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Old 03-31-2008, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default Lets talk Hop Asparagus.

Here is what I know.

Hop aspraragus is young hop shoots.

Quote:
The Hop shoot is tender and delicate and is usually eaten in a similar way to traditional asparagus - quickly steamed or boiled and served with butter or lemon juice - although there are a number of more exotic recipes for this vegetable. With a short season, until around the end of May,
Hop Asparagus is called Jets de Houblon in Belgium.

In this article it says that the shoots are harvested early before flowering. I'm not sure how much one could harvest without putting your hop flower harvest at risk or if you might be able to get away with a late harvest if your intention is to pickle. (See Below)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4558643.stm


Pickled
I recently saw pickled Hop Asparagus, made by HopsDirect.com (Peterbaugh Farms), used in Bloody Marys at the Milwaukee Ale House. It was very similar to having a pickled spear of asparagus and had a similar stringy texture.

There was no bitter flavor at all (Why would there be, after all).

I looked at the hopsdirect site and so no mention of the product. I took a picture of the jar with my cell phone, so maybe I can post a pic later.

So my questions to the veteran harvesters are...

1) Is there an opportunity to harvest some shoots early?
2) Do we think that older shoots can be pickled and still retain some quality?
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:06 PM   #2
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Haven't tried eating them, but when your hops get to be 3 years old, you will be cutting shoots with a weedwacker! I've got about 20 shoots on the Cascades alone.

I let them go until they hit 3 feet, then I cut down all but 2-3 shoots. They keep coming back until the rainy season is over, late May, early June.

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Old 03-31-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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That's outstanding, Olllllo. I love asparagus and this will be an excellent use of the 'extras'. It would never have dawned on me to eat them otherwise.

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Old 03-31-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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Mmm, I can't wait for this. It will probably become another of my Springtime favorites alongside Nettle.

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Old 04-01-2008, 05:05 AM   #5
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I'm about to harvest some. I suggest waiting untill the plant is a few years old so the shoots are of a worthy size. They need to be harvested early so they are tender.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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Old 04-01-2008, 05:18 AM   #6
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Here is my admittedly bad phone picture.

033008_14281.jpg  
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:29 PM   #7
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I will definitely be harvesting the first shoots from my plants this year and trying them out. I looked last night and I've probably got a dozen shoot tips poking up from each plant. My asparagus has yet to show any signs of activity.

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Old 04-01-2008, 05:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba
I will definitely be harvesting the first shoots from my plants this year and trying them out. I looked last night and I've probably got a dozen shoot tips poking up from each plant. My asparagus has yet to show any signs of activity.
My Brewer's Gold is just peeking it's head out. My Asparagus is still not showing. Garlic is up.
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Old 04-05-2008, 04:51 PM   #9
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Related post in the cooking and pairing section.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?p=626507

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Old 05-01-2008, 11:54 PM   #10
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Hop shoots were a seasonal feature on the menu at 't Fornuis in Antwerp, Belgium. Season only lasted a few weeks as the shoots deteriorate quickly once harvested. These were more like wild asparagus than the more common farmed asparagus spears. The hop shoots were served simply as a side dish whereas new season asparagus would be served as a starter.

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