When I was younger, chives grew up and down my block in Brooklyn, in every front yard, pushing through fences, sprouting out of ivy, fighting for space with flowers. I broke off a strand often, indifferent to the effects on my breath and possible cat-pee contamination, munching the wild onions with both abandon and glee. And then, for some reason, I stopped.
Until this morning, that is, when I noticed that my block is still awash in chives, maybe more so, as they’ve spread uninterrupted, because who would bother a chive? (They also have a practical purpose, keeping insects away from gardens.) Humans have enjoyed chives for millennia, so why not you? Deracinate a few from the yards on your own block and eat them on their own as a mid-block snack, or use them as you’d use scallions. Atop a potato soup, perhaps?
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