Echoes of the Garden


A Hopping Good Meal

There are a fair number of uses for our Noble Interest in the kitchen. I must state that I have spent the better part of a day trying to find older recipes (medieval and before) and have been utterly unable to do so. I am quite certain that it's because I don't know what the plant was called at those times.

© Copyright Danny P Robinson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I know that Pliny referred to it as Lupus salictarius and the Anglo-Saxons called it hymele, humele, or hymelyc, but I could find no reference to any of these names in the culinary works I have access to. So- I'll have to proceed without older recipes. If any of my readers can help me here, I'd appreciate it. As always, use the comments below. Thanks!

First up is a video describing what you're looking for when you go foraging for your hops. It is a bit short on definitive identification so grab your field guides and remember not to put anything in your mouth that you can't positively identify.

Once you've got your harvest home, there are a number of truly tasty-sounding dishes to make with them. How about hop leaf fettucine with morels, ramps and hop shoots?

Here's a hop shoot risotto and if you don't have enough hops left over after making those for a full recipe of anything else, try a frittata.

by kykyru2, via Flickr

You could try pickled hop shoots.  This recipe is straightforward, easy and could be used with other vegetables if you haven't gotten out to forage more hop shoots yet.

This recipe for hop seasoned curly fries uses processed hop pellets instead of foraged fresh hops. You can get the pellets at your favorite homebrewing shop or look online. 

by Alan Levine, via Flickr

Another use for hops is to make yeast for baking bread.  Making the yeast is a bit of a process, but I've had bread made with hop yeast and it is very tasty.

If you do give the bread a try, you'll need something to go on it. Who knew that beer jelly was a thing?

And then there's this beer jelly....

For dessert, you may make your choice of hop rock candy or hop limeade shave ice.

By Rye-96 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
{Public domain}

As I said, there's so much more to our Noble Interest than just beer. Do you have a favorite hop recipe? Do you know of any recipes from ancient times? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by.

Tomorrow I'll take a calm look in the Leechkit for our Noble Interest.

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The information and recipes contained on this site are presented for intellectual and historical interest only. If you are looking for medical advice, please consult with a licensed physician. If you choose to try any recipe for the sake of adventure or curiosity, you do so at your own risk.

About Me

About Me

My interest in plants started young. While most of my friends were playing with Barbie or dreaming of horses, I was out in the fields of our farm creating imaginary villages and caching collected seeds, roots and herbs against winter need. When I discovered the library and field guides, I realized that I had found my passion- the interaction between plants and people. While my caching habits have switched to saving more useful plants, some things don’t change. I still …
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