Are Chives Related To The Onion?


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Rajesh Shri answered
Chives belong to the onion family and are part of the genus Allium which contains in all about 1250 species like shallots, leeks and garlic among others; chives, always referred to in the plural on account of their tendency of growing in shrubs are the smallest members of the onion family.

Several species of chives have been traditionally grown in different parts of the world from Europe to Asia and in North America. Chives like onions develop from bulbs and are perennial in nature; the plant is herbaceous standing about 1 to 2 ft tall with long slender leaves and light mauve flowers (in April-May).

The main property of chives is the faintly pungent aroma of the leaves due to which it is used as a condiment in the preparation of dishes containing potatoes, fish and various soups with which the subtly pungent and acidic flavor goes well; the leaves are often added in shredded form to the various dishes especially in French and Swedish cuisine.

Chives have been cultivated since ancient times by the Romans and the Chinese for their medicinal properties as they contain Vitamins A and C as well as iron and sulfur which render them as an effective insect repellent.

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