In the Middle Ages, chives were cultivated in the gardens of monasteries for their supposed anti-rheumatic properties. During the Renaissance, they found their way on to merchants’ stalls and thus made their entry into French cuisine. For a long time, chives, whose English name comes from the French word “cive”, were the aromatic herb of a single dish to which they gave their name, a stew called “civet”. From the same botanical family as garlic and shallots, chives have a much more refined aroma. Only the stems are eaten, finely chopped.
The subtle onion flavour is a delicious addition to cream cheese, omelettes and salad dressings.