Jam, jackfruit, jelly, and jujube are just some of the popular foods that start with the letter J. They’re usually the first foods that come to our minds when we think about the letter “J.” But you might be surprised to learn that there are a lot more you might haven’t heard of.
Everyone should eat at least one meal from the letter J’s menu, from the main course to the dessert. Here’s a compilation of foods that begin with J to kickstart your gastronomical adventure.
The List: 42 Foods that Start with J
First on our list is Jabuticaba. This fruit resembles grapes and originates in Brazil. It has purplish-black and white-pulps that grow straight from the tree’s trunk.
Jabuticaba has a very strong sweet taste and vibrant flavor, which intensifies when left longer on the tree. It can be eaten raw, and because of its candy-like flavor, it can be used to make desserts, jams, jellies, and liquor.
2. Jackal Food
Native to South Africa, Jackal food or jakkalskos is a plant that grows underground. How a jackal food plant lives is fascinating. Although it grows below the ground, its fleshy flower emerges above the surface and releases odor to attract pollinators. The flower will then temporarily trap the pollinators to get the pollen. The fruit is edible and has medicinal benefits.
3. Jacket Potato
Jacket potatoes are simply potatoes baked in their skins. A perfect jacket potato should be crispy and golden on the outside but fluffy and soft on the inside. It’s not that hard to make.
Prepare the potatoes by pricking them so they won’t explode from the heat. After baking them in the oven for more or less an hour, take them out, cut a cross on top of the potatoes, and stuff them with any filling you want, like sour cream or cheese.
This enormous and spiky fruit grows in India and Southeast Asia. The outer skin is green and spiky, but the inside is packed with edible fleshy bulbs with seeds in each bulb that are equally edible.
Unripe jackfruit is sometimes used as the main ingredient in Asian cuisines. Its flesh can be eaten raw or used to make desserts. The seeds can be boiled or roasted like nuts which are then eaten as snacks.
Jagua fruits hail from the Central and South American region. This fruit is the size of an orange or kiwifruit covered in thick skin. Its popular extract is used as a temporary tattoo by native people and for medical purposes. Jagua is edible and tastes similar to dried apple, but when it’s ripe, it tastes like quince.
Jakhya is also called wild mustard or dog mustard. It’s the seed from a plant called the Asian spider flower, commonly found and cultivated in the regions of Nepal and India. Jakhya is widely used for tempering many dishes. It has a pungent scent and crunchy texture, and can be an alternative substitute to mustard seed and cumin.
This traditional Arabian dish is made from lamb meat cooked with various Arabian spices. Preferably, a young lamb is used to prepare this dish for a more tender finish. The meat and fat are sliced into small pieces. Jalamah is a staple dish during Eid Al-Adha when meat is served abundantly.
Jalapeño is popularly associated with Mexican dishes and is used to add flavors to salad dressings, salsa, and many more. These are mid-sized chili peppers with moderate spiciness. can be diced, sliced, chopped, or however you like.
Slicing them in rings is recommended if you want to use them in nachos. And since they aren’t extremely spicy, you can eat them as is.
This crispy Indian snack is made from simple ingredients such as gram and all-purpose flour, and sugar syrup. The batter is poured spirally or in circles into the hot oil and that’s how it gets its distinct shape. Wait until they get golden and crispy, take them out, and fully submerge them in sugar syrup.
Many people cook Jalebi during festivals like Holi, Eid, Ad Diwali, but you can certainly enjoy them whenever you want. You can find many jalebi vendors on the Indian streets.
Jam is an all-time favorite spread among many people. It’s a product made from different kinds of fruits and sugar. You can easily buy this from supermarkets, but also make it at home. Pick the fruit of your choice, crush it and cook it with sugar and water until it becomes jelly-like. Its consistency should be thick and textured. Enjoy on scones or toast.
Jambalaya originates in New Orleans but has Spanish and French American influence. This aromatic comfort food is packed with everything you need in a meal. Rice, chicken, shrimp, and sausage.
Easily available in most kitchens, onions, bell peppers, and celery are fried, creating a wonderful aroma. The mix of these colorful ingredients makes jambalaya delightful to the eyes and satisfying for the tummy.
Jambolan, also known as Java plum, is a small fruit with a dark purple color and grows on big trees. This tree has many medicinal uses, from its seed down to its bark. In folk medicine, it is believed that jambolan can help reduce blood sugar and treat inflammation, diarrhea, and other conditions. It can be eaten raw or made into jam, sauces, and tarts as a food.
This meat dish is prepared by cutting meat into tiny pieces or semi-ground and molding into different shapes for a beautiful presentation. You can use any type of meat in a jambonnette. Jambonnette is traditionally flavored with garlic, onions, salt and pepper.
