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Chives are grown for their scapes and leaves, which are used for culinary purposes as a flavoring herb, and provide a somewhat milder flavor than those of other Allium species.
Chives have a wide variety of culinary uses, such as in traditional dishes in France, Sweden, and elsewhere. In his 1806 book Attempt at a Flora (Försök til en flora), Retzius describes how chives are used with pancakes, soups, fish, and sandwiches. They are also an ingredient of the gräddfil sauce with the traditional herring dish served at Swedish midsummer celebrations. The flowers may also be used to garnish dishes. In Poland and Germany, chives are served with quark. Chives are one of the fines herbes of French cuisine, the others being tarragon, chervil and parsley.