That Start With X

When it comes to brainstorming a list of foods that start with the letter X, you might find yourself scratching your head and coming up empty. After all, there are only a handful of everyday words that begin with this unique letter, let alone food items.

However, I can assure you that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to searching for delicious foods that start with X. In this blog post, we’ve compiled an intriguing list of foods that begin with X that will surprise and delight your taste buds.

So get ready to expand your culinary knowledge and discover some new favorite snacks as we delve into this often-overlooked category of food!

Fruits and Vegetables That Start With X

Exploring the world of fruits and vegetables that commence with the letter ‘X’ is a journey into the lesser-known corners of global cuisine. Let’s peel back the layers and unearth the exotic and rare produce that fall under this extraordinary category.

  • Xarel-Lo: Also known as Pansa Blanca, Xarel-Lo is a grape variety commonly used in the production of cava, a Spanish sparkling wine. It has a crisp and refreshing flavor and is often blended with other grapes such as Macabeo and Parellada.
  • Xavier De Bavay Apple: This variety of apples is known for its tart flavor and firm texture, making it an excellent choice for baking and cooking applications. The Xavier De Bavay is a staple in many European countries and adds a delicious twist to traditional apple-based dishes.
  • Xerophyte: While not a specific food item, xerophyte refers to plants that thrive in arid conditions. Some xerophytic plants, like cacti, produce edible fruit such as prickly pear, which is enjoyed for its sweet, watermelon-like taste.
  • Xiang Jiao: Better recognized as ‘banana’ in English, Xiang Jiao is a universally beloved fruit that is versatile in its use in both sweet and savory dishes, smoothies, and baked goods.
  • Xigua Popsicles: Made from Xigua, which is the Chinese term for watermelon, these frozen treats are a refreshing snack during the warm months, providing a sweet and hydrating bite.
  • Xilacayota Squash: Xilacayota, also known as Mexican Squash or Chilacayote, is a type of squash that can be used in sweet dishes like candied xilacayota or savory dishes similar to pumpkin.
  • Ximenia Americana: Commonly referred to as the yellow plum, Ximenia Americana is a tangy fruit that can be found in Africa and the Americas. The fruit is often eaten raw or used in jellies and jams.
  • Ximenia Caffra: The sour plum from Ximenia Caffra is another fruit considered a delicacy in some parts of Africa. With its sour-to-tart flavor, it’s used in several local cuisines and medicinal remedies.
  • Xinomavro Grapes: A prized Greek grape variety, Xinomavro is renowned for its strong tannins and complex flavors and is the foundation for many of Greece’s finest red wines.
  • Xoài: In Vietnamese, ‘Xoài’ means mango. This tropical stone fruit is sweet, juicy, and full of flavor, making it a favorite for eating fresh, in smoothies, salads, and delicious desserts.
  • Xoconostle: Xoconostle is a type of prickly pear cactus fruit that is less sweet and more acidic than the common variety. Often used in Mexican cuisine, it’s great for salsas, sauces, and even as a topping for tacos.
  • Xuanina Apples: This apple variety is cherished for its juicy and slightly acidic taste. Xuanina apples are primarily grown in Asturias, Spain, and are commonly used in the production of traditional Spanish cider.
  • Xylaria Mushrooms: Known for their striking, charcoal-like appearance, Xylaria mushrooms are a wood-decaying fungus often found on dead wood. While not typically used in mainstream cooking, they are investigated for their medicinal properties.
  • Xylocarp: The term xylocarp refers to a hard, woody fruit, such as a coconut. Xylocarpus are usually not consumed directly but are processed to extract edible parts or substances, like coconut water and flesh.
  • Xylocarpus Granatum: Also known as the cannonball mangrove, Xylocarpus granatum produces a fruit that is typically found in mangrove ecosystems. The seeds of this fruit are occasionally used in traditional medicines across various cultures.

While these items may not be found in the average grocery store, adventurous foodies will be rewarded with unique flavors and nutritional benefits.