Jambonneau is a French term for the part of the pork leg between the hock and the shoulder and including the knuckles. First, the pork is cooked in broth and then smoked or salted. Jambonneau is eaten with sauerkraut and also cooked in soup.
This Berduin-Jordanian food means “hardened” and is composed of hard, dry, strained yogurt made from goat or ewe’s milk. Jameed is the main ingredient of mansaf which is Jordan’s national dish. It tastes a bit salty and has a sour yogurt flavor.
Jamon is a Spanish-style ham and one of the most popular foods in Spain. There are two types of jamon: jamon serrano and jamon iberico. Jamon serrano can be consumed on its own or as a snack and prepared with asparagus, melon, and green peas. Jamon iberico goes perfectly well with herbs, tomatoes, cheeses, and pasta.
17. Janssons Frestelse
Janssons Frestelse or Jansson’s Temptation isn’t your ordinary potato casserole. Hailing from Sweden, this dish is made of potatoes, pickled sprats, onions, and cream. You have to slice potatoes into thin strips and layer them with other ingredients until the casserole dish is full, then bake in the oven.
18. Jasmine Tea
This healthy and calming tea is packed with nutrients and antioxidants that may lower the risk of developing heart disease, mental conditions, and some cancers. It can also improve brain function, keep the mouth healthy and help weight loss. If you are drinking hot beverages, jasmine tea is a healthy option.
19. Jello Salad
This American salad is prepared with gelatin and fruits. The fun thing about jello salad is that the flavor is yours to choose. Aside from that, it is visually appealing on its own. You can add marshmallows, pretzels, cream cheese, and cottage cheese for more flavors and colors.
This soft and elastic food is made with fruit flavors and sugar. Jelly or gelatin comes from processed collagen. Jelly has become common in most households nowadays, but in the 19th century, it was considered a status symbol because of the difficulties in extracting jelly from animals.
21. Jerk Chicken
Jerk Chicken is a Jamaican dish made by grilling marinated chicken. The marinade or jerk sauce is a mixture of cinnamon, garlic, chiles, onion, thyme, nutmeg, olive oil, brown sugar, and soy sauce. Jerk chicken is perfect for spicy lovers because of its smoky, spicy taste.
Jerky is made from thinly sliced strips of any meat that has been dried it to preserve it. The traditional way of making jerky is by adding salt to the completely dried meat. But now, we can buy instant jerky meat marinated and seasoned with spices. You can cook it on its own and add it to omelets or stews.
23. Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem Artichokes look like ginger at first glance. They have lumpy brownish skin and are irregular in shape. Jerusalem Artichokes have a sweet and earthy flavor like chestnuts when eaten raw. But when cooked, they are similar to potatoes in terms of taste. The artichoke is versatile and can be cooked or eaten in various ways.
24. Jhal muri
This street food or chaat is from Kolkata, India, and made with puffed rice, chopped onions, boiled potatoes, and other tidbits such as roasted nuts. Jhal muri has a pungent taste and flavor common characteristics of traditional Indian foods.
Jibaro, or sometimes called jibarito, is a Puerto Rican sandwich prepared with two big plantains as bread and roasted beef steak layered with cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise. Jibaro is perfect for small parties wherein you can make a large one and slice it into smaller pieces.
Another Mexican food on the list is Jicama. It has rough and brown skin but white and textured flesh. Jicama is rich in fiber and water, and it’s good for diabetics and people trying to lose weight. Peel jicama and slice it into strips, then eat it raw. You can refrigerate it first to cool it and then dip it into salt or chili powder.
Jimbu is an aromatic herb from the Himalayan region. Its parts are used for medicinal purposes to treat common illnesses like stomach pain, flu, and cough. People dry them to preserve them because they are seasonal herbs. After the leaves are dried, they are fried in ghee to intensify their flavor. The taste plays between chives and onions. They are used to add flavor to meat, vegetables, and pickles.
Jimbu herbs serve as seasonings and spices for dishes like soups and curries. In addition to bringing a fresh flavor to food, the cultivation of Jimbu plants in remote Himalayan locations provides a source of income for local women.
Jingisukan is an alliteration of “Genghis Khan,” the man who founded the Mongol Empire, although it’s still unsure where the name came from. This Hokkaido specialty refers to a style of cooking mutton by grilling it on convex-shaped grills. The side dishes such as onions, beansprouts, bell peppers, and mushrooms are grilled alongside the meat.
The sauce served with it is usually based on sake or soy sauce. In most restaurants, the diners cook the meat and the side dishes. The griller is on the table while everyone sits around. Tabehodai or eat-all-you-can style restaurants offer unlimited meat and side dishes.
This Korean food is perfect for spicy and cold noodles. Jjolmyeon is composed of wheat noodles and is eaten chilled. Jjolmyeon means “chewy noodles,” which describes the soft and elastic noodles. The noodles are chewy but not too hard. You can buy instant jjolmyeon in Korean stores complete with sauce or noodles.
