Pop quiz – how many foods that start with Y can you name? And how many have you tried?
Ever nibbled on a yautia? Slurped up some yakisoba? How about devouring a yali pear?
Maybe not, but there are some familiar favorites on this list like Yorkshire pudding, yellow beans, yams, and yogurt.
This comprehensive list of 25 foods that start with Y hits pretty much all food groups.
So if you’re stuck in a culinary rut, or just have a thing for food trivia, read on and prepare to be surprised, intrigued, and kinda hungry.
25 Foods That Start With The Letter Y
- 1. Yams
- 2. Yogurt
- 3. Yuca/Yucca
- 4. Yeast
- 5. Yorkshire Pudding
- 6. Yautia
- 7. Yellow Beans
- 8. Yakisoba
- 9. Yakitori
- 10. Yellowfin Tuna
- 11. Yuzu
- 12. Yacon
- 13. Youngberry
- 14. Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 15. Yellowtail Fish
- 16. Yellow Squash
- 17. Yorkshire Teacakes
- 18. Yellow Pepper
- 19. Yellow Watermelon
- 20. Yellow Mango
- 21. Yali Pears
- 22. Yellow Moong Dal
- 23. Yellow Eye Beans
- 24. Yiros
- 25. Yodels
25 Foods That Start With The Letter Y
Yams are starchy root veggies, commonly confused with sweet potato.
Yams are a pale yellow on the inside and have a thick, brown peel almost like bark.
Sweet potatoes are more moist and have that signature orange flesh.
Yams are also less sweet and taste a bit like potatoes.
If you want to serve them for dessert, you’ll have to dress them up with sugar and cinnamon to turn them from savory to sweet.
Oh, and that yam you enjoy at Thanksgiving dinner probably came from the Caribbean where they’re an important cash crop.
Yogurt is what you get when you leave milk to ferment. It’s a wonderful digestive aid, being full of healthy probiotics.
These busy bacteria help keep our gut moving, while also tasting delicious.
Yogurt is also incredibly versatile, which is why every good cook keeps some on hand.
Dollop it onto berries for a nourishing breakfast or use it when baking for a super moist cake. You can also add it to curries to take the heat down a notch.
Or, add it to sauces, dips, and smoothies to give them a creamy, tangy taste.
Yuca, also known as cassava, is a staple food in the Caribbean and South America.
A root vegetable with starchy flesh and a sweet, nutty flavor, it can be served a number of ways. Treat this one as you would a potato – bake it, roast it, or fry it.
Serve those yuca fries with a garlic chipotle mayo for a real treat.
Yeast isn’t so much a food, as it is a tiny, living creature. And if that weirds you out, you’re not alone.
But we need yeast. This important microorganism ‘eats’ sugars, converting them into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
So without yeast, we wouldn’t have bread or beer. And who wants to live in that world?!
5. Yorkshire Pudding
A roast dinner without Yorkshire pudding is a cry for help, at least in my house.
This traditional English treat involves whipping up a simple batter, then adding it to hot oil and baking at a high temperature.
This results in fluffy mounds of crispy, golden pudding that’s the perfect vehicle for lashings of rich gravy.
Bake some sausages in the Yorkshire pudding batter, and you’ll have a toad in the hole.
Also known as malanga or taro, yautia is an edible tuber that’s grown in South America and other tropical regions.
There’s no way to put this delicately – yautias are kind of ugly.
They have a knobby, hairy, brown skin that makes you wonder how they ever ended up on dinner tables.
But the starchy pale flesh is high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
It can be steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, or even ground into a flour that’s good for thickening soups and stews.
7. Yellow Beans
The only noticeable difference between green beans and yellow beans is the color.
These versatile veggies are a great addition to stir-fries, salads, or casseroles. They’re also delicious simply pan-fried with butter.
Yakisoba is a Japanese noodle dish that’s easily created at home.
Usually made with pork or chicken, this is a classic Asian one-pan meal.
Meat is tossed in a salty, tangy sauce along with noodles and veggies for a quick, healthy dinner.
Traditionally made with bean sprouts, cabbage, onion, and carrots, you can customise it by adding whatever’s left in the fridge.
Asparagus, green beans, or broccoli would also work well.
Yakitori is a must-try if you’re ever in Japan (or a Japanese restaurant).
Chunks of juicy chicken are doused in a delicious glaze before being placed on bamboo skewers and slowly grilled until perfectly tender.
Yep, my mouth is watering, too.
10. Yellowfin Tuna
In its natural ocean habitat, the yellowfin tuna is an impressive beast.
Growing up to 7ft and weighing as much as 450 pounds, they’re recognizable from their striking blue backs, yellow sides, and silver bellies.
Yellowfin are near threatened, so if you decide to get your fish on, pick a sustainable source.
Highly prized among sushi-lovers, this in-demand animal is over-fished in many parts of the world.
Yuzu is a citrus fruit, cultivated mainly in South Asia.
Just like its twin, the lemon, yuzu isn’t generally eaten raw, as it’s too sour. Instead, it’s used in dishes like curries and stir-fries.
