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how similar are chives and green onion?

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I was at a restaurant yesterday, a national steakhouse chain. The waitress asked if I would like sour cream and chive on my potato, I said yes (of course). When the potato came there was sour cream and green onions on my potato. I proceeded to pick them off as I don't really like raw green onions on a potato. Whe the waitress came back to ask if everything is okay, I almost didn't say anything...but darn it it was not ok.
I told her that It was a little bit misleading to say chives when the potato is served with green onion. I wonder if the resaurant tells them to say chives instead of green onion cause it sounds better.
Did I over react? are they really almost the same thing.

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  1. They are definitely different. They taste different and I would not use them interchangeably.

    1. are green onions the same as scallion tops? Also, what are garlic chives?

      3 Replies
      1. re: smartie

        Chives are chives- a related, but different animal than scallions. Scallion tops are scallion tops. The main diff. is that chives are always used as a raw garnish and scallions aka green onions can be cooked (the white parts) or raw (the green parts) or both. I believe that garlic chives are the shoots of immature garlic that sprout above ground, but I'm not 100% sure on that. That being said, I love chives and scallions and leeks and shallots- the world would be a poorer place without them.... adam

        1. re: smartie

          Garlic chives are different from green onions, chives, or garlic.
          It is a plant with flat leaves, white flowers, and a mild garlic like taste.
          Also called Oriental chives, Chinese chives, Asian chives.

          1. re: hannaone

            Chives are Allium schoenoprasum, the smallest species of the onion family, and the only Allium native to both the New and the Old World.

            Garlic chives, also known as Chinese chives, may be any of several Alliums. The one commonly cultivated is Allium tuberosum, and the wild form, A. ramosum, though they are ubiquitous, with many intermediate forms and maybe best to just lump them all in A. ramosum.

            "Scallion," also known as a spring onion, salad onion, green onion, is usually Allium fistulosum, though "Scallion" is sometimes used for Allium ascalonicum (more often known as the shallot).

            Chives are mildest of these, Scallions stronger, and Garlic Chives strongest of the bunch, with flavor nearly as pungent as garlic.

            For reasons of season, transportation, or availability, any of these may be used interchangeably, though, as witness this blog, satisfaction will vary.
            can all