Jjolmyeon can be mixed with its sauce, beansprouts, or toasted seaweed, and colorful vegetables such as pickled radish and carrots. Put a hardboiled egg sliced in half on jjolmyeon for an authentic Korean feel.
Jocoque or jocoqui is a Mexican dish made with only yogurt and milk. It has a complex consistency similar to cheese, but it can also have a slightly thick doughy texture. In some areas, jocoque is mixed with carrots, onions, cucumbers, chiles, and other ingredients for additional flavor. It can be used in snacks such as tortillas, nachos, or pita bread and as a spread.
If preserving it, then the mixture is shaped into balls with a diameter of 3 to 4 cm each, left to dry, marinated and preserved in olive oil. There is a dry variety that looks similar to an Arab food called labneh.
This popular Central American fruit grows on short-lived trees. Jocote fruits first start to emerge as small red flowers and then become round fruits with red, purple, and sometimes yellow colors. Its skin is smooth and waxy but edible. The center of the jocote has a stone-like pit that isn’t edible.
Overall, its taste is somewhat similar to plums but with a sweet aftertaste. Jocote is not just delicious, but it’s rich in Vitamin C and has a small amount of fiber. It’s best eaten raw as-is. In Costa Rica, people eat jocote with salt. You can also boil the fruit to make a honey-like syrup.
Jokbal is a classic savory Korean meat dish. Pig’s trotters are used to make jokbal, by braising them in rice wine, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other Korean spices. Jokbal is traditionally served in a large volume, enough for a group of several people.
Because jokbal is a greasy dish, Koreans eat it by wrapping it in lettuce with kimchi. Jokbal is generally partnered in a Korean alcoholic beverage called soju and is commonly eaten at a restaurant or ordered from delivery apps.
33. Jubilee Chicken
The Jubilee Chicken is an ever-changing cold chicken salad. The reason it’s never the same is that a new dish variation marks each British monarch’s jubilee year. The Jubilee chicken developed for Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee in 2002, is a prominent example. Guests for the Golden Jubilee concert received the dish in a hamper.
34. Judd Mat Gaardebounen
Judd Mat Gaardebounen is considered one of Luxembourg’s national dishes. It consists of broad beans and smoked pork collar. The smoked pork collar had to be immersed overnight in water before boiling it with ingredients such as carrots, leeks, cloves, and celery for more or less two hours the next day.
On the other hand, the beans are only simmered for five minutes. The main ingredients are arranged on a plate for finishing, along with a special sauce.
35. Juhu Tempoyak
Juhu Tempoyak is a Southeast Asian stew consisting of tempoyak or fermented durian. A typical juhu tempoyak is made with catfish, tomatoes, turmeric, crushed lemongrass stalks, chilies, and other condiments. It is typically eaten as a side dish to rice.
Juice is a drink enjoyed by people of all ages around the world. No wonder, because it’s probably the easiest kind of drink to make. Juice comes from an endless list of sources from plants to meat to seafood.
From a simple pressing or extraction of liquid in fresh fruits and vegetables, juice has continued to evolve into creating new beverages such as commercial bottled juice and smoothies. Juices from fruits such as vegetables are a good source of Vitamin C and potassium.
Juipo or commonly spelled as jwipo, is a chewy Korean fish snack eaten as a side dish. Juipo is usually included in Korean children’s lunch boxes. It consists of dried filefish, roasted and then cut into pieces and mixed with a traditional Korean sauce called gochujang. The taste is just the right combination of sweet and salty. If you go to South Korea, you can easily find juipo on the side streets.
Jujube has different sizes and shapes. A young jujube is usually colored green and turns mahogany when ripe. When jujube becomes matured, its skin will wrinkle and look like dried dates. The flesh inside is grainy and airy, and the taste varies from sweet to tangy.
The small pit in the center is not edible. Jujubes can be eaten raw and mixed in salads; made into candies and put into jams and honey or added into stews and soups.
Juk is a Korean version of rice porridge. It’s made with cooked rice, sesame, and beans. Juk comes in different forms and textures depending on how the rice is prepared and it can be partially ground, fully ground, or whole.
Two of the most popular add-ins in juk are chicken and abalone, but you can certainly add any kind of meat or vegetable according to your liking. Juk is often served to sick people since it’s easy to eat, but anyone can enjoy this warm food anytime.
If you’re up to a more adventurous food trip, Jumiles is a must-try delicacy. Jumiles are bugs eaten as food in Central American regions. It says that to enjoy the range of effects these bugs fully offer; you must eat them alive!
But don’t worry, they’re still tasty when cooked. They are used as fillings for tacos and salads. Jumiles bugs have pain-killing properties, so they are used to alleviate toothache and arthritