Hop shoots come from hops, the flowers (also called seed cones or strobiles) of the hop plant Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a bittering, flavouring, and stability agent in beer. In addition to bitterness, they impart floral, fruity, or citrus flavours and aromas to beer. Hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.
The hop plant is a vigorous, climbing, herbaceous perennial. It is usually trained to grow up strings in a field called. The English commercial farmers in the south call it a hop field, hop garden (nomenclature in the South of England). The English in the West Country and America and call this a hop yard (in the West Country and US). Farmers around the world grow many different varieties of hops , with different types used for particular styles of beer.
People used hops in beer already back in the 9th century. Hildegard of Bingen, 300 years later, is often cited as the earliest documented source. Before that, brewers used a “gruit” which was a combination of a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the old German name for horehound, Berghopfen, means “mountain hops”), ground ivy, and heather. Early documents include mention of a hop garden in the will of Charlemagne’s father, Pepin III.
Healthy benefits of hop shoots
Hops are also used in brewing for their antibacterial effect over less desirable microorganisms and for purported benefits including balancing the sweetness of the malt with bitterness and a variety of flavours and aromas. Historically, traditional herb combinations for beers were believed to have been abandoned when beers made with hops were noticed to be less prone to spoilage.
They can cost up to US $430 per pound.
Hop shoots are the parts of the hop plant that’s not used in brewing beer. Hops have become quite useful globally for fermentation purposes, but hop shoots also have a purpose that not many are willing to pay for. They’re absolutely worth it for the taste .
They are almost kale-like in quality with a faint nuttiness in flavor as well. The reason why hop shoots are so expensive is due to the elaborate process of harvesting them. These have to be picked by hand, and since they don’t grow in rows, it’s quite difficult to find hop shoots for picking. In addition, hop shoots are so tiny that you’d have to pick hundreds before you can fill out a bag. It’s a pain to harvest, but those who do the work reap the benefits of a good sell in the end.