Garlic chives and chives are very similar in appearance as they both belong to the Allium family. Most commonly used as a culinary flavoring in dishes, chives in general also make great plants in your garden as they not only provide lush green grass-like foliage, but they also flower in the fall. What a great way to add color to your garden when most plants are losing their leaves and flowers.
How are garlic chives different from chives?
The primary difference between garlic chives and chives is simply their flavor. Garlic chives, as you know, taste like garlic, whereas chives taste like onion. The garlic chive is known for its strong flavor and aroma, unlike it’s relative, the chive, which has a more subtle onion taste. The easiest way to tell the two apart is by looking at their flowers; onion chives have white flowers while garlic chives will have purple flowers.
Be aware that only the onion chive plant is entirely edible, including the root bulb. The garlic chive plant, on the other hand is not entirely edible, as only the green grass-like blades are used. The chives plant will have hollow stalks which tastes like scallions.
Are Onion chives and garlic chives interchangeable?
Sometimes. While both plants are part of the same Allium family, one tastes like garlic while the other provides an onion flavor. If you’re making a dish that traditionally uses onion, then you’re going to want to stick with onion chives over garlic chives, and vice versa. It’s also important to know that garlic chives are most commonly used in Asian cuisine, so don’t plan on looking for them at your local grocery store. You’re most likely going to have to either go to an Asian market or grow your own. Onion chives, or “chives” as they’re often referred to are readily available in most markets.
Garlic and onion tend to go well together, as long as you’re not making a traditional onion or garlic meal, the two can be used interchangeably. Just remember that chives will be more subtle when compared to garlic chives, so be sure to use the right amount.
Can you eat chives and garlic chives raw, or do you need to cook them?
You can most certainly eat them raw, as they are excellent when chopped and placed in stir-fry or atop an entre. Never over cook them as it can alter their overall flavor. They are best eaten lightly cooked or raw. Some people ask if you can eat wild chives. As long as you know for a fact they are indeed edible chives, then sure. However, I would not advise eating anything found in the wild as you really don’t know what has been sprayed on it. Always best to eat from your own home garden. Always remember to wash your chives before eating, as you want to be certain they clean and free of any sort of dirt or bacteria.
Are chives nutritious?
Absolutely! Both onion chives and garlic chives have a considerable amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent ingredient in most any dish. They are very low in calories too; only 30 or so calories per 100g (about 3-4 chives) when eating raw. Both onion and garlic chives share the same amount of nutrition.