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The world’s most expensive vegetable sells for Rs 85,000 per kilogram

Widely referred to as the world’s most expensive vegetable, hop shoots are the green tips of the hop plant.

November 25, 2022 / 12:08 PM IST

You might think it’s ridiculous to spend Rs 85,000 on veggies, but that is roughly how much a kilogram of hop shoots will set you back by.

Widely referred to as the world’s most expensive vegetable, hop shoots are the green tips of the hop plant. The hop plant is commonly associated with beer - its flowers are used in the production of the alcoholic beverage. Hop shoots, however, are not discarded after the flowers have been harvested. Instead, these green tendrils have managed to carve a niche for themselves in the culinary world.

A kilogram of hop shoots can go for 1,000 GBP or anywhere between Rs 85,000 to Rs 1 lakh in the international market.

According to The Guardian, these shoots are expensive because growing and harvesting them is labour-intensive, “back-breaking” work.

Hop plants don’t grow in uniform rows, which means that harvesting the shoots requires hunching down and hunting around. Moreover, these shoots are tiny – they have been described as resembling weeds or “runty herbs.” It takes hundreds of hop shoots to make a kilogram, which again contributes to their high cost.

Hop cultivation in India

The hop - called humulus lupulus – is native to temperate North America, Eurasia and South America. Hops grow well in tropical climates, but cultivation in India is not a lucrative business.

According to microbrewery expert Rohit Jafa’s website, hops were once cultivated in Himachal Pradesh, but the initiative was quickly “abandoned due to a lack-luster market and high cultivation costs.”

“They grow wildly and are difficult to find and harvest. One has to crouch and search a large area before they can fill an entire bag,” the website explains.

Last year, it was reported that a farmer was growing hops in Bihar’s Aurangabad district – reports that generated excitement given the high selling price of this vegetable. However, the reports were proven to be false when a team from Hindi newspaper Dainik Jagran visited the farmer and discovered no hops were being grown at his farm.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 25, 2022 12:08 pm