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30 Fantastic Foods That Start With Z: 2024 Edition!

Foods that start with Z can be an interesting investment of time. There’s a variety of dishes you can add to your mealtime routine.

The letter Z presents foods from around the world, from Italian cuisine to Indian delicacies.

 Let’s see how many foods starting with Z are familiar to you!

Foods that start with Z featured image | Girl Meets Food

Foods that start with Z


White bowl of za'atar | Girl Meets Food

The spice or herb combination za’atar is widely used in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt make up the bulk of the recipe.

Za’atar’s exact composition might vary by location and even by household, resulting in small flavor differences. However, thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt are a typical basis.

Za’atar, a fragrant spice, is used in many recipes. It can be sprinkled on flatbreads like mana’eesh, combined with olive oil to dip bread, or used as a spice for roasted vegetables, grilled meats, and fowl.

Za’atar’s health advantages extend beyond its culinary usage. Thyme, one of the key components, is antimicrobial, while sumac is antioxidant-rich.


Zabaglione with berries in a bowl | Girl Meets Food

Egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine like Marsala make zabaglione, also known as sabayon, an Italian delicacy.

Zabaglione is served in dessert cups or glasses with fresh berries, sliced fruit, or biscotti. It can be a sauce or filling for cakes, and pastries, or served with tiramisu or fruit tarts.

Fruit juice, coffee, or chocolate can be used in place of wine in a zabaglione recipe. These variations add fresh flavors to the already rich texture of traditional zabaglione.

Zabaglione gelato

Zabaglione gelato scoop with caramel topping | Girl Meets Food

Zabaglione gelato is based on the Italian dessert sabayon. It mixes zabaglione’s rich, creamy taste with gelato’s smooth, cool texture.

The gelato base and zabaglione mixture are churned in an ice cream machine to generate a smooth and creamy texture. After freezing, the gelato is served alone, in a cone or cup, or with various flavors.

The gelato tastes like zabaglione. It has a silky texture and thick, custard-like taste with traces of sweetness and wine flavor.


Fisher man caught zander | Girl Meets Food

Zander, a freshwater fish often called pike-perch, is prized for its mild taste and firm, white meat. It is native to Europe, specifically the lakes and rivers there.

The long, sleek body of a zander, together with its pointed head and sharp teeth, sets it apart from other fish.

Zander shares a taste profile and texture with other popular white fish like walleye and sea bass. It is mild and pleasant, with a hint of sweetness and earthiness.


Two pieces of zapiekanka on a table | Girl Meets Food

Zapiekanka, a 1970s Polish street meal, is a half baguette or bread roll topped with different toppings and baked or grilled until the cheese melts and turns golden brown.

Zapiekanka shops and food trucks are popular late-night street food in Poland, especially in Krakow. It’s served with a variety of savory toppings such as mushrooms, onions, olives, cheese and ketchup.

This snack is similar to pizza, so it can be called Polish pizza.

Zarzuela de mariscos

Zarzuela de mariscos in a bowl | Girl Meets Food

Zarzuela de mariscos is a Spanish seafood stew or casserole. It comes from Catalonia and Valencia, where seafood is abundant and highly esteemed.

The word “zarzuela” derives from a genre of Spanish musical theater that features a wide variety of characters and styles; here, it describes the dish’s eclectic mix of seafood. “Seafood” is “mariscos” in English.

Shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, and fish fillets are common in zarzuela de mariscos. A tasty tomato sauce, frequently supplemented with white wine, fish stock, or broth, is used to bind the dish together.

Zarzuela de mariscos is served in a huge communal dish or individual bowls with fresh herbs and toasted bread. It’s a popular meal during Spanish seaside festivals, family reunions, and special events.

Zebra cake

A piece of zebra cake on white surface | Girl Meets Food

Zebra cake, also known as marble cake, is striped or marbled like a zebra. It’s a pretty dish that swirls or layers two different flavors or colors.

Zebra cakes have alternating layers or swirls of light and dark dough. Vanilla and chocolate tastes usually clash.

The cake’s batters spread and mix, providing the striped or marbled pattern. Thus, zebra cake slices have alternating bright and dark portions.

Zeera rice

Zeera rice is in an Indian dish that is on a green towel | Girl Meets Food

Cumin-flavored Zeera rice is a famous Indian rice dish. It is a fragrant meal eaten with Indian curries, veggies, and lentils.

Long-grain basmati rice is used to make zeera rice for its aroma and fluffiness. The rice is cooked with whole cumin seeds (zeera).

Roasting cumin seeds in ghee (clarified butter) or oil brings forth their full flavor. During the cooking process, they are combined with salt and other spices (such as whole cloves, cinnamon, or cardamom) before being added to the rice.

Zeera rice enhances many Indian dishes. It goes well with vegetarian or non-vegetarian curries, lentils, kebabs, or other main courses.


Three zeppole cakes on a board | Girl Meets Food

Zeppole, an Italian pastry, is popular during holidays. These delicious snacks are produced by frying a dough mixture until it’s light and fluffy.

Depending on technique and ingredients, these Italian doughnuts can be sweet or savory.

Sweet zeppole dough usually contains flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and yeast. The dough is deep-fried till golden brown.

After cooking, delicious zeppole are sometimes coated with powdered sugar and filled with custard, jelly, or Nutella. During Saint Joseph’s Day and Christmas, they’re served as a dessert.

Savory zeppole often contain wheat, eggs, water, salt, and cheese. They’re commonly served as appetizers or snacks with dips or sauces.

Zereshk polo

Zereshk polo in a white bowl | Girl Meets Food

Zereshk polo, or barberry rice, is a Persian dish made with fragrant basmati rice and tart barberries. It’s a tasty and attractive Persian meal offered during festive events.

A thin layer of rice is laid at the bottom, followed with sautéed barberries and more rice. Layering rice with barberries creates a colourful display.

The rice can be flavored with saffron, cinnamon, and cardamom. It’s steamed over low heat while covered, which combines the flavors and creates a light, airy texture.


Baked ziti in a bowl | Girl Meets Food

Ziti is a popular Italian pasta. It’s smooth and tubular.

This type of pasta is bigger and has straight edges instead of sloping sides like penne pasta.

Ziti pasta is made with durum wheat flour, semolina, and water, and it cooks up firm. It’s made of long, straight tubes that are 2 to 3 inches in diameter.

Ziti’s long tube form makes it ideal for sauce-based recipes. Its cylindrical form and considerable size make it enjoyable to bite into.

Many families and restaurants across the world adore it because of its flexibility and ability to combine well with diverse flavors and sauces.


A red bowl of zoni soup on bamboo surface | Girl Meets Food

Zoni is a traditional Japanese soup served around New Year’s. In Kanto and Kansai, it is a regional speciality.

Zoni is a transparent broth made with dashi, a stock derived from kombu seaweed and bonito flakes, and soy sauce.

Zoni varies by area in Japan, resulting in unique tastes and ingredients. In Kanto, zoni is cooked with a clear broth, square-shaped mochi, and vegetables including daikon radish, carrots, and grilled or stewed chicken. Zoni in Kansai has a white miso soup and circular mochi rice cakes.

In Japan, zoni represents luck and family harmony. It is part of Osechi Ryori (traditional New Year’s food) and is considered to bring luck and wealth for the year.

Zuppa Toscana

Two black bowls of Zuppa Toscana on marble surface | Girl Meets Food

Zuppa Toscana, “Tuscan soup,” is a famous Italian soup from Tuscany. Italian sausage, kale or Swiss chard, potatoes, onions, garlic, broth and cream make it a substantial meal.

Italian sausage, bacon, onions, and garlic are normally browned before being added to a pot with chicken stock and potatoes to boil until the vegetables are soft. Heavy cream and kale or Swiss chard are added last to finish the soup.

Zuppa Toscana is a cozy Italian appetizer or main dish. It’s served with crusty bread.

I had the delightful pleasure of discovering a vegetarian Tuscan kale and white bean soup that was both exquisitely tasty and nutritionally rich.


Slices of Zwieback bread on wooden surface | Girl Meets Food

Zwieback is a double-baked bread or biscuit with a distinct taste and texture. “Zwieback” has a German origin, where “zwei” means “two” and “backen” means “to bake.”

Flour, yeast, sugar, eggs, milk, and butter are used to produce zwieback bread dough. Loaves or rolls are shaped from the dough and cooked.

After the bread has cooled, it is sliced and rebaked to dry it out and give it a crisp exterior.

If you’re looking for some snacks that start with Z, zwieback’s mellow, sweet taste appeals to all ages. Its dry, crunchy texture makes it simple to chew and digest, making it a popular teething biscuit or moderate snack for newborns and young children.

Fruits that start with Z

Zabergau Reinette apple

Zabergau Reinette apples on grey surface | Girl Meets Food

There is a German apple called the Zabergau Reinette. It’s both visually and gastronomically distinctive.

This rough-textured, yellow-green fruit with red-orange highlights is aromatic and crunchy.

This kind of apple stores well and keeps its flavor throughout the winter. Its dense, sweet-tart flavor adds nuance to baked goods like pies and tarts, and its sturdy texture keeps its shape after baking.

Malus domestica is the scientific name for this species.


Red fruit of crataegus on the tree | Girl Meets Food

Crataegus fruits, notably Crataegus azarolus var. aronia, are known in Iran by the name zalzalak. These Z fruits are used to make zalzalak jam or eaten fresh.

Crataegus, sometimes known as hawthorns, is a genus of flowering trees. Fruits of these plants are often small and round, and either red or orange.

Crataegus jam, or zalzalak, is often used in Iranian cooking. Zalzalak fruit, when cooked down with sugar or another sweetener, produces a thick, tasty jam. This jam is great on toast or as an ingredient in sweets.

Zante currants

Zante currants on a table | Girl Meets Food

Black Corinth raisins (Vitis vinifera) are used to make Zante currants because they are seedless and very small.

Zante currants add a delicious flavor to baked goods and other dishes. Currant buns, scones, cakes, puddings, pilafs, and tagines all benefit from their inclusion.

Dried grapes were widely produced and exported from the Greek island of Zakynthos (Zante), thus the name “Zante currants.”

Zestar apple

Zestar apples in a wooden box | Girl Meets Food

When it comes to apples, Zestars are among the best. The apple breeding program at the University of Minnesota developed this apple variety in the early 2000s.

Zestar apples are from medium to large in size and have bright red blushes on yellow or green skin.

The Zestar apple is a very early variety. They are among the earliest apples to be picked in the late summer and early fall.

Zestar apples are widely consumed because of their delicious crispness and taste. They’re great for cooking and baking because they retain their shape and texture even after being cooked.


Chinese mulberries on white surface | Girl Meets Food

The Zhe tree is a member of the family Moraceae and is frequently referred to as the Chinese mulberry, mandarin melon berry, silkworm thorn, or che fruit. It’s originally from East Asia.

The species name “tricuspidata” (Maclura tricuspidata) refers to the zhe fruit tree’s distinctively large, green, wrinkled leaves that include three prominent lobes.

Zhe might reach a height of 49 feet (15 meters) under ideal conditions. It blooms delicate green flowers in April, which eventually develop into clusters of tiny zhe fruits.

This Z fruit, which starts out green and becomes yellow when ripe, is quite similar to the mulberry.

Zig-zag vine fruit

Zig-zag vine fruit in a bowl that is on wooden surface | Girl Meets Food

Fruit from the zig-zag vine (Uvaria leichhardtii) are small (1–2 cm in diameter) and round.

