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Have you ever wondered, “What foods start with U?” If so, you’re in luck! Here are over thirty unique foods that start with the letter U.
So, if you’re looking to add new foods beginning with U to your cost-effective kitchen, this article’s for you. Or, even if you’re playing scrabble, I can help!
In this post, you find foods and dishes starting with U. You’ll find anything from fruits and veggies to cheeses and regional dishes. Enjoy!
Even though many people will refer to the Jamaican tangelo as ugli fruit, UGLI® is a brand of Jamaican tangelos. Read here to learn more.
This citrus fruit is a hybrid of an orange, a tangerine, and a grapefruit. Its flesh is juicy and looks and tastes similar to other popular citrus fruits.
It can be eaten raw, in dishes such as fruit salads, or juiced just like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruits.
Ugni molinae is a shrub with evergreen foliage that produces small edible red or purple berries, which have a slightly tart, strawberry-like flavor. The berries are about ½ inch (1.5 cm) wide with very small seeds.
It’s native southern Argentina and Chile and has many common names such as Chilean guava, strawberry myrtle, goyavier du Chili (in French), and chilenische Guave (in German).
In New Zealand, the ugni berries are marketed as New Zealand cranberries and in Australia, they are sold as “Tazziberries”. The berries are also sold as “Ugniberry”.
Some commercial “strawberry flavoring” is made from the ugni molinae. The berries from the ugni molinae have a delicate, strawberry-like flavor with a hint of tartness. Some even say the berries smell like cotton candy and bubble gum. Others say it tastes like guava.
Ugni molinae berries can be eaten uncooked or, cooked in jams and jellies. They make a great substitute for other berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries in muffins and other baked goods.
The ububese fruit, native to Africa is commonly referred to as a custard apple. But don’t let the name fool you. It’s not an apple. It’s the fruit from a subtropical tree.
Ububese fruits have creamy flesh that is somewhat of a cross between papayas, melons like cantaloupe and custard. The fruit is green when forming on the tree eventually ripening somewhere between a yellow and red, somewhat of a burnt orange type of color.
The fruit can be eaten raw by cutting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh. The flesh can taste similar to super-sweet apples or even sweet pears.
Umbu fruits are members so the botanical family Anacardiaceae along with mango, cashews, and pistachios.
The umbu fruit is native to Brazil and commonly referred to as the Brazin plum. Umba fruit is round and can range in size from just under 1 inch to about 1.5 inches (2 to 4 cm).
These sweet fruits are right off the tree or turned into jams, juices, and sorbets.
This fruit has a sweet, tangy sometimes sour taste similar to that of citrus fruits. Ripe umbu fruits are sweeter and less acidic than unripe ones.
Unfortunately, this fruit is not marketed outside its native regions Brazil.
Urava fruits to the botanical family Lythraceae, which also includes a variety of flowering herbs, shrubs, and trees including pomegranates.
The urava tree is found mainly in mangroves throughout various regions of Africa, Australia, Asia, Borneo, and the Pacific Islands.
The urava fruit is often referred to as the mangrove apple or perepat. Not only is the urava fruit edible, so are the leaves. It looks similar to persimmons.
The fruit can be made into a refreshing drink or eaten. It has a sour taste but can be made into a soup, jam, or dipped in salt, and eaten right off the tree. It combines well with many vegetables as well as many fish dishes. Sometimes, urava is used more as a vegetable than fruit due to its sour taste.
Usuma fruits belong to the botanical family Malpighiaceae. It’s native to places in NW South America. It’s also known as Usan or Ushum. This plant is an evergreen tree (shrub) that can grow upwards of 40 feet. The fruit of this shrub is said to taste similar to peanut butter.
As a member of the botanical family Metteniusaceae, the Umari, or the poraqueiba sericea is a species of tree that produces edible fruits. This plant is found in parts of the Amazon rainforest.
The fruits can be anywhere from yellow-green, dark purple, orange, or even black when mature. Umari fruits have fleshy pulp that can be eaten cooked or raw.
As a member of the Chrysophyllum Albidum family, this fruit tree is found in parts of tropical Africa. This fruit goes by many names. Throughout the eastern and southern parts of Nigera, this fruit tree is called Udara. It other parts of Nigeria, it can be referred to as the Agbalumo or Agbaluma fruit. it’s also known as the African Star Apple to the English speaking.
This fruit has a cluster of around 5 seeds that form the shape of a star. It has orange flesh that has a sweet, but tart taste. It is often eaten raw but can be used to make drinks, with or without alcohol.
Umbra fruit trees are members of the botanical family Spondias Dulcis and are cultivated in many tropical areas around the world, including the southern part of Florida. This tree produces edible leaves that can be used as a seasoning when young or as a salad when mature. Umbras are oval-shaped green fruits about 2.5”- 3” inches long (around 6 to 9 cm). The flesh of the umbra fruit has a crunchy, slightly acidic, tart, sour flavor. When ripe, the fruit has a tropical taste, kind of like a pineapple-mango juice.
This fruit can be used in soups, stews, and salads as well as made into jams, preserves, or juices.
The ume fruit is a member of the botanical family Prunus Mume and is related to both the apricot and plum trees. Ume fruits are also known as Japanese or Chinese plums as well as Japanese Apricots.
