Discovering foods that start with letters X can be an adventurous quest for culinary enthusiasts. While these foods might be lesser-known to a global audience due to their unique geographical origins or linguistic roots, they provide a fascinating glimpse into diverse cultures and culinary practices. Such a list can not only expand one’s vocabulary but also inspire exploration of new flavors and ingredients.
These items showcase the variety that “X” foods have to offer, from thickening agents to sweeteners, and from savory stews to delicate desserts. While not exhaustive, this list provides a glimpse into the less explored culinary territory where each food holds a unique place.
Xacuti and Other X-Spiced Dishes
The world of culinary delights offers an array of spices and flavors, particularly from dishes starting with the elusive letter ‘X’. This section explores the complexity and richness of X-spiced dishes.
Xacuti is a traditional Indian curry dish known for its rich blend of spices. Originating from Goa, Xacuti involves a complex seasoning mix that includes roasted coconut, white poppy seeds, and a variety of spices like coriander, cumin, and red chilies, creating a deep and aromatic flavor profile.
Moving from the aromatic curries of India to the bold flavors of the Yucatan, Xnipec is a fiery salsa made with habanero peppers, tomatoes, and bitter oranges. It’s a staple condiment in Mexican cuisine that delivers a refreshing yet intense heat.
Xiaolongbao, also known as soup dumplings, hail from the Jiangnan region of China. These delicate steamed buns are filled with pork and a rich savory broth, encased in a thin, pleated dough. Seasoned with ginger and sometimes with the addition of crabmeat, Xiaolongbao offers a burst of flavor with each bite.
A Vietnamese dish consisting of pork meatballs in tomato sauce.
Fruits Beginning with X
The video gives insight into some of the fruits which start with the letter X, but we are supplementing the list with some lesser known items below. This list provides a unique option for those interested in expanding their fruit repertoire.
Xuanina apples are a type of cider apple from Spain. They are medium-sized, conical in shape, and have a green background with orange-red stripes. Xuanina apples are not suitable for eating fresh, but are primarily cultivated for their unique taste. They are used exclusively for making Asturian cider.
Native to Mesoamerica and the indigenous people living there, is this cacao fruit which is the source of our beloved chocolate. The word “chocolate,” or xocolātl (from the Nahuatl language), means bitter (xoco) water (atl). The word entered the English language via the Spanish chocolate.
The Ximenia fruit, also recognized as sourplum, is indigenous to tropical Africa. It exhibits a red skin when ripe and contains an orange to red juicy flesh. The fruit typically measures less than 2 inches in length and about an inch in diameter.
Xango Fruit is another name for the mangosteen, which is not commonly listed under fruits starting with ‘X’ but is scientifically known as Garcinia mangostana. The fruit has a sweet and tangy flavor, with a deep purple rind enclosing snowy-white segments inside.
Xigua is the term for watermelon in Swahili and is particularly used in reference to the fruit in various African countries. The fruit presents a green outer rind and a juicy, sweet, typically red interior flesh studded with black seeds.
Xinomavro are grapes are used in some Greek wines.
Vegetables that Start with X
When it comes to vegetables starting with the letter X, one may encounter difficulty finding a variety. However, there are a few noteworthy exceptions that can be highlighted.
Known as elephant ear or arrowleaf, is a tropical vegetable whose leaves and tubers are consumed. It is rich in nutrients and offers a starchy flavor profile similar to potatoes.
Commonly termed as sour plum, is a bush or small tree found in various parts of the world. Although the plant bears fruit, its leaves are often utilized in traditional African medicine, and in some cultures, its leaves are incorporated into culinary dishes.
Xi Lan Hua
Known commonly as Chinese broccoli or Kai-lan, broadens the variety. This vegetable features a thick stem and green florets that are both edible. It can adorn a dish both visually and with its distinctive taste which becomes tender and more palatable upon cooking.
Known as cutting celery or leaf celery, is a small, crunchy, flowering plant with a strong flavor. Chinese celery has a long history of use, dating back centuries. Ancient Greeks cooked with it, and the Romans used it in their decorative garlands. In China, leaf celery has long been a dietary staple.
All these vegetables are often utilized in a variety of global cuisines and can bring a unique taste and texture to a dish.
Grains and Legumes Starting with X
In the realm of grains and legumes beginning with the letter “X,” options are quite rare. However, a few do exist and are notable for their unique characteristics and applications in culinary practices.
Xiaomi is a term that may refer to various types of millet in Chinese. This grain is known for its resilience, growing in arid conditions where other grains might fail. It is traditionally used in a variety of dishes, from porridges to breads, offering a gluten-free option for those with dietary restrictions.
Xiangshu refers to Chinese yam or mountain yam, which is often considered a tuber but it can fall under the broad category of starches similar to legumes and grains. It is starchy and can be used in a similar fashion to potatoes or sweet potatoes. Xiangshu is recognized for its health benefits, including its potential to help regulate blood sugar levels.
Nuts and Seeds with X
Which is often referred to as the wild plum or sour plum and noted previously, produces a nut commonly known as a ‘Hog Plum’ or ‘Monkey Plum’. They are typically found in tropical regions and produce oil that’s used in various skincare products due to its moisturizing properties.
It is plant, a close relative to the American variety, is found in southern Africa. The oil from these seeds is similarly utilized in cosmetic formulations.
Here’s a brief summary for clarity:
- Ximenia Americana: Known for its oil-rich seed, primarily used in the cosmetics industry.
- Ximenia caffra: Another type of seed used for its beneficial oil in skincare products.
Both seeds are known for their beneficial oils, although they are not commonly consumed as food. These seeds have a niche use, primarily within industrial applications rather than within traditional culinary contexts.
X-Factor: Uncommon Foods
The foods listed here represent a unique culinary exploration into lesser-known ingredients that begin with the letter X.
Xoconostle (Opuntia matudae) is the fruit of a prickly pear cactus native to central and southern Mexico. The fruit is known for its tart flavor, which makes it a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine, often used in salsas and stews.
Xouba refers to a small, sardine-like fish found off the coast of Galicia in Spain. They are typically caught, salted, and canned, known as sardinillas. Their flavor is milder than that of larger sardines, and they are often enjoyed grilled or in tapas.
Xylocarp is a term used for hard, woody fruits that grow on trees, such as coconuts. These fruits have a fibrous outer husk and a hard shell protecting the edible interior, which can be rich in nutrients and used in various dishes or consumed raw.
Xingren Doufu is a Chinese almond tofu dessert, silky in texture and often served with syrup.
Xanthan Gum is often used as a thickening agent, it is derived from the fermentation of sugars found in corn, wheat, or cabbage.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from plant sources, it resembles sugar in sweetness yet contains fewer calories, making it a popular sweetener that doesn’t impact blood sugar levels as significantly.
Xoi is a Vietnamese sticky rice dish which can be found in many Asian dishes, especially in the South East Asia areas.
Xia Mi is a dried shrimp dish of Chinese origin.
Xnipec is a spicy sauce native to the Yucatán peninsula, made with habanero pepper, purple onion, bitter orange juice and salt.
- Xalapa punch (alcoholic drink)
- Xampinyons en Salsa (mushroom dish)
- Xavier soup (French soup)
- Xavier steak (cut of beef)
- Xatò de Sitges (Catalan salad)
- Xerem (Middle Eastern dried fruit)
- Xiphias (Swordfish); excluded from the formal list since this is the genus (species name) for Xiphias gladius, which derives from Greek ξιφίας (xiphias, “swordfish”).