What are some foods that start with X? Surprisingly, there are a few ideas to make your culinary plans more exciting!
Whether you’re looking for whole foods, savory dishes, desserts or drinks, this list of foods has something for every category.
The letter X has really surprised me with its collection of interesting items and several foreign words I learned while researching.
So, let’s get into it!
Foods that start with X
Xacuti, often written as “Shakuti,” is a delicious curry from Goa, India. It’s a classic Goan meal that combines Indian and Portuguese flavors.
Xacuti is usually cooked using chicken or lamb, but fish or shrimp can also be used. Its rich and complex spice combination contains white poppy seeds, large dried red chilies, coriander seeds, turmeric, ginger, black peppercorns, etc.
The marinated meat is slow-cooked with onions, tomatoes, and tamarind pulp or vinegar to make a rich gravy. Toasted grated coconut balances the fiery taste of Xacuti.
Steamed rice or Goan pão (bread) are usually served with this dish.
Vegetarian xacuti can be made using paneer or veggies in place of meat, which is good to know if you’re a vegetarian or part-time vegan like me.
Xalapa Punch is a Mexican fruit punch. It’s popular in Xalapa, the capital city of the Mexican state of Veracruz. The punch usually contains pineapple, orange, lime, tamarind, and hibiscus flowers.
A sweet and tangy foundation is made by mixing chopped or sliced fruits with sugar and water. Cinnamon or cloves can be added for taste.
Xalapa Punch is a delicious drink served cold for festivities or hot days.
Xampinyons En Salsa
Mushrooms in a tasty sauce are called Xampinyons En Salsa, or Champiñones en Salsa in Spanish. Sliced mushrooms are sautéed till soft and lightly browned. The sauce usually contains onions, garlic, tomatoes, herbs, and spices.
Simmering the mushrooms in the sauce enhances their flavor. Xampinyons En Salsa can be a side dish, appetizer, or topping for pasta or grilled meats.
This food ingredient thickens and stabilizes foods. It’s a sugar-based polysaccharide.
Sugar fermentation by Xanthomonas campestris produces xanthan gum. When added to liquids, it becomes thick and gel-like.
Xanthan gum is utilized in sauces, dressings, gravies, bakery goods, ice creams, and gluten-free products because of its unique qualities. It improves texture, stability, component separation, and mouthfeel in certain culinary applications.
French Xavier soup (Potage Xavier) is creamy and tasty. It is named after Saint Francis Xavier, a 16th-century Spanish Jesuit missionary who preached Catholicism.
Xavier soup starts with puréed potatoes, leeks, carrots, and onions. Blending delicate veggies creates a smooth consistency.
The purée is mixed with a rich broth, usually chicken or vegetable stock, and finished with a lot of cream or butter to make the soup creamy.
Xavier soup is often seasoned with thyme, parsley, or nutmeg and served hot or cold. Its silky texture and soothing aromas make it a favourite winter starter or special occasion appetizer.
The name of this dish is commonly attributed to early 19th-century New York. It features meat and asparagus cooked together with seasonings and then served with melted Swiss cheese on the sizzling meat.
Xi gua lao
During hot summers, Chinese people adore Xi Gua Lao, also known as Watermelon Popsicle. Ripe watermelon juice or puree is sweetened with sugar or other sweeteners to make it. After that, it’s frozen in popsicle molds.
Watermelon popsicles are naturally sweet and refreshing. They may incorporate little watermelon chunks or seeds for extra flavor and texture.
Xiao long bao
This Shanghai-born dumpling contains minced pork and a flavorful broth or soup. Thin dumpling wrappers delicately pleat the filling.
The liquid within the soup dumplings transforms into a hot, savory broth when steaming, making for a unique and delightful meal. Xiao Long Bao is commonly served with a vinegar-ginger dipping sauce.
Yunnan cuisine (from the Yunnan province in southwestern China) is noted for its various flavors and distinctive ingredients, and Xidoufen (fermented soybean soup) is one of its popular dishes.
Xidoufen is created by fermenting soybeans and simmering them into a thick, delicious soup. Chile, garlic, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and spices produce a rich flavor.
This Chinese soup is usually served hot with toppings like pickled vegetables, chopped herbs, or crispy fried soybeans.
The Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and other warm and temperate waters across the world are home to this huge predatory fish. It’s named after its sword-like rostrum.
Swordfish can swim quickly due to their slender bodies. Their white to pink flesh has a somewhat sweet taste and is firm and meaty.
Grilling, broiling, baking, and pan-searing swordfish are popular because of its texture and flavor. It’s commonly made into thick steaks, kabobs, or sushi and sashimi.
East Asian desserts, especially in China and Taiwan, include Xingren Doufu (Almond Tofu), which is not actually tofu. Instead, it is a soft, jelly-like confection prepared with almond milk, agar-agar (a vegetarian gelatin alternative), and sugar or sweet syrups.
Almond milk and agar-agar are boiled, combined, and cooled until smooth and delicate. Xingren Doufu is served cold with fruit, syrup, or nuts for taste and texture.
Xnipec is a Yucatán salsa or condiment. The Mayan word “xnipec” means “dog’s nose” or “snout” in English. It’s a hot, acidic salsa eaten with Yucatecan foods.
It’s cooked using diced or chopped habanero chilies, red onions, tomatoes, sour oranges (or lime juice), and cilantro. Garlic, salt, and vinegar enhance the flavor.
The habanero peppers make the salsa fiery. The onions, tomatoes, sour oranges or lime juice balance the heat and create a citrusy touch.
Traditional Yucatecan foods like cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), panuchos (tortillas loaded with beans and topped with meat and vegetables), and salbutes (fried tortillas covered with various toppings) are eaten with xnipec.
Tacos, grilled meats, and tortilla chips go well with this Mexican condiment too.
XO sauce is a popular Chinese condiment. It’s a flavorful Hong Kong sauce. “XO” means “extra old,” signifying great quality or reputation.
Dried seafood (usually scallops and shrimp), cured ham, chili peppers, garlic, and spices make up the sauce. These components are coarsely chopped or minced and sautéed in oil to generate a rich, fragrant taste.
Umami, saltiness, spiciness, and sweetness combine in the sauce. It’s used in stir-fries, seafood, noodles, fried rice, dim sum, and snacks as a condiment or seasoning.
Many Asian grocery stores sell XO sauce, but it can also be produced at home. It’s a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine due to its powerful taste.
Sticky rice, often known as glutinous rice, is the main ingredient in the classic Vietnamese dish Xôi. It’s a great recipe to make either sweet or savory by changing the ingredients and toppings.
Coconut milk, pandan leaf extract, and mung bean paste are common sweeteners used in xôi. You can top it with fresh fruit, toasted sesame seeds, or sweetened shredded coconut.
Savory xôi, on the other hand, is made with savory garnishes and components. Meat, fish, veggies, or a mix of these are all fair game.
Xôi is a staple in Vietnamese cuisine and can be bought from any number of sellers on the street or in the market.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol used as a sugar replacement. It comes from birch trees and corn fibers.
Xylitol is delicious like sugar but lowers blood sugar and has fewer calories. It’s a popular food additive used in sugar-free gum, sweets, baked goods, and drinks.
Xylitol is a popular sugar substitute since it tastes like sugar and cools the palate.
Vegetables that start with X
Lettuce, a member of the Asteraceae family, is known as “Xà Lách” in Vietnamese. The variety affects the tightness or looseness of the rosette of leaves and their color and texture.
The many types of lettuce available are:
- Iceberg lettuce: Popular iceberg lettuce features a tight, round crown of pale green leaves. It has a light, refreshing flavor.
- Romaine lettuce: Crisp, long, and thin leaves characterize Romaine lettuce, also known as cos lettuce. It’s utilized in Caesar salads and has a more robust flavor than iceberg lettuce. This lettuce variety was included in my list of veggies beginning with the letter R so you can learn more about it there.
- Leaf lettuce: This lettuce can be any color or even be spotted. Its leaves range from smooth to ruffled and are loose and brittle. Its mild flavor makes it a popular addition to salads.
Lactuca sativa is the botanical name for this well-liked green.
The botanical name “Xanthosoma brasiliense” translates to “Tahitian spinach,” “tannier spinach,” “belembe,” and “Tahitian taro,” among other popular names.
The leaves of this taro variety are more highly valued than the corms because of their delicious flavor.
The plant has large, heart-shaped, glossy dark green leaves. When cooked, their texture improves and their flavor becomes more muted and earthy, similar to other leafy greens.
The edible Xanthosoma caracu, also known as yautia horqueta, was first described by Karl Koch and Carl David Bouché. Originating in its native South America.
Yautia horqueta (Xanthosoma caracu), a tropical root vegetable, is cultivated for its starchy corms. The corms are shaped like a pitchfork (horqueta in Spanish) with their numerous protrusions or lobes.
