FOOD
13/06/2016 8:00 PM AEST | Updated 03/07/2018 8:18 AM AEST

It's About Time You Learned The Difference Between These Two Veggies

Who knew?

old woman cuts chives
Ralf Cornesse via Getty Images
old woman cuts chives

Chives, green onions or scallions ― what’s the difference?

They might taste similar, and you might even be able to substitute one for the other in some recipes ― but they are definitely not the same plants.

Here’s why:

Scallions and green onions (not chives) are actually the same thing ― alliums (specifically the genus and species Allium fistulosum). They’re long, green and floppy, with a bulb that doesn’t really bulge that much. Here’s what they look like:

The Huffington Post

Spring onions, which also look similar, are scallions that have matured, have a bigger bulb and are spicier and more pungent than scallions.

Chives, on the other hand, are also alliums, but a different species (schoenoprasum), and grow like weeds -- and for a few weeks in early spring can be found with pretty little purple flowers on them! Chives are much more pungent herbs, best used diced into smaller doses. Even better, a chive's flowers are also entirely edible, and Bon Appetit recommends throwing them in to add a colorful "oniony burst" to salads and stir fries.

Here are some flowering chives, picked up at a local farmer's market, followed by photos of chives with the flowers cut off:

The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post

Now that you're equipped with the knowledge, try out your chives in the recipes below: