Chives are a perennial herb that is mostly grown in Indonesia and Turkey. They are expensive because they are considered a delicacy and are rarely seen fresh in supermarkets.
Chives are most commonly bought dried and the dried variety can be found in major supermarkets easily.
Because fresh chives are expensive, most restaurants and foodies use the green stems of spring onions to decorate their dishes.
What Are Chives Good For?
Chives are a delicious addition to any meal, but they also have a lot of health benefits.
Chives are an allium plant, and recent studies suggest that they are good for fighting cancer. The sulfur found in chives prevents cancerous cells from spreading further.
They also help prevent osteoporosis since they are full of vitamin K. Vitamin K plays an active role in bone density, and chives are used commonly across Asia to slow this disease.
Chives also enhance memory and are good at improving the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. This is thanks to the choline and folate that is abundant in chive plants.
How Much Do Chives Cost?
Dried chives cost around $30 per pound, whereas fresh chives are considerably more, costing around $1,800 per pound.
However fresh chives are rarely sold by the pound as they are much stronger than the dried variety and usually sell in bunches weighing about 10g.
A 10g bunch of chives would set you back around $3-$4.
What Food Goes Best With Chives?
Chives are most commonly used with garlic-flavored meals. They are also good with eggs and are scattered across mild-flavored soups.
They also go well with onions and other allium vegetables like scallion and leeks, they go great with potatoes and their most common accompaniment is sour cream.
Who Grows The Most Chives?
Indonesia is the biggest supplier of chives, followed by Turkey as the second-largest supplier and Belgium coming in third.
Indonesia produces around 510,483 tonnes of chives per year, Turkey grows 208,239 tonnes, and Belgium around 188,100 tonnes per year.
Out of all the chive producing countries, Kazakhstan comes last, producing only 95,854 tonnes of chives per year.
These figures are for commercially grown chives and do not account for those who grow their own at home. Chives are commonly found in the gardens of private herb cultivators who grow exclusively for their own use or to sell or give to friends or neighbors.
Where Do Chives Come From?
Chives grow natively in Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia. The first instance of chives grown commercially dates back to 3000BC and the Roman period. The Romans placed a high value on chives and used them for medicine and meals, as we do today.
The Romans believed that chives were the root of all strength, and fed them to horses, wrestlers, and slaves to make them strong and work harder for longer.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Chives?
Chives take around 3 months to fully grow and mature well enough for harvesting. They grow throughout the spring and summer months and sometimes last until fall.
The stems are ready for harvest before the first bloom in the spring, however, it is better to wait until the flower has bloomed before you harvest, to ensure the continuation of the chive population in that area.
Can You Eat Too Much Chive?
Eating too many chives can lead to an upset stomach. Other than is not much is known about the excessive consumption of chives as they are typically eaten as a garnish.
The theory is that it could lead to indigestion, as too much of any food type can have this effect.
Those who are allergic to chives (which is extremely rare) report breaking out in dermatitis when the herb comes in contact with the skin. However, this risk is negated when the chives are cooked as the allergen is perhaps removed with excessive heat.
Is The Whole Chive Edible?
You can eat all of the chive herb. Chives grow pom-pom-like flowers that can be picked and scattered over salads and other cold vegetable dishes. With bright purple thin petals, chives flowers make an interesting and dynamic addition to any dish presentation.
Chive flowers should not be cooked and are best eaten raw. Cooking them will dull the colors shrink the plant, taking away from their aesthetically pleasing look. Cooking the chive flower so has no additional health benefits and there is no risk in eating them raw.
Can I Freeze Chives?
Chives can be frozen, but it is best to chop them first. If you freeze a whole chive, it will likely wilt after defrosting and become difficult to cut evenly.
Chives are best when dry frozen. You can dry freeze chives by vacuum-sealing them in an airtight ziplock bag and storing them in a quick freeze compartment of your freezer (if you have one).
Otherwise, normal freezing is fine and locks in all their nutritional goodness, but they will not be at nutritious as chives eaten fresh.
Chives can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 12 months, and refrigerated for 7-14 days before they begin to wilt and deteriorate.
Are Chives Good For Your Hair?
Chives are good for hair growth as they stimulate blood flow to the scalp which helps the scalp to clear itself of toxins and other materials that can minimize optimal hair growth.
Chives are beneficial for hair when eaten and when applied directly to the hair and scalp. Chives can also be used to heal wounds on the scalp as they have ant-bacterial compounds.
You can make your own chive hair rinse at home. Simply boil the chives in water and wait for the mixture to cool. Strain the weather, making sure to catch any chive debris, and rinse your hair in the chive water.
You will feel the benefits of chive water on your hair after 2 or 3 weeks. You will need to apply chive rinses regularly to experience accelerated and healthier hair growth.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.