Xanthosoma caracu corms are used in Latin American and Caribbean cooking. They are cooked and peeled before being used in dishes such as stews and mashed potatoes. When cooked, corms take on a starchy texture and a little nuttiness.
The Araceae family includes the flowering plant arrowleaf elephant ear (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), popularly known as malanga or American taro. Its beautiful leaves and tasty corms have made it a global favorite.
The leaves of the arrowleaf elephant ear can grow to be more than three feet in length. The leaves can be green, dark purple, or bronze with prominent veining, depending on the variety.
This X vegetable got its name because its leaves look like elephant ears.
The underground corms of the Xanthosoma sagittifolium plant are harvested for human consumption. After being peeled, chopped, and cooked, they are included in a variety of dishes.
For use in baking or to thicken sauces, corms are sometimes dried and ground into flour in several cuisines.
Xi Lan Hua
“Xi Lan Hua” is the Chinese term for broccoli.
Broccoli is a superfood member of the Brassica oleracea family, which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. Its sturdy stalk is covered with clusters of tasty flowers.
Broccoli is one of my go-to veggies because it’s versatile enough to be used in a variety of cooked or raw dishes, including salads.
The scientific name broccoli (Xi Lan Hua) is Brassica oleracea var. italica.
Xi Yang Cai
A popular green vegetable in Chinese cooking is “Xi Yang Cai,” often known as Chinese lettuce or celtuce. The name “Xi Yang Cai” is literally translated as “Western lettuce” because of its Western origin and likeness to lettuce.
The moderate bitterness of Xi Yang Cai leaves is similar to the flavor of lettuce. They can be used raw or cooked in a variety of Chinese dishes, including salads, stir-fries, soups, and more.
Because of its leafy and stemlike characteristics, Xi Yang Cai is used in a wide variety of Chinese dishes. It’s commonly seen in Chinese supermarkets and markets after being grown in backyard gardens.
Celtuce is rich in vitamins C and A and fiber. I think this healthy food beginning with X would be a great complement to a healthy diet.
The scientific name celtuce (Xi Yang Cai) is Lactuca sativa var. angustana.
Fruits that start with X
White grapes of the Xarel-lo variety (pronounced “sha-rel-lo”) are grown in the Penedès area of Catalonia in northern Spain. One of the three grapes needed to produce Cava, the Spanish equivalent of Champagne.
The acidity and structure of Xarel-lo are very welcome in Cava mixes. It enhances the flavor with notes of lemon, grapefruit, floral, and herbal flavors. The grape maintains enough acidity even in hot climates, allowing for the production of sparkling wines.
Xarel-lo produces both sparkling and still white wines. These wines have more depth and richness, with notes of minerality and ripe fruit.
Vitis vinifera is the species’ official scientific name.
Banana is transcribed as “Xiangjiao” in Mandarin Chinese. The world loves bananas!
Bananas are a great food choice since they contain many essential nutrients. Natural sugars make them a healthy delight.
Raw bananas are delicious, but they can also be cooked. They go well with oats, smoothies, and banana bread. In Latin American and Southeast Asian cooking, bananas are frequently utilized in savory preparations.
Musa acuminata is this plant’s scientific name.
The Chinese word “xigua” literally means “watermelon.” The summertime watermelon is a delicious treat.
Juicy pink or red flesh with black seeds (seedless varieties are available) is hidden under a thick green rind in watermelons. Due to their high water content, they’re excellent for rehydration.
Potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A can all be found in watermelons. They are red because they contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene.
The fruit commonly known as “xigua” is known by its Latin name, Citrullus lanatus.
Ximenia americana is a flowering plant in the family Olacaceae. Tallow wood is also known as hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, and a few more names. It’s native to the tropics, namely the soils of Africa and South America.
After fragrant yellow flowers, the tree produces small, round or ovoid fruits. When fully developed, its yellow or orange flesh is deliciously acidic.
These X fruits are great for baking, canning, and drinking in their many forms. It’s also been found to have therapeutic value.
The seeds and fruit of the Ximenia americana are quite oily. The moisturizing and nourishing oil is extracted and used in a wide variety of personal care items.
Because of its attractive foliage and flowers, Ximenia americana is also often used as a landscaping tree.
The Olacaceae family includes the flowering plant Ximenia caffra, sometimes known as sour plum. South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are its natural habitats.
