There is nothing more welcoming in spring than a clump of fresh chives. The smallest species of the onion genus, Allium Schoenoprasum, is a choice edible herb, and the only allium native to both the Old and New World. Here in Maine, chives grow as a perennial, and self-seed themselves wildly throughout the garden.

Chives’ delicate onion flavor has been widely used in sauces and salads since the 17th century. Often recipes will interchange scallions or Welsh onions for chives, although the flavor of chives is much more distinctive.

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