60 Fantastic Foods That Start With I: 2023 Edition!
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Want to discover a list of foods that start with I, then you’ve come to the right place – I’ve got not 1, not 2, but 60 just for you!
I love a quiz show, don’t you? I always try and guess the answers on Pointless for instance but I never quite manage it. I know for sure though that I’d get a pointless answer if the topic was foods starting with an I!
There are so many in this list, from fresh fruit to root vegetables, snacks, meals, and drinks, and they’re from lots of different countries it really is fascinating to read about them.
So let’s get started with this list of foods that start with I.
First off is anything that grows in the ground, or on trees and bushes.
Although edible, you might want to stay away from the yellow elongated drupes of this plant. In Africa, it’s said this plant is used to induce hallucinations and near-death experiences!
The scientific name is Tabernanthe iboga.
This plant is native to several African countries including Cape Verde, Angola, and Congo. This round fruit looks like a kiwi fruit in appearance but it has no hair and the inner pulp is pink.
The scientific name of the family is Icacinaceae.
Also known as the cocoplum, this purple fruit is small and round. They are grown mainly in Florida and the Bahamas among other places and they’re also used in traditional medicine.
The scientific name is Chrysobalanus icaco.
Well, these are fun little fruit from South Asia. Its inside is a clear jelly-like seed that is edible and looks a bit like ice which is probably where the name comes from.
When ripe it tastes sweet and is a good source of vitamins A and C.
The scientific name is Borassus flabellifer.
Made up of mostly water, this is a well-known and popular leafy green vegetable, especially in the United States.
It apparently got its name from looking like an iceberg when it was partly buried in ice for transport.
The scientific name for lettuce is Lactuca sativa.
Ice cream bean fruit
I chose to put this on both the fruit and vegetable list as it is actually a bean, however, it has a sweet taste like vanilla ice cream and it’s referred to as ‘nature’s cotton candy’.
The scientific name is Inga edulis.
This is a cute little edible succulent. The flowers and leaves are edible and they have a bitter taste, so are perfect for making a tart jam.
In South Africa, they are also used for medicinal properties. The leaves are said to help with digestive problems and the juice has several applications.
The scientific name is Carpobrotus edulis.
Ichigo is the Japanese word for strawberry (that’s not cheating – ok only a little). This fruit is red and sweet as you may know and in Japan, Ichigo mochi is a popular dessert.
The scientific name is Fragaria × ananassa.
These are potatoes grown in, yes you guessed correctly, Idaho USA. It has perfect conditions for growing potatoes which is why they produce so many.
Varieties can include russet potatoes and Yukon gold.
The scientific name depends on the variety of potatoes.
This is funny-looking fruit is native to Central America, a favorite way to serve it is with cream and sugar with a squirt of lime or lemon juice to bring out its tart flavor.
It has an unusual appearance as it has scaly-looking outer skin.
The scientific name is Annona macroprophyllata.
This fruit is native to Australia and often used in condiments. The brown pine tree which bears the fruit lines the streets and the wood is often used in joinery.
The scientific name is Podocarpus elatus.
Imbe fruit is similar to plums with smooth, thin skin. It is bright orange in color and used mainly to make drinks in Florida. It has a sweet, yet acidic taste.
The scientific name is Garcinia livingstonei.
Inca berries are also known as the Peruvian groundcherry and they’re part of the nightshade family.
This fruit is used to make jams, chutneys, and pie filling among others. Restaurants like using it for decoration due to its ornamental outer husk.
The scientific name is Physalis peruviana.
Indian almond fruit
This fruit is found in Pacific regions like the Seychelles. Its outer shell starts bright green and moves through to a dark red when ripe.
It is often eaten raw or cooked, although it can be hard to get the ‘almond’ out.
The scientific name is Terminalia catappa.
Indian corn (also called flint corn) is a variegated, pretty-looking corn variety. It has a low water content so is hardy to freezing conditions.
Although edible, it is popular as an ornamental corn used commonly for Halloween and Thanksgiving celebrations.
The scientific name is Zea mays var. indurata.
This vegetable has roots that are said to smell and taste like a cucumber. The plant is part of the lily family and was a popular food source for the Native Americans.
The scientific name is Medeola virginiana.
Indian fig fruit
Fruit from the Indian banyan tree is round and orange. The tree is a strangler tree, named because it suffocates any tree it grows around.
The tree is said to be the biggest in the world with an average area of over 2000ft!
The scientific name is Ficus benghalensis.
This little gooseberry is a beautiful bright green color. The tree is native to India and the Middle East.
They are said to have several health benefits, including helping to lower cholesterol.
The scientific name is Phyllanthus emblica.