Zig-zag fruit is green while it is young and becomes yellow when it is mature. It has delicate, velvety skin and rich, sweet flesh with just a hint of acidity.

There are very few instances of commercial cultivation of Uvaria leichhardtii outside of its native region.

Zill mango

Zill mangoes are exceptionally large and vivid in color. They from yellow to orange, and it often has a rosy blush or reddish specks.

Mangoes are my go-to fruit because they satisfy my sweet need and provide me with several health benefits, such as fiber, vitamin C, and carotenoids. They’re low in calorie and fat content.

The scientific name of the species is Laurence H. Zill.

Zinfandel grape

Zinfandel grapes on a tree | Girl Meets Food

Zinfandel is a kind of red wine grape. It’s a staple of the California wine industry, but the “Crljenak Katelanski” grape really has its roots in Croatia. Wines ranging from light and fruity to bold and full-bodied can be made from zinfandel grapes.

Zinfandel grapes have thin skins and erratic ripening, thus the harvest is often a mixed bag of overripe and underripe fruit. Wines of this quality tend to have a wide range of sweetness and flavor intensity.

Dry red Zinfandel wine is made from this grape in California; it has a high alcohol content, a fruity flavor, and a nice acidity level. White Zinfandel, a popular rosé wine, is also made from the zinfandel grape, and it is either off-dry or sweet.

Ziziphus jujuba

Ziziphus jujuba on tree brunches | Girl Meets Food

Jujube, red date, and Chinese date are all common names for the fruit of the Rhamnaceae tree Ziziphus jujuba. It has been grown for centuries in many parts of Asia, but especially in China.

Ziziphus fruit ranges in size from little to medium and is round like a date. It matures to a yellowish-green or a reddish-brown color, depending on the variety.

Jujubes are used in numerous wrinkled and sweeter forms across Asia when dried. Dried jujubes can be utilized in herbal beverages, as well as in both sweet and savory dishes.

Ziziphus jujube fruit and seeds are used for their medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine. Potentially, they help with digestion, stress reduction, and overall health.

Ziziphus mauritiana

Ziziphus mauritiana fruit | Girl Meets Food

Ziziphus mauritiana, a member of the Rhamnaceae family, is often known as Indian jujube, Indian plum, and ber. It’s grown worldwide in subtropical and tropical climates.

Ziziphus mauritiana’s fruit can be yellowish green to reddish brown and spherical or oval. Thin, wrinkled skin covers the fruit.

You can consume the berries raw, dried, or in a dish. In taste, they range from tartly sweet to reminiscent of honey.

Ziziphus mauritius has long been used in traditional medicine for its ability to alleviate gastrointestinal issues, fortify the immune system, and treat a wide variety of illnesses.

Zweigelt grape

Zweigelt grape bunches on tree | Girl Meets Food

The red Zweigelt grape originates in Austria.  In 1922, Dr. Fritz Zweigelt created this grape by crossing Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent.

The Zweigelt grape is notable for its high levels of acidity, low tannin content, and deep red color. The wines have a medium body and show notes of dark cherry, blackberry, and spice.

Due to Austria’s cold temperature and diverse soil types, this red grape variety is one of the most extensively planted. The Czech Republic, Germany, and Hungary grow it as well.


Several zwetschge plums | Girl Meets Food

Prunus domestica subsp. domestic (prune plums) are known as zwetschge in German-speaking regions. Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are major consumers of this kind of plum.

Fresh Zwetschge fruit is delicious, and it has a long history of use in baked goods, preserves, compotes, and fruit brandies.

These plums are a key ingredient in traditional German desserts including plum cake (Zwetschgenkuchen), plum tart (Zwetschgendatschi), and plum dumplings (Zwetschgenknödel). Additionally, they are dried to make Zwetschgendörr.

Vegetables that start with Z


Zedoary roots on white background | Girl Meets Food

White turmeric, or zedoary, is a rhizomatous plant in the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). It is commonly farmed in Southeast Asia but originally hails from India.

