Hop shoots on cuttinig board
Food - Drink
One Of The Priciest Vegetables Is Expensive For Good Reason
Hop shoots are small offshoots that appear on hop vines, and they’re probably the most expensive vegetable that you’ve never heard of.
Hop shoots are indeed related to the same hops used to make beer. The shoots grow in spots where hop cones don’t emerge, and are difficult to collect, transport, and keep fresh.
Hop shoots can cost up to a thousand dollars per kilogram, and they're scarce with a short harvest season. However, their pleasant texture and flavor can make the price worth it.
When cooked, hop shoots' bitter and astringent flavor turns incredibly nutty and earthy, with a hoppy, slightly beer-like note. They're versatile and also very nutritious.
Before cooking, rinse and cut off the tough, fibrous bottoms of the shoots. If the shoots feel a bit stiff and stale, poach them for about ten to fifteen minutes to soften them up.
You can saute the shoots with butter, salt, and lemon and serve them as a side, in an omelet or salad, or with a poached egg and cream sauce as the Belgians do.
Hop shoots are high in protein and fiber, and also contain lupulin and xanthohumol, compounds with anti-carcinogenic qualities, and hopein, which can help replete estrogen levels.
Hop shoots grow from February to April; during that time, you may find them at farmers’ markets or online. You can also forage for them from wild hops or hops you grow yourself.
Hop shoots spoil quickly, so wrap them in a moist paper towel and store them in a sealed container in the fridge to help them last up to a week.