Indian hog plum
This fruit tree was introduced to the West Indies by the Portuguese in the 17th century. Hog plums are usually eaten fresh, or they can be made into juices, jellies, and interestingly, sherbet!
Other parts of the plant have uses in traditional medicine.
The scientific name is Spondias mombin.
Indian jujube fruit
Also known as an Indian plum, this is a tropical fruit that is green in color. It is a rich source of vitamin C and can be eaten raw, pickled, or made into drinks.
The scientific name is Ziziphus mauritiana.
They love mangoes in India so it isn’t surprising that they have their own variety. Did you know?
The fruit can be eaten raw or made into smoothies, juices, and purees. The wood of the tree is used for making things like ukuleles.
The scientific name is Mangifera indica.
The Indian pea is a blue flowering plant that is part of the legume family. It’s consumed mainly in Asia and East Africa.
It is sold as a pulse in Italy, and it is also used to make flour.
The scientific name is Lathyrus sativus.
This pinky-red fruit is small and has a quirky star-shaped stone in the middle. It is mainly native to Southeast Asia and Polynesia.
The scientific name is Flacourtia rukam.
Indian sherbet berry
This is a popular fruit for making refreshing drinks in India through the summer. It is said to taste like sherbet!
They are also said to help with digestive problems.
The scientific name is Grewsia asiatica.
This fruit is also known as the mock, or false strawberry. It’s used for ornamental and medicinal purposes. Its fruit is edible but doesn’t taste as sweet as a true strawberry.
The scientific name is Potentilla indica.
Indian wild pear
This fruit is classed as a pome and looks like a russet apple in appearance. It has a sweet and tangy taste which is native to Southern Asia.
The young fruit starts out green and turns a dark brown with yellow spots in maturity.
The scientific name is Pyrus pashia.
Also called the kaffir lime, it has a bobbly brain-like outer skin.
They’re used commonly in Southeast Asian cuisine, but it is also used to make perfume and essential oils.
The scientific name is Citrus hystrix.
This is a red algae that is grown along the Atlantic coastline. Although it isn’t eaten on its own it has some interesting uses.
These include as a thickener to milk products like ice cream, calico printing, and paper marbling.
The scientific name is Chondrus crispus.
Also known as flat-leaf parsley, this variety is widely used in cooking. It can either be eaten fresh or dried.
The scientific name is Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum.
Italian red onion
This is a sweet red onion variety from Tropea in Italy which is more aromatic than other varieties. They are jucier and good for making chutneys.
The scientific name is Allium cepa.
Italian sweet peppers
Also known as friggitello and pepperoncini in America, they are a yellow variety. They work well in salads and sandwiches. They can also be pickled and sauteed.
The scientific name is Capsicum annuum.
The Italian plum, or prune, is sweet in flavor and has a blue-black cloudy skin similar to a blueberry.
In cooking, they are popular for making jams and are used in desserts and cakes.
The scientific name is Prunus cocomilia.
Ita palm fruit
This fruit has an interesting, chequered shell, however, it has an edible pulp and seed inside. The tree likes the swampy regions of South America.
It is high in vitamins A and C and is used to make jams and jellies as well as alcoholic beverages.
The scientific name is Mauritia flexuosa.
When this vegetable is ripe it is a bright red color, which makes it different from the standard pumpkins.
It is often stuffed or deep fried and is a popular food in India and the young veg is used to make pickles.
The scientific name is Coccinia grandis.
The iyokan is a hybrid citrus fruit that looks similar to a mandarin orange. An interesting fact is In springtime, it is used as a limited edition KitKat flavor.
The packets have good luck messages on them for the students sitting exams at the time!
The scientific name is Citrus × iyo.
Here are some dishes starting with I – not sure I’d try #4!
This is a south Asian rice noodle dish. In Malaysia, it is a popular breakfast dish and is served with brown sugar and coconut.
Idli are oval-shaped rice flour cakes that are popular breakfast items in South India and Sri Lanka. This savory rice cake is made from fermented black bean lentils and rice.
Who doesn’t love an Indian curry! And there are so many to choose from including the classic Korma, and Tikka Masala, to Rhogan Josh, Vindaloo, Bhuna, and beyond!
In Birmingham, England, The Balti Belt is famous as the best place in the UK to eat a curry, and has even been visited by celebrities like Tom Cruise for this exact reason.
A quick and easy option if you want oatmeal for breakfast but don’t have much time in the morning.
It’s also a great choice if you need to eat breakfast in the office as it is made in the pot – usually in a microwave.
A hearty meal made traditionally of mutton (sheep), onion, and potatoes. Although recipes vary and can also contain celery, carrots, turnips, swedes, parsnip, leeks, and cabbage.
