A hardy, vining plant that produces conelike flowers. The dried flowers are used to impart a pleasantly bitter flavor to beer and ale. This same plant produces hop shoots, which are available commercially in Europe and can be cooked like asparagus.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.