Belgium is known for its rich beer culture. Hop shoots are mainly cultivated for use by the brewing industry. The area around Poperinge in West Flanders is particularly famous for its hop fields and even has a Hop Museum dedicated to this typical Flemish speciality.
Hop shoots are available between January and mid April. Because of the short period of availability and the labour intensive culture, hop shoots are considered to be the most expensive vegetable in the world. The first kilos/2 pounds are generally sold by auction for as much as 999 Euro per kilo/2 pound!