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1,000 euro per kg – the most expensive vegetable is becoming more popular

While majority of vegetables represent one of the most inexpensive sources of food on Earth, some could be extremely expensive. Moreover, according to EastFruit experts, consumption of exclusive and expensive vegetables, which offer superfood qualities and great taste, is growing very fast.

Of all the vegetables on the market, hop shoots, which are also called “hop asparagus” is probably the most expensive and luxurious one. It is actually not an asparagus at all, but it does look like asparagus shoots. What’s so special about the hop shoots makes people pay up to 1,000 euro per kg of hop shoots?

Hop shoots grow at the end of hop plants (Humulus lupulus). It is the same plants that is used in beer production. These small green and white sprouts resemble asparagus stalks.

What makes them really expensive is the fact that you can’t plan on growing hoз shoots – the appear completely spontaneously on hop vines, making them elusive and sporadic. These hop shoots are extremely delicate – they don’t store well and must be consumed soon after harvesting as freshness is key to the taste of this expensive product.

Raw hop shoots taste bitter and astringent, but they are not consumed fresh. Once cooked, their flavor combines earthiness, which is somewhat like kale, with nuttiness and a slight hoppy note.

Read also: Winter Niche Vegetable: Cardoon – Edible Thistle Cultivated in Mediterranean Countries

Hop shoots could be found on the wild hop plants in the spring. Some hop farms are also picking hop shoots and are making good money selling it.  Many hop shoot lovers plant hop plants to pick some shoots in the spring.

Hop shoots are cooked just like regular asparagus. Tough lower section needs to be trimmed and they have to be rinsed well before boiling. Consumers sauté them in butter with salt and lemon juice. Their delicate flavor pairs well with potatoes, fish, or chicken.

Hop shoots are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and health benefits. They contain a diverse nutritional profile, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties that may support health. Additionally, compounds in hops such as xanthohumol can provide relaxation and help improve sleep quality.

Belgium and Holland are the countries that appreciate hop shoots most and are willing to pay up to €1,000 per kilo for this hedgerow-like delicacy. However, it is becoming more popular in other countries as well.

In summary, hop shoots are a rare and exquisite vegetable, prized for their flavor and health properties. Whether foraged or cultivated, they’re a culinary adventure worth exploring! Perhaps growing hop shoots could also be a profitable nice for small farmers in your country?

EastFruit

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