Source: Chives - Patricia G. Solley, 1997 (To go there: )

Called ciboulette or civette in French and schnittlauch in German (civit or sweth in middle English stories), chives are a dwarfed onion relative with a delicate peppery taste. They are actually a native of Northern Europe and were spread by the Romans, but were not cultivated until the Middle Ages--though they were commonly used in cookery from earliest times. They were listed by Charlemagne in his 812 AD Capitulare de Vilis.

Chives are an evergreen perennial with round, hollow, rush-like leaves. It's the sulfer compounds in them that give them both their flavor...and their antibiotic properties.

They grow in clumps in a kitchen garden--and should be clipped to within an inch of the earth, as you need them. Don't strafe the whole clump straight across or you'll kill the whole plant. Also, don't fail to harvest and use the purple flower in salads--or float them on soups for dramatic effect. Excellent!

CHIVE - extracted from the pages of Gernot Katzer

Origin - Unknown, maybe Central Asia.

The fine and pleasant taste of chives makes them an extremely popular food addition in Central and Western Europe. Fresh chives, finely chopped, are frequently sprinkled over soups and vegetable stews, and several sauces, especially such based on egg or yoghurt, greatly profit from chives. Boiling, frying or baking will, though, destroy most of chives' fine aroma.

Although chives are more used alone than combined with other fresh herbs, chervil, tarragon and parsley are particularly worth trying; this mixture is known as fines herbes in French cuisine and is frequently suggested for subtly-flavoured cold and warm dishes, e.g., salads, scrambled eggs, fish and poultry. Fines herbes can also effectively be enhanced by addition of some cress, cicely or lemon balm. Less recommendable is the combination of chives with garlic, which would overpower chives' delicate aroma; much better suited is bear's garlic with its significantly less dominant fragrance; lovers of this herb might even try to use it instead of chives.

Another field of application for chives is cheese, especially cottage cheese and other very mild varieties. Cottage cheese flavoured with chives and optionally other fresh herbs is a popular spring dish in Central Europe.

The spice is nearly always used fresh, because it loses all its flavour by drying. Industrially, dried chives are produced by the less destructive process of lyophilization, but still I prefer the fresh product; in winter, deep-frozen chives are fully satisfactory.

Chive - extracted from the pages of One Planet -

(species Allium schoenoprasum), small, hardy perennial plant of the lily family (Liliaceae) related to the onion. Its small, white, elongated bulbs and thin, tubular leaves grow in clumps. Dense, attractive, spherical umbels of bluish or lilac flowers rise above the foliage; they characteristically produce only a few seeds. Chives may be propagated by planting seeds but are cultivated more commonly by dividing the clumps and planting the tiny bulbs. Like garlic and leeks, chive belongs to the onion family, growing wild in northern Europe, Greece, and Italy. Ancient civilizations are thought to have been familiar with it, but rumors claiming that chives "send up hurtful vapors to the brain" fortunately were unfounded. A flowerpot of chives can be kept in a sunny window for a continuous supply of leaves, which may be cut off at earth level and used for seasoning foods, particularly eggs, soups, salads, and vegetables. A good source of calcium, chives are believed to strengthen nails and teeth when consumed. Chive is said to have some medicinal qualities.

CHIVE - Martin Stangl - "The garden is my hobby"

The chive is very pleasant flavoring for our dishes, and we use the chopped lanky, tube-like leaves to throw on bread and butter. If practicable use them always fresh, or freeze them, as they quickly loose their flavor and intrinsical values. You can buy them from market-gardens as a plant in a flowerpot, or seed them between April and June outdoors, in a small window-box. About 10 gr seeds would be enough for you. Always buy the seeds newly, as they lose their viability within a year. Plant the small seedlings in about 5-6 weeks at the edge of your garden or into your spice-garden, keeping 20-30 small plants together, and putting them in a 25 x 30 cms distribution. In autumn you can cut some leaves from these bunches, but it would be too early in the first year too use them in winter-time for forcing. Use only the portion of your stems for forcing only in the next winter, so leave them intact in summer time, don't cut any leaves, use chemical complex fertilizers, and cut off all flowers. Moreover give fertilizers for the other chive plants too in every 4 weeks, use fertilizers which are poor in chloride, or use flower fertilizers like Hakaphos, Mairol, Substral, etd. Take about 3 - 5 gr. fertilizer to 1 liter of water. If you like to have chives already in January, dig out the plants you kept intact in the summer, and very naturally throw them into a heap outdoors. In wintertime take some from the heap, melt them in your cellar, then cut around and back the roots to place the plants into a 12 cms diameter potteries. If the ball's of earth size was too big to adjust, simply cut it in two, then plant the halves with some soil into flowerpots. If you put the flowerpots inside your window-sill in the kitchen, and carefully water them, you won't have to wait long for the crop.

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