Chives grow in clumps, and the leaves used as a herb have an extraodinary taste. It's an essential for adding to salads, and everything else that can be eaten cold, because it doesn't like long cooking during which it loses most of its flavour.
Hold all the chives together in a small bunch. Keep only the firm green leaves, discard the rest.
With a sharp knife, cut the bunch across, starting from the bottom end, as finely as you can. This is the best way to release the flavour and aromas of chives.
It's a rather long operation, but the results are worth it.
Don't do this:
You might be tempted to cut medium sized pieces with scissors, but this is a mistake, because each piece will keep its aromas locked inside.
If you only have scissors rather than a sharp knife, cut the pieces as small as you can.
Chives will flower once established, producing attractive balls of mauve flowers on long stalks.
It's not widely known, but the flowers are well worth using. All you need to do is pull on the petals to break the flower head apart.
They bring a light and very subtle chive flavour, and their lovely colour as well, so do try them!
Chives freeze easily. Make a bunch of about 1 cm or ½ inch diameter and secure with 2 or 3 rubber bands. Freeze like this, then put in a sealed plastic bag. Later, use what you need each time by cutting the end of the bunch (still frozen), like for fresh chives.
Unfortunately, chives lose most of their flavour and aroma during cooking, so this is a herb best used raw (salads, etc.).
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