Chives vs Scallions
Chives and scallions, both members of the Allium species, can indeed be hard to tell apart. However, different recipes call for different species and, therefore, knowing the differences between these two delightful ingredients can be very useful when it comes to the culinary arts.
What is Chive?
The smallest species of the edible onion, chive is a perennial plant that is native to Asia, Europe and North America. It is mostly used as a herb. Chives can be easily found in grocery stores or grown at home. The chive plant grows up to 30–50 cm tall with slender conical bulbs and grow in clusters from the roots. The leaves and scapes are hollow and tubular and are used as a flavouring herb in various dishes. Chive flowers are small and pale purple while the seeds mature in summer and are produced in small three-valved capsules.
Chives are grown for their scapes and are known as one of the “fine herbs” of French cuisine and are known for their mild flavour. Scapes are used for flavouring purposes and in dishes such as soups, sandwiches, fish etc. while the unopened flower buds are diced and used as an ingredient for fish and potato dishes. Chives are also known for their insect repelling properties while also being known for its mild stimulant, diuretic, and antiseptic properties. Chives are a rich source of calcium, iron, Vitamin A and C while also containing traces of sulfur.
What is Scallion?
A member of the Allium species, scallions are known for their mild onion flavour, featuring long, hollow leaves but lack a fully developed root bulb. Scallions are often used as a vegetable either raw or cooked in or as a flavouring agent for soups and broths. The scallion has many other names green onion, salad onion, spring onion, green shallot, long onion, table onion, onion stick, baby onion, yard onion, precious onion, gibbon, syboe or scally onion being some of them.
Diced scallions can be used raw in salsas, salads and many Asian recipes while they are used in noodle and seafood dishes as well as in soups, sandwiches, curries or stir-fries. Scallions are also used as garnish for rice dishes as well as a base for many eastern sauces with the scallion roots removed.
What is the difference between Scallions and Chives?
While both chive and scallion leaves are long and hollow, chives are thinner than scallions.
• In chives, mostly, only the upper green part is used in cooking. In scallions, both the green and white parts can be used.
• Chives are best served raw as when cooked, they tend to lose their flavour. Scallions can be used either cooked or raw.
• Chives are of the Allium schoenoprasum species while scallions are of the Allium cepa species.