Snacks, Condiments, and Spices That Start With X

Apart from fruits and vegetables, there are a few other categories of foods that start with X. These include snacks, condiments, and spices. Let’s take a look at some delicious options within these categories.

  • Xanthan Gum: A versatile ingredient found in many gluten-free products, xanthan gum acts as a thickener and stabilizer in various food items such as salad dressings, soups, and ice creams. It is produced through fermentation of sugars by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris and is a favorite among those following a celiac-friendly diet.
  • Xiangcaojing: An essential flavoring used in Chinese cookery, Xiangcaojing, or vanilla essence, brings a rich and creamy flavor to desserts and sweet dishes. It’s extracted from the pods of the vanilla orchid and is extensively used to enhance the aroma and taste of culinary delights worldwide.
  • Xo Sauce: XO sauce is a gourmet condiment from Hong Kong that has gained international fame for its complex layers of flavor. This spicy seafood sauce is often made with a combination of dried scallops, ham, red chili pepper, garlic, and oil, lifting the taste profile of everything from stir-fries to noodle dishes.
  • Xylitol: This natural sweetener, found in fibrous fruits and vegetables, is admired for its low-caloric content relative to sugar, making it a popular choice for sugar-free chewing gum, toothpaste, and diabetes-friendly foods. Xylitol does not only sweeten; it also brings dental benefits by reducing the risk of tooth decay.

There are not many snacks, condiments, and spices that start with the letter X, but snacks, condiments, and spices that start with the letter X play an important role in creating great flavor for your meals.

Side Dishes That Start With X

We come to side dishes starting with the letter “X”. Let us dive into a few exotic and intriguing side dishes that showcase the diversity of global cuisines.

  • Xà Lách: Pronounced “za lack”, this Vietnamese lettuce variety is a popular side dish that adds freshness and crunch to meals. It’s often used in salads, but can also be grilled or stir-fried for a unique twist on traditional green leafy vegetables.
  • Xavier Soup: A classic dish known for its delicate flavors, Xavier Soup hails from Italian cuisine and is named after St. Francis Xavier. It is typically made with chicken broth and features small spinach and parmesan cheese dumplings, providing a comforting and refined start to any meal.
  • Xiao Long Bao: These are delectable Chinese soup dumplings that originate from the Jiangnan region. Xiao Long Bao are traditionally filled with pork and a rich, savory broth, encased in a delicate pleated dough. They are a favorite at dim sum and require a precise eating technique to enjoy the burst of flavor without losing the precious soup.
  • Xidoufen: This is a popular, hearty soup from the Yunnan Province of China, primarily composed of Yi pea flour, making it thick and satisfying. It is commonly consumed for breakfast and is known for its warming and comforting properties, often spiced according to regional tastes.
  • Xie Bing: A treat from Chinese cuisine, Xie Bing are savory crab cakes enjoyed as a delicacy. They typically feature a combination of minced crab meat and flavorful seasonings, pan-fried to golden perfection.
  • Xnipec: A fiery Yucatecan salsa from Mexico, Xnipec is made with fresh habanero peppers, sour orange juice, and chopped onions. It offers a spicy kick that complements a variety of dishes, particularly seafood and tacos.
  • Xôi: A Vietnamese sticky rice dish that comes in many varieties, both sweet and savory. Xôi can be made with ingredients like mung beans, coconut, or even meat, and is a common street food, traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and served as a substantial snack or side.

Exploring side dishes that begin with “X” reveals the rich tapestry of global cuisines and their unique culinary creations. These exotic selections are more than just accompaniments; they can stand alone as vivid expressions of cultural heritage and culinary innovation.

Vegetarian and Dairy That Start With X

Venturing further into the culinary alphabet, we encounter vegetarian and dairy delights that begin with the letter X. See which vegetarian and dairy options start with ‘X’, loved in many parts of the world for their unique flavors and health benefits.