The rhizomes of zedoary plants are the main part of the plant that is used. The rhizome is used as a spice and in herbal medicine when it is dried and ground into a powder.

The powdered form of zedoary is a spice and food dye. Thai and Indonesian soups, stews, and sauces would not be the same without it.

Zedoary made it onto our list of foods since it is a Z vegetable and is used in pickling and salads.

This plant is known by its scientific name, Curcuma zedoaria.

Zingiber officinale

Zingiber officinale on a plate | Girl Meets Food

The ginger plant, or Zingiber officinale, is a member of the Zingiberaceae family. It’s native to Southeast Asia but is now grown worldwide.

The rhizomes of the ginger plant are fibrous and tangled. They smell and taste harsh similar to pepper.

Stir-fries, curries, soups, marinades, sauces, baked products, and drinks like tea all benefit from the addition of ginger root, whether in its fresh, dried, or powdered form.

Ginger’s usefulness in medicine dates back millennia. This component is frequently used in herbal treatments for the common cold, influenza, and gastrointestinal distress.

Zingiber officinale, often known as ginger, is a useful herb that serves several purposes.

Zizania latifolia

Zizania latifolia crop growing in water and a red box full of its stems | Girl Meets Food

Manchurian wild rice, or wild rice, is a kind of grass that is native only to China and Japan. Despite their shared names, wild rice and domesticated rice (Oryza sativa) are not related.

Nutritious grains or seeds can be harvested from the plant. They are long and slender with a husk that is a dark brown to a black color and a lighter kernel. After being cooked, they take on a chewy texture and a nutty aroma.

It is possible to utilize Zizania latifolia stems in several recipes. When cooked, the tender stems become just like any other leafy green vegetable.

They’re great sliced and stir-fried or steamed and added to soups and stews. Their flavor is quite close to that of fresh bamboo stalks.


Several zucchini | Girl Meets Food

Summer squash, often known as zucchini, is technically a fruit, but it is treated and consumed as a vegetable. It belongs to the same family as cucumbers, melons, and pumpkins: Cucurbitaceae.

Smooth and green on the outside, the zucchini’s creamy white flesh contains very few edible seeds.

I really enjoy Z food in the form of zucchini fritters, zucchini fries, and zucchini noodles. I can’t get enough of them in the summer!

Zucchini is packed with antioxidants, potassium, vitamins A and C. Because of its high water content, it’s also quite refreshing.

The botanical name for zucchini is Cucurbita pepo.

Foods That Start With Z recipe | Girl Meets Food

30 Fantastic Foods That Start With Z: 2024 Edition!

Discover a zestful world of flavors with foods that start with Z! From zucchini to zabaglione, explore delicious culinary delights.


Foods that start with Z

  • Za’atar
  • Zabaglione
  • Zabaglione gelato
  • Zander
  • Zapiekanka
  • Zarzuela de mariscos
  • Zebra cake
  • Zeera rice
  • Zeppole
  • Zereshk polo
  • Ziti
  • Zoni
  • Zuppa Toscana
  • Zwieback

Fruits that start with Z

  • Zabergau Reinette apple
  • Zâlzâlak
  • Zante currants
  • Zestar apple
  • Zhe
  • Zig-zag vine fruit
  • Zill mango
  • Zinfandel grape
  • Ziziphus jujuba
  • Ziziphus mauritiana
  • Zweigelt grape
  • Zwetschge

Vegetables that start with Z

  • Zedoary
  • Zingiber officinale
  • Zizania latifolia
  • Zucchini

If you know a food that starts with Z I haven’t mentioned, share it in the comment below!

You can check out my separate article on fruits starting with Z and my list of Z vegetables for more info.

If you liked Z foods, I’m sure you’ll enjoy discovering other alphabet foods. Check out my pages on foods starting with X, surprising U foods, extraordinary foods that start with Q and more!

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