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Chive

Description

Chive is a hardy perennial with bulbs that grow very close together in clusters and long, cylindrical leaves that taper to a point. The flower heads are round and mauve in colour, but are usually nipped off, as this appears to preserve the flavour of the leaves.

Origins

Chive is said to be a native of Britain, but is rarely found growing wild here.

Cultivation

The Chive will grow in any garden soil. It can be raised easily from seed but is usually propagated by dividing the clumps in spring or early autumn. Plant clumps of 6 or so tiny bulbs at a distance of 25-30cms apart.

Culinary Uses

The chive is a member of the ONION family, with a similar flavour, and is a welcome addition to salads when finely chopped. Chives are also excellent in savoury omelettes and may be chopped fresh and sprinkled, just before serving, on mashed potatoes. They may also be put into soup, finely chopped and are a welcome improvement to sausages, croquettes etc as well as an excellent addition to beefsteak puddings and pies.

Maggie Wailes