The sour plums of the Ximenia caffra are palatable but quite sour. The ripe fruit can be any of three colors: green, yellow, or orange. There is a solid stone covering the delicious, acidic flesh behind a thin skin.
Ximenia fruit is used both fresh and preserved in traditional African dishes.
Traditional African medicine makes use of the tree’s bark, leaves, and roots. The oil extracted from sour plums has emollient and nourishing qualities, making it useful in cosmetics.
The Ximenia caffra fruit tree is a popular ornamental because of its lovely blooms and foliage.
“Xìng zi” is the Mandarin Chinese name for “apricot”. Apricots, a member of the Prunus family, are little, round fruits known for their sweet, juicy flesh.
Apricots are grown all over the world and picked throughout the summer. Central Asia is where apricot trees were first planted.
Both fresh and dried apricots are used in cooking for their flavor and health benefits. I love apricot fruit salads, baked goods, preserves, and sweets!
In scientific terms, “xing zi” is known as Prunus armeniaca.
Naoussa, Amyndeon, and Goumenissa are the three Greek regions where the red grape Xinomavro is cultivated. The Greek word xinomavro, which refers to this grape, means “sour black” because of its high levels of acidity and its dark skin.
Red wine made from Xinomavro grapes is full-bodied and complex. Different Xinomavro wines have different tastes because of the way they were made and where they were grown. Cherry, red berry, plum, sun-dried tomato, dry herb, and earthy aromas are all common in these wines.
Xinomavro is often likened to the Italian Nebbiolo and the Burgundian Pinot Noir because of its propensity to create high-quality, age-worthy wines. It’s one of the finest grapes in the world!
Mango is referred to in Vietnamese as “xoài.” This tropical fruit is well-liked for its sugary and luscious flesh.
Originating in South Asia, it is now grown everywhere with suitable climate conditions.
Mangoes can be enjoyed in many forms, from the raw fruit itself to fruit salads, smoothies, and even desserts like mango sticky rice and mango sorbet. In addition to sweet applications, they show up in savory salads, pickles, and seafood sauces in Vietnamese cuisine.
Mangoes are highly nutritious and provide several health benefits due to their high levels of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins (especially C and A).
The scientific name for the plant Mangifera indica.
Nopal (Opuntia matudae) cactus fruit is called xoconostle. It’s a common ingredient in Mexico.
The Xoconostle cactus fruit has a tough, green or red rind. The glochids of the fruit need to be removed before consumption.
The solid, flavorful flesh of the xoconostle can be anywhere from a light yellow to a deep scarlet, depending on the variety and its level of ripeness.
Tart and tangy best describe the flavor of Xoconostle fruit. It’s a staple ingredient in many Mexican dishes and cocktails. Xoconostle enhances meals with vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.
The puzzlenut tree, also known as the cannonball mangrove, cedar mangrove, or Xylocarpus granatum, is a member of the family Meliaceae. Its native range includes southeastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
Big, round Xylocarpus granatum fruit look like coconuts or cannonballs. The diameter of its thick, wooden shell is between 15 and 30 cm (6 to 12 inches).
Because of its durability and resistance to moisture and insects, Xylocarpus granatum wood is in great demand. Building materials, boats, furniture, and arts and crafts all benefit from its versatility.
The Xylocarpus granatum fruit is considered edible, however, it’s rarely consumed. The amazing thing about this fruit is that (as I learned from a YouTube video), its pulp becomes blue when exposed to air.
Make sure this fruit food starting with X is ripe before eating it, and be aware of any tingling that may occur. There’s a chance it’ll trigger an allergy.
31 Foods That Start With X (With Pictures & Facts)
Foods that start with X
- Xalapa punch
- Xampinyons En Salsa
- Xanthan gum
- Xavier soup
- Xavier steak
- Xi gua lao
- Xiao long bao
- Xiphias gladius
- Xingren doufu
- XO sauce
Vegetables that start with X
- Xà Lách
- Xanthosoma brasiliense
- Xanthosoma caracu
- Xanthosoma sagittifolium
- Xi Lan Hua
- Xi Yang Cai
Fruits that start with X
- Xarel-lo grape
- Ximenia americana
- Ximenia caffra
- Xìng zi
- Xinomavro grape
- Xylocarpus granatum
Which foods starting with X would you like to try? Let me know in the comments!
If you’re interested in discovering more common foods by letter, why not check out my other articles? I wrote a piece on foods that start with U, foods that start with letter Q and even collected more than a hundred R foods, among others.