If you want to add some flavor to your meals, but want to avoid the pungency of onions, chives may just be what you need. Chives is an herb belonging to the allium family (which makes it relative to onions and garlics), that has been used as a garnish/ingredient in cuisines all around the world.
Although more common in Asian and European countries, chives grow in all parts of the world and are readily available in grocery stores. If you are unsure where to get chives in a grocery store, keep reading. We would tell you what aisles to check, and which stores carry them.
Where Are Chives Located In Grocery Stores?
Fresh chives in grocery stores are usually located in the produce aisle. You may find them in bunches with their roots still attached, near the lettuce. You may also find the ready-to-use ones packaged in plastic containers, amongst other packaged herbs.
If your grocery store has a bulk section, you might also want to check there as well. There’s also a good chance that your grocery store does not sell fresh chives. You can pick up dried chives at the spice section if that’s the case.
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Types of Chives You Will Find in Grocery Stores
There is a wide variety of chives found in different parts of the world. Of the lot, these are the three most common types of chives:
1. Common Chives
As the name already implies, these are the most common type of chives out there. You will mostly find this type available at grocery stores. Common chives are majorly used as a garnish. If they must be used as an ingredient, they should be cooked briefly and served immediately.
2. Garlic Chives
Also known as Chinese Chives, Garlic Chives are native to Asian countries. They typically grow taller than common chives, with flat, wider leaves. They have a more pungent, garlic-like flavor, and are mostly used to give a savory flavor to mashed or baked potatoes, or in salad dressings. Also, unlike common chives, the stems of garlic chives are not hollow.
3. Siberian Chives
Siberian Chives are also of Asian origin and are the least common of the three. They are sometimes referred to as Blue Chives, because of their bluish-green foliage. They are significantly larger than common and garlic chives, and grow the tallest. Siberian chives have a flavor very similar to that of common chives.
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List of Stores to Buy Chives Near You
Most grocery stores have a section for fresh herbs and dried spices, so one of the first places you should check is your local grocery store. If you don’t find them there, check out our list of online retailers and reliable grocers where you can get them.
Amazon should be one of your go-to stops if you prefer online shopping. They mostly have bulk-dried chives available in standard spice jars. You might also be able to get chives plants, but these are harder to come by.
You can get fresh chives at Walmart in the produce section, or dried chives in the spice aisle. The store locator on Walmart’s website can also show you the availability of products in the store if you are looking to get a specific brand.
3. Whole Foods
Whole Foods sells fresh and dried chives in the produce and spice aisles respectively. They also have a bulk spice section so that you can get chives in bulk there as well.
If there is any Safeway store near you, you can get either fresh or dried chives there. At the spice aisle, you can check for brands like Bassett, McCormick, and Morton.
Target mostly has dried chives in stock. If you don’t find fresh chives, you can check for dried chives brands like Simply Balanced and Market Pantry in the spice section.
You can get a wide variety of both fresh and dried chives at Kroger. If you have any of the stores nearby, it’s a sure stop for you.
Publix also sells a wide variety of both fresh and dried chives, from brands like Badia, McCormick, Spice Islands, and others.
8. Local Health Food Store
Health food stores usually have a wide range of fresh herbs and vegetables to choose from. You are sure to find chives among them.
9. Farmers’ Markets
Farmers’ markets are a great place to get fresh produce, and chives have become increasingly popular in them. If you can’t find them elsewhere, you can stop at a farmers’ market near you.
10. Ethnic Markets
Asian ethnic markets are likewise a great place to get chives, particularly garlic chives.
Substitutes for Chives
If you do not find chives at your grocery store, here are a couple of alternatives you can use in its place:
- Onions: Onions can be used in all recipes that require chives, although, they have a more pungent flavor so you might want to use less quantity.
- Shallots: Shallots have a similar flavor to chives, and can be used in all recipes that require it.
- Leeks: Leeks can be used in place of chives in most recipes, although, they have a milder flavor.
- Parsley: The flavor of parsley is slightly different from that of chives, but it can also be used as an alternative.
- Bill: Bill has a more potent flavor, as such, should be used sparingly.
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Having worked in a grocery store in the past, I thought it wise to pen down a few things that you might be interested to know about shopping and navigating your way around the store.