Ume fruits are used to make juices, teas, sauces, liquors, syrups and can even be pickled or preserved. The Ume fruit is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Unzen Early Flat Onion
This variety of onions originated in Nagasaki, Japan, and gets its name from a volcano. This heirloom variety is considered a short-day onion and is as perfect for sandwiches as it is for salads. It’s also great for salsas!
Urizun Japanese Winged Bean
This is a tropical bean that can be found in Japan and Thailand. It’s a heat-loving plant that can be grown in many areas. It produces large, periwinkle (lavender) colored flowers and looks quite tropical. This bean can be steamed, stir-fried, and also makes a great addition to soups.
Utah Tall Celery
This is an heirloom variety of celery that can be grown in your backyard.
Uzbek Golden Carrot
The Uzbek carrot comes from Uzbekistan. This carrot is a golden yellow carrot and is rather thick and stubby in size. They are crunchy and sweet, making them suitable for snacking as well as cooking. They are just as great raw as they are roasted or steamed.
Umaina Japanese Swiss Chard
This heirloom variety of swiss chard comes from Japan. It’s heat tolerant and fairly easy to grow in a backyard garden. This chard has crunchy, green stems and buttery tasting leaves.
Ukrainian Purple Tomato
This purple tomato is considered a plum-type tomato and shaped much like the red Roma tomatoes commonly found in grocery stores. It’s meaty and sweet.
This is an unaged whey cheese from Macedonia and Romania.
Urda is a soft sweet cheese made from the boiled whey from cow or sheep and it very similar to ricotta cheese.
Uglichsky is a hard cow’s milk cheese from the Yarolslavi Region in Russia that has been around since before World War II. This hard cheese is light yellow in color with small holes, similar to Swiss. It is slightly acidic with a creamy consistency and is often used in wine tastings.
Udon is a type of Japanese noodle made with wheat flour, water, and salt. These noodles can be flat or round and are generally between two and four millimeters thick. Though sometimes udon is cut into squares. Udon noodles are often served in soup.
Originating in East Africa, ugali is a porridge dish made from flour using maize or cassava root. Ugali is known by names as it is eaten all across Africa. Each area has its own name. In my research, I found this dish to have over sixty names!
Uni is a Japanese word referring to the reproductive glands of the sea urchin. It’s considered a delicacy that was once found at sushi bars but has recently become more trendy, showing up on restaurant menus.
Usal is a stir fry dish made from sprouted legumes along with onion, curry leaves, and spices. It is popular with the people from the Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Upma is another dish originating from India. It’s a breakfast dish made from semolina or rice flour. It can be tailored to an individual’s preferences by adding various spices and vegetables.
Unagi is another Japanese word. It refers to a Japanese or freshwater eel. This freshwater eel can be found on sushi menus. Unlike salmon, who are born in freshwater and live in the sea, freshwater eels are born in the ocean but swim to freshwater to live.
Freshwater eel, when cooked properly, should be flaky and soft, without a fishy aftertaste. It should be somewhat sweet on the palate.
Uszka is a dish of dumplings, similar to pierogi, which are often filled with meat or vegetables like mushrooms and onions. These dumplings are often served on Christmas Even in Ukraine and Poland.
Urfa Biber is a chili pepper found in the Urfa region of Turkey that is said to have a smoky, sweet taste similar to raisins. It’s also known as the isot pepper. They are often picked when red and then dried in the sun during the day and wrapped at night so they “sweat”, thereby keeping the peppers somewhat moist.
These chili peppers have a lot of depth and are not as spicy as other chili peppers. On the Scoville scale, the urfa biber rates 30,0000-50,000 SHU.
Umbricilelli is a strand pasta from a central region of Italy known as the Umbria region. It is best described as a thick version of spaghetti noodles, made with durum wheat flour and water. Umbricelli pasta does not contain eggs.
This type of pasta pairs well with thick, hearty sauces.
Uregila cheese originates out of the mountain region of northern Spain and is also known as Urgell cheese. This cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and is a short cured, salty, creamy, semi-soft cheese. It is light in color with many small holes. It melts well and can also be eaten fresh.
Uthappam is a popular South Indian pancake made from soaked lentils and rice, ground into a flour, then cooked with various vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies, coriander, and onions.
Umeboshi are simply brined (pickled) ume fruits. The English translation is “salted Japanese plums”.
Umble pie is a dish made from an animal’s (usually a deer) heart, lungs, kidneys, gizzards, and liver.
Urad beans or Vigna mungo, are members of the botanical family Fabaceae. They are grown in South Asia and are relatives of the mung bean.
Urad beans are popular in both the northern and southern regions of India.
Utazi is a bitter-tasting African herb often used in small amounts in soups and stews. Its leaves range in color from pale to dark green and are chopped like other herbs. In the US, utazi leaves can most easily be found online here.
The whole purpose of a cost-effective kitchen is to get the most value out of every ingredient, tool, or piece of equipment you purchase.
Adding new and exotic foods is a great way to elevate everyday dishes. A new spice here, a new dish there, can be exciting for you to prepare and your family to eat.
How I would use this list…
First, if you found a food or dish on this list that interests you, first do some more research to see if it is available and a reasonable cost. If so, go for it. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Until next time…