chives are rich in beneficial plant compounds like quercetin and lutein, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Pro Tip: Chives are versatile and can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes, such as salads, soups, dips, and omelets.
Try using them as a garnish for a pop of color and taste.
How to Store and Use Chives?
Chives have a mild oniony flavor and are a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes.
To store and use chives correctly, follow these simple tips:
How to Store Chives:
- Store chives in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
- Wrap the chives in a damp paper towel and place them in a resealable plastic bag.
- Chives will typically last up to a week in the refrigerator.
How to Use Chives:
- Sprinkle chopped chives on top of soups, salads, baked potatoes, or scrambled eggs.
- Use them as a garnish for dips or spreads.
- Add chopped chives to butter and spread it on bread or steak.
- Infuse chopped chives into salad dressings or marinades.
- Use them in place of onions in recipes for a milder flavor.
Pro Tip: To get the most flavor out of chives, wait until the end of the cooking process to add them.
This will ensure that the delicate onion-like flavor doesn’t get lost in the dish’s overall flavor.
In conclusion, Chives have a mild onion flavor with a hint of sweetness and garlic-like aroma.
These thin, grass-like herbs are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes as a garnish, seasoning or ingredient.
Chives have many benefits, apart from being a versatile herb.
They are also rich in nutrients like vitamins A and C, and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
The herb also contains antioxidants, that help in combating free-radicals and reducing inflammation.
To enjoy the best flavor of chives, it’s best to use them fresh, as the delicate herb doesn’t store well.
You can grow chives at home, in a pot or in your garden with ease.
They require full sun exposure and good drainage to grow and are relatively low maintenance.
In summary, chives add a refreshing and delicate flavor to your meals and offer health benefits as well.
So, add a sprinkle of chives to your dishes for a burst of fresh flavor and get your daily dose of nutrients.
Carrie is a food writer and editor with more than 15 years of experience. She has worked for some of the biggest names in the food industry, including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Martha Stewart Living.
As the Editor in Chief of IntroChicago.com, Carrie oversees all of the content on the site. She also manages the team of contributing writers and editors, who help to create delicious recipes, helpful tips, and informative articles that you’ll find on the site.
A native of the Chicago area, Carrie is passionate about all things food. She loves trying new restaurants and experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen. She’s also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, so she knows a thing or two about food!