  • Xampinyons En Salsa: A delightful vegetarian tapas dish from Catalonia, Xampinyons en Salsa consists of mushrooms sautéed in a savory garlic and herb sauce, often laced with a splash of white wine. This dish exemplifies the simplicity and depth of flavor inherent in Spanish cuisine.
  • Xatonada: Xatonada is a distinctive salad hailing from the Catalan region of Spain. It typically includes escarole, desalted cod, anchovies, and an exquisite nut-based romesco sauce, offering a true Mediterranean flavor profile.
  • Xidoufen: As mentioned before, Xidoufen is a hearty Chinese soup primarily made with Yi pea flour. It showcases the simplicity and warmth of classic Yunnan cuisine, perfect for a comforting meal.
  • Xihongshi: Xihongshi refers to tomato in Mandarin Chinese, and it forms the base for many Chinese dishes. Tomatoes are stir-fried with eggs for a popular Chinese home-cooked dish known as Xihongshi chao jidan.
  • Xynotyro: An age-old cheese from Greece, Xynotyro is made from sheep or goat milk. With its tangy and slightly spicy flavor, Xynotyro can be enjoyed on its own or added to pies and other traditional Greek dishes.
  • Xantal Cheese: Xantal is a soft and creamy cheese, often compared to the French Brie. It’s known for its mild and delicate flavor and is a great addition to a cheeseboard or served atop hearty bread.
  • Xôi Gấc: This is a traditional Vietnamese sticky rice dish, often brightly colored with the vibrant red tones of the gấc fruit, which is also known for its health benefits. Xôi Gấc is a common festive dish, particularly during Lunar New Year celebrations, and combines the sweetness of the fruit with the rich, nutty flavor of sticky rice.

Although they may be less commonly recognized in the Western palate, these foods provide not only nutritive value but also a glimpse into diverse cultural traditions.

Meat and Seafoods That Start With X

When it comes to proteins that start with the letter “X”, the options may seem limited at first glance. However, various cultures have treasured meat and seafood dishes that carry this alphabetical distinction. Here a some of them:

  • Xacoco: A hearty, traditional stew from the Canary Islands, Xacoco is made with various types of meat, like pork, beef, and sometimes rabbit, combined with vegetables and spices to create a rich and comforting dish.
  • Xacuti: This is a Goan specialty from India, where a complex and aromatic spice blend called ‘xacuti masala’ is used to prepare dishes with chicken or lamb, often accompanied by coconut to create a truly flavorful curry.
  • Xavier Steak: Named after St. Francis Xavier, this dish consists of a sumptuous steak, typically served with a rich, creamy sauce made with mushrooms and embellished with brandy or cognac.
  • Xarque: Known as charque in Brazil, xarque is a form of jerked beef that has been salted and sun-dried. It is a traditional preservation technique that imparts a unique texture and flavor to the meat.
  • Xia Mi: Xia Mi, or dried shrimp, are used extensively in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines, bringing concentrated seafood umami to soups, stir-fries, and dumplings.
  • Xinjiang Lamb Skewers: Spicy and fragrant, these lamb skewers are a staple street food in China’s Xinjiang region. They’re marinated with cumin, garlic, and various spices, then grilled over open flames.
  • Xinxim De Galinha: A classic dish from Brazilian cuisine, Xinxim de Galinha is a flavorful stew made with chicken, peanuts, and cashew nuts, mixed with dendê oil and coconut milk for a rich, bold taste.
  • Xiphias: The Greek term for swordfish, which is often grilled or baked with lemon and herbs in Mediterranean cooking, offering a steak-like experience from the sea.
  • Xouba Fish: Small, sardine-like fish found off the coast of Spain, commonly prepared fried or in escabeche to be served as a tapas dish.
  • Xerém: A form of cornmeal used widely in Brazilian cuisine, Xerém can be a base for stews or served as a side, similar to polenta, and is a staple in the diet of many Brazilians.

Despite being a rarity in English-speaking countries, these dishes boast complex flavors, traditional preparation methods, and cultural significance, offering adventurous foodies an opportunity to expand their culinary horizons.

Desserts That Start With X

Come on a sweet journey through the alphabet that will take us to delicious dessert foods that start with X. These desserts are:

  • Xalwo: Also known as Halva, this is a beloved confection in many Middle Eastern and African countries. Xalwo is typically made from a base of cooked sugar or honey, healthy fats such as tahini or nut butter, and sometimes mixed with pistachios or almonds for added texture.
  • Xi Gua Lao: A popular Chinese dessert, Xi Gua Lao is a refreshing watermelon jelly, often infused with osmanthus flowers and goji berries, making it not just a treat for the palate but also a visual delight.
  • Xingren Doufu: This dessert translates to ‘almond tofu’, a delicate almond-flavored jelly made from almond milk or extract. Xingren Doufu is soft, subtly sweet, and often served cold with fruit syrups or fresh fruits.
  • Xmas Cakes: A traditional treat enjoyed around Christmas, these rich, fruit-laden cakes are made well in advance of the holiday season to allow the flavors to mature, resulting in a dense, moist, and flavourful cake that’s often iced with marzipan and white icing.
  • Xmas Cookies: A staple treat during the holiday season, Xmas cookies come in endless varieties, from gingerbread to sugar cookies, and are often decorated with festive icing, sprinkles, and candy to spread holiday cheer.

These rare treats conjure up the essence of their native cuisines and offer a glimpse into the traditions that celebrate sweetness across different cultures.

Drinks That Start With X

Discovering drinks that start with the letter “X” can be like an excursion into the world’s vast and diverse beverage landscape. Let’s explore the list of drinks below:

  • Xanthia Cocktail: An elegant and vibrant cocktail, the Xanthia is composed of gin, cherry brandy, and yellow chartreuse. The combination of these spirits results in a complex, nuanced flavor profile that is both floral and subtly sweet.
  • Xalapa Punch: A spirited blend hailing from the city of Xalapa in Mexico, this punch mixes rum and brandy with the citrus zing of fresh lime or lemon juice, sweetened to taste, creating a festive and refreshing beverage perfect for lively gatherings.
  • Xiaoshing Wine: Also known as Shaoxing wine, this is a Chinese rice wine famous for its usage in cooking. With a rich sherry-like taste, it is often used to bring depth and flavor to a variety of Asian dishes.
  • Xinomavro Wine: This Greek red wine is renowned for its strong tannins and complex aromas of dark fruits, olives, and spices. Xinomavro, which translates to ‘acid-black’, is often compared to the noble wines of Piedmont and is a perfect pairing with hearty meat dishes.
  • Xocolatl: The ancient Aztec ‘xocolatl’ is a bitter, spiced chocolate drink that predates the sweetened hot chocolate we know today. Made with cacao beans, this traditional beverage can be seasoned with chili peppers, vanilla, and other spices to create an invigorating treat.
  • Xoconostle Juice: Extracted from the sour prickly pear fruit known as xoconostle, this juice is a staple in Mexican cuisine. Its vibrant color and tart flavor make it a unique ingredient for cocktails and other refreshing beverages.

From refreshing non-alcoholic options to exquisite and potent spirits, each drink with this unique initial offers a taste of distinct cultures, regions, or flavors.

Conclusion

As we conclude our alphabetical culinary journey with the letter “X,” it’s evident that foods starting with this enigmatic letter, though seemingly rare, provide a fascinating glimpse into international cuisines.

From savory dishes enriched with history and tradition to sweet desserts that captivate the senses, and unique beverages that offer a sip of cultural heritage, our exploration underscores the diversity and richness of global gastronomy.

While they may challenge the seeker, the rewards are dishes and drinks that are as distinctive as they are delectable. So, next time you come across unfamiliar foods that start with X, why not give it a try and expand your culinary horizons? Bon appétit!

Chef Chip Roman is one of the most exciting and talented chefs in Philadelphia. He has his own catering business, Charles Roman Catering, as well as Roman Restaurant Group which includes Blackfish, Mica, and Ela. He graduated from Drexel University in 2002 with a degree in business and culinary arts. Chip Roman is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens and chefs in Philadelphia, including Le Bec Fin’s George Perrier and Marc Vetri’s Vetri.

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