I know you can probably name a dozen foods that start with O, and I’m sure you’ve cooked with your fair share.
But have you ever tried Okonomiyaki? How about Oblea?
This list will have plenty of foods you’re familiar with, but I’ve thrown in some fun exotic options for those looking to expand their palate a little.
How many have you tried?
Oranges are a wonderful citrus fruit that don’t get enough love if you ask me.
Sure, lemons are great, but I much prefer the sweetness of this big and bright fruit.
They’re great when freshly juiced and will enhance a lot of dishes with just a squeeze.
I like to use oranges and chilies on my salmon for a lovely sticky and spicy finish.
But you can also use oranges in baking, and they go particularly well with dark chocolate!
2. Orange Juice
Having lived in the south of Spain for a few years, I can tell you that oranges prefer a hot climate.
That’s why pretty much every carton of OJ comes from Florida!
Depending on the type of orange used – blood, navel, Valencia, clementine, or tangerine – you might have something sweet, tangy, or even slightly bitter.
Omelets are fried egg dishes you usually see served for breakfast.
They are made by beating eggs in a bowl before adding them to a hot pan with butter or oil.
In most cases, you will see vegetables, meats, and cheese placed in the middle, and the omelet is folded in half for serving.
Due to the stone inside, olives are actually classed as a fruit.
They’re not sweet, even though they’re closely related to mangoes, peaches, and cherries.
Not only will olives add wonderful flavor to a dish, but they’re also loaded with vitamin E and other antioxidants.
Olives are usually seen in one of three colors: black, green, or purple. The truth is, the color is just to show how ripe they are.
They all start out green and will deepen in color as they ripen.
5. Olive Oil
As the name might suggest, olive oil is made by collecting and pressing olives.
The oil is released and extracted for a flavorful cooking oil with many health benefits.
Since it has a lower smoke point than regular cooking oil, it’s best used for light frying and salad dressings.
6. Olive Oil Cake
Many cakes use oil in place of butter for moisture, and when using olive oil, you can easily swap it out on a 1:1 basis.
However, you need to know that although you will be cutting down on saturated fats, using olive oil over a neutral oil will affect the flavor of the crumb.
In many cases, it will add a lemon-almond note to the cake, which is why these recipes usually add in lemon zest or almond extract.
Made from ground, flattened, or rolled oats, you will usually see oatmeal served for breakfast.
But the oats you choose will significantly affect the outcome.
Steel-cut oats will take longer to cook (15-20 minutes)and usually need to be soaked before for a softer texture, where rolled oats will be ready to go in minutes.
It is healthier to opt for unsweetened rolled oats and add ingredients to bulk it out, such as honey, brown sugar, or chopped nuts.
Who hasn’t accidentally eaten a whole pack of Oreos while binge-watching the newest show on Netflix? No, just me?
Oreos are a delicious combination of deep chocolate cookies with a light, sweet cream filling.
They come double-stuffed for those who can’t get enough, and even in various flavors.
They have brownie, chocolate-hazelnut, mint, golden, and birthday cake, to name a few. What’s your fave?
There are around 300 species of octopus out there, each with soft bodies and eight legs.
When it comes to eating them, depending on the size, you’ll need to remove the beak (who knew?), intestines, and ink sac.
Don’t worry; the butcher/fishmonger can do all that for you.
The trick to cooking octopus is to go low and slow to prevent it from turning rubbery.
Oysters are mollusks that live in saltwater and are typically harvested at low tide.
They have a very distinct buttery, salty, and sometimes sweet flavor. If they have a strong fish smell, they aren’t good.
Most people shy away from oysters due to their gooey appearance and cold, slimy texture.
If you’re looking to try them but want to avoid any unpleasantness, try this grilled oysters with chile butter recipe.
11. Orange Peppers
As with olives, peppers all start out green, changing color as they ripen.
The longer they stay on the vine, the deeper their color will become, and the more expensive they will cost.
Orange peppers have a much sweeter flavor than green peppers but still have the same lovely crunch.
Okra is a seed pod commonly used in Caribbean and Indian cuisines.
It’s full of white seeds that are very sticky, slimy, and not always pleasant.
It can be boiled, fried, or thrown into soups and stews for added nutrients.
But if the texture is an issue for you, this Cracker Barrel fried okra is perfect!
13. Oat Milk
Oat milk is a fantastic dairy-free milk alternative for vegans and people that are lactose intolerant.