The juice and zest are a popular addition to marinades and cocktails thanks to yuzu’s distinctive fragrant flavor.
Yacon is a tuber from South America that looks like a potato, but tastes like a pear.
This intriguing, exotic plant is mostly used to create yacon syrup – a natural sweetener. Rich, dark, and thick, the syrup is similar to molasses or treacle.
Youngberry is a genetic mash-up of the summer fruits we know and love.
A hybrid of three different berry varieties – blackberry, raspberry, dewberry – it’s a little tart, a little sweet, and a lot delicious.
The high antioxidant content may help to keep you young, but that’s not how the berry got its name.
It was first created by a Louisiana businessman, B. M. Young, who now goes down in history as the guy with his own berry.
14. Yukon Gold Potatoes
Don’t tell the Irish, but Canada has made huge inroads into the potato market with its highly popular Yukon gold variety.
This yellow-fleshed, creamy spud once set off a diplomatic incident.
In 1997, Hillary Clinton claimed everything on the White House dinner menu was American – overlooking the Yukon golds that have been served to presidents since first appearing in the 1980s.
The Clinton admission was forced to apologize. Apparently Canada takes its potatoes very seriously.
15. Yellowtail Fish
Yellowtail is a nickname, usually referring to the Japanese Amberjack.
This meaty jack fish is a favorite of sushi chefs, and popular eaten raw as sashimi.
It’s considered a winter delicacy due to its high fat content, and is native to the Pacific.
16. Yellow Squash
Perfectly ripe in the warmer weather, yellow squash is more commonly known by its nickname, summer squash.
This is a mild tasting vegetable that works best when paired with stronger flavors.
Toss roasted chunks into a spicy salad, add it to chilis and curries for bulk, or run it through a spiralizer for healthy low-carb noodles.
17. Yorkshire Teacakes
Yorkshire loves its tea. And tea is rarely served without cake.
A proper Yorkshire teacake is much like a fruit scone.
They’re baked with a simple bread-like dough and flavored with dried fruit and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toast and serve dripping with butter. No-one does tasty tea traditions like the Brits!
18. Yellow Pepper
Yellow pepper is a hot chili pepper that’s not as fiery as its red counterpart, but still delivers a kick.
Used to give a hint of warmth to salsas, chilis, and stews, they’re a light alternative if your spice tolerance is low.
You won’t feel the burn with these peppers, but you will enjoy their fresh, sweet flavor.
19. Yellow Watermelon
Over many years and several varieties, watermelon has become famous for its red hue.
But before it was a red fruit, it was yellow. Yep, the yellow variety, which originates from Africa, predates the scarlet kind.
It’s also sweeter, making it a good choice for those backyard BBQs and summer parties. Chop it, chill it, and chow down!
20. Yellow Mango
Yellow mangoes come from Mexico, where they’re known as ataulfo mangoes.
With its sweet honey-like flavor and buttery, smooth texture, this is quite possibly the best mango you’ll ever eat.
Plus, they’re high in vitamin A and vitamin C, so they’re great for boosting your immune system.
21. Yali Pears
A type of Asian pear, yalis have a firm, white flesh and an aromatic, slightly tart, taste.
They’re one of China’s biggest fruit exports, so there’s a good chance you can pick one up at a market near you.
Then you’ll just need to decide what to do with it. Poach it in syrup, chop it into a salad, roast with pork, or grill it with a sprinkling of pistachios and honey.
These pears are equally at home as an appetizer, snack, or dessert.
22. Yellow Moong Dal
Dal is a thick, hearty lentil curry, popular in India. Moong dal uses yellow lentils as the base for this delicious exotic comfort food.
Made with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and fresh cilantro, it’s a fusion of unique and mouth-watering flavors.
Serve with naan bread and a generous dollop of sour cream for a show-stopping vegetarian dish.
23. Yellow Eye Beans
Yellow eye beans are dry legume similar to kidney beans. And much like kidney beans, they’re a favorite thickener in stews, soups, and chilis.
With their mild flavor and meaty texture, these beans add depth to almost any meal.
They’re also a handy way to get protein for anyone following a plant-based diet or serving vegetarians/vegans.
Yiros, or gyros, are a classic Greek wrap containing meat and shredded veggies.
Seasoned rotisserie meat (pork, chicken, beef or lamb) is stuffed into a soft pita along with onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, and parsley.
Add a heaping spoonful of tzatziki sauce, and you’ll never go back to boring sandwiches again.
If you really want to live the dream, put some fries in your Greek-style kebab.
The humble yiros is highly versatile, so it can be as healthy or as decadent as you wish.
No, we’re not talking about Alpine singers. A yodel is a cream-filled cake roll, made by the confectionery firm, Drakes.
These beloved treats have made their way into popular culture – appearing in episodes of The Simpsons, Frasier, and Everybody Loves Raymond.
And it’s no wonder. When you wrap devil’s food cake around vanilla creme and coat it with chocolate, people are going to talk.
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