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Hopshoots: World's Most Expensive Vegetable Costs Rs 85,000 per kilogram

Incredible, isn't it? You might think that spending Rs 85,000 on vegetables is absurd, but that's about a kilogram of hop shoots. Hop shoots, also known as the world's most expensive vegetable, are the green tips of the hop plant.

Shivam Dwivedi
The hop, humulus lupulus, is indigenous to temperate North America, Eurasia, and South America
The hop, humulus lupulus, is indigenous to temperate North America, Eurasia, and South America

The hop plant is commonly associated with beer because its flowers are used to make alcoholic beverage. Hop shoots, however, are not discarded once the flowers have been harvested. Instead, these green tendrils have carved out a place for themselves in the culinary world.

In the international market, a kilogram of hop shoots can cost up to 1,000 GBP, or between Rs 85,000 and Rs 1 lakh. These shoots are expensive because growing and harvesting them is labor-intensive, "back-breaking" work.

Hop plants do not grow in uniform rows, so harvesting the shoots necessitates hunching and hunting around. Furthermore, these shoots are so small that they have been compared to weeds or "runty herbs." A kilogram of hop shoots requires hundreds, contributing to their high price.

The hop, humulus lupulus, is indigenous to temperate North America, Eurasia, and South America. Hops grow well in tropical climates, but cultivation is not profitable in India.

Benefits of Hop Shoots

Hop shoots have a variety of medicinal uses. Several studies have found that hop shoots can produce antibodies that help the body fight tuberculosis. It is also key to curing anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, tension, excitability, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness, and irritability.

According to additional research, its acids may also be capable of destroying cancer cells and preventing leukaemia cells. Xanthohumol (Xn), a prenylated flavonoid derived from hops (Humulus lupulus L.), has demonstrated potent anticancer activity in various cancer types.

Hop shoots have cone-shaped flowers known as strobile, which act as a stabiliser to help balance the beer's sweetness.

Why is Hop Shoots So Pricey?

This vegetable takes three years to mature and be ready for harvest. Because the plant has small, fragile green tips, it must be harvested with extreme caution, necessitating human labour.

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