I’m not sure I’d like to try this one. Isi ewu is a goat head soup! It can also be made of spicy cow feet.
It’s popular in Nigerian cuisine.
This is a pork product which is actually only called Italian sausage in North America. It is mainly seasoned with fennel and sold in rings.
There are certainly some tasty snacks that start with I – which is your favorite?
I love ice cream, don’t you? It is a frozen dessert that comes in loads of flavors!
You can get anything from licorice to pistachio, bubblegum to skittles – the possibilities are endless!
Ice cream cake
This is a delicious layered ice cream dessert that often has a sponge base. In America, it is a popular birthday treat.
These were always a favorite growing up, they are little pieces of hard icing sat on top of a mini biscuit. A great little snack if you’re looking for that sweet flavor hit.
Icelandic rye bread
Also called rúgbrauð, this rye bread is a popular Icelandic bakery item. Traditionally baked in a pot, it has a dark brown color and is very closed in structure.
It is used to make toast or sandwiches and is usually served with butter.
Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. Ice pops are frozen ice shapes that have a stick in them for you can hold.
They can be colored and flavored, usually with sweet or fruity flavorings.
Icing is a sweet fondant that is used to decorate cakes. It can be runny, or a solid sugar paste and it can be colored to whichever color you need.
Royal icing starts runny but then sets hard on cookies.
Imarti is a sweet treat from India. They are made by drizzling vigna mungo flour into hot fat in the shape of flour. Once cooked they are coated in sugar syrup.
Also known as instant ramen, this dehydrated pasta snack is a favorite as it can be made with just boiling water and ready in less than 5 minutes! A cheap food option, it is often popular with students.
Irish soda bread
This is a bread traditionally made in Ireland that uses sodium bicarbonate instead of yeast to help it rise. Commonly the main ingredients are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
A sweet dessert treat, Italian ice is similar to sorbet. It is semi-frozen, and is flavoured with natural and artificial flavourings. It doesn’t contain eggs or dairy.
These are a favorite confectionary made in Italy. Commonly called Baci (‘kisses’ in Italian). They are a hazelnut surrounded by ganache and covered in chocolate.
To finish off the list take a look at the drinks beginning with an I – I think I’d say yes to all of them!
Ice cream soda
This is a fun, non-alcoholic beverage which is usually made with fizzy pop, and then a scoop of ice cream is dropped on the top.
As the ice cream melts it creates a creamy foam on top of the drink.
Iced coffee can make a really refreshing caffeine hit in the hot summer months, espresso is poured over ice and then topped with cold milk.
You can also add different flavor syrups like vanilla or caramel for example. Makes me want one right now!
This is a traditional beverage that goes back decades. The tea is poured over ice without milk. It’s a nice cool drink to take on a summer day.
This drink is made using dehydrated coffee granules. It is rehydrated using boiling water, and sometimes cold milk is added and sugar is used to sweeten it.
An alcoholic drink that is made with whiskey, hot coffee, and sugar before being topped with cream.
Although called an Irish coffee these days, it actually has origins in Vienna and Germany.
Irish cream is a smooth alcoholic beverage that is creamy. It can come in lots of different flavors like original, orange, coffee, and chocolate which gives it a nice sweet taste.
Whiskey is traditionally made in Ireland. It is an amber coloured liquer and whiskey actually means ‘water of life’ in gaelic.
- Icaco fruit
- Ice apple
- Iceberg lettuce
- Ice cream bean fruit
- Ice plant
- Idaho potatoes
- Ilama fruit
- Illawarra plum
- Imbe fruit
- Indian almond fruit
- Indian corn
- Indian cucumber
- Indian fig fruit
- Indian gooseberry
- Indian hog plum
- Indian jujube fruit
- Indian mango
- Indian peas
- Indian prune
- Indian sherbet berry
- Indian strawberry
- Indian wild pear
- Indonesian lime
- Irish moss
- Italian parsley
- Italian red onion
- Italian sweet peppers
- Italian plum
- Ita palm fruit
- Ivy gourd
- Indian curry
- Instant oatmeal
- Irish stew
- Isi ewu
- Italian sausage
- Ice cream
- Ice cream cake
- Iced gems
- Icelandic rye bread
- Ice pops
- Instant noodles
- Irish soda bread
- Italian ice
- Italian kisses
- Ice cream soda
- Iced coffee
- Iced tea
- Instant coffee
- Irish coffee
- Irish cream
- Irish whiskey
Hands up who knew there were that many foods that started with a letter I – certainly not me! And such a variety as well. I really hope you enjoyed learning all of them, you’ll be a quiz master in no time!
You could also check out these foods that start with the letter D if you want to branch out.