You can make oat milk at home simply by blending oats with filtered water (and any sweeteners you like) and allowing it to strain.
Oregano is an aromatic herb most often used in tomato-based recipes, such as pizza sauce or pasta.
It can be pretty peppery and has amazing antibacterial properties.
Many people use the oil when they feel a cold coming on (oregano oil, not essential oil).
Oatcakes are like a cross between a flatbread and a cracker.
They contain oats primarily and are made on the griddle rather than being baked.
These Scottish cakes are very versatile and can be used as bread, with soup, or as crackers with cheese and meats.
They have more flavor than a rice cake and are a little denser.
Try making your own with this simple recipe.
Onions are root vegetables that grow underground in a bulb.
There are so many varieties, including sweet, red, shallow, green, spring, and even leeks.
Each of these will enhance your next meal, but they each have slightly different flavors.
For example, red onions are best served raw and have an excellent peppery taste to them.
In contrast, shallots are great when they’re soft and will add sweetness to your dish.
Oxtail is the tail of cattle and is usually skinned and cut in rounds for stews.
It can be pretty expensive because it’s so specialized and takes more work for the butcher.
Plus, there is a lot less of it on the cow, making it more rare.
Try this Jamaican oxtails recipe. It needs to be cooked low and slow to get a delightful fall-off-the-bone texture.
Oblea is a thin wafer cookie sandwiched together with a sweet filling. They’re very popular in Spain and Latin America.
Usually filled with dulce de leche, you can also find them with jam or whipped cream.
19. Oeufs en Meurette
This French dish is very popular in the Burgundy region and comprises a poached egg with a deep and rich sauce and garlic toast.
Made with red wine (from Burgundy, of course), bacon, onion, and brown butter, it packs quite a punch.
20. Ogbono Soup
This soup comes all the way from Nigeria and uses Ogbono seeds, which are dried African mango seeds.
Traditional recipes will use meats, including beef, goat, cow skin, and tripe. But you can use ground beef if you prefer.
Ogi, also known as akamu or pap, is a Nigerian custard made using ground maize.
The maize needs to be soaked and left to ferment, which will give it a sour taste.
It is usually eaten for breakfast with either sugar or honey added to the mix.
It can also be pressed into balls and flavored, kind of like mochi.
22. Oil Down
This stew is the national dish of Grenada, a beautiful little island in the Caribbean sea.
It usually contains breadfruit (jackfruit), salted meat, and vegetables stewed in a mix of coconut milk and various herbs and spices.
Tradition calls for this to be made in a big pot, allowing the whole town to contribute something.
This is why there is no one recipe but rather a melting pot of beautiful options.
Okroshka is a cold soup from Russia that contains eggs, crunchy raw vegetables, boiled potatoes, and some kind of cooked meat.
Between the sour cream, vinegar, and dill, this soup is bursting with tangy flavor.
Olallieberries are sweet and tart, with flavors similar to blackberries and plums.
It was developed by crossing blackberries with loganberries and youngberries and can be used in place of most berries for a juicy sweet-tart taste.
25. Onion Bhaji
These delicious Indian snacks are a simple mix of sliced onions, and a spiced batter.
They should be made with gram/chickpea flour for a more pronounced flavor.
The spice mix will change between Chefs, but it usually includes turmeric, chili, and cumin.
This tea is made using the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and is a great middle-ground between black and green tea.
It can taste floral, sweet, fruity, and even a touch grassy, depending on how it is made.
Though it may look like rice, orzo is a type of short-grain pasta.
It can be cooked just like your rice or pasta – boiled until tender – or some like to cook it like a risotto, frying it lightly before gradually adding in liquid.
You can even get flavored varieties, including sun-dried tomato and spinach, for a colorful option.
28. Oxheart Cherry
These heart-shaped beauties are both soft and sweet.
They can be used in most cherry recipes, with the only real difference being their size and shape.
29. Opera Cake
This stunning French pastry is a small layered cake.
It typically contains an almond sponge that gets soaked in coffee syrup and layered with ganache and coffee frosting/buttercream.
The name supposedly came from the creator’s wife, suggesting it looked like the Paris Opera House.
It should have six layers, each the same depth, and a shiny chocolate glaze on top.
If you’re looking for a delicious, savory, fast dinner, this Japanese pancake is it!
The base is made using flour, eggs, shredded cabbage and usually has protein, such as pork belly.
When it’s crisp, it gets served hot with various tasty sauces drizzled over the top. Make your own with this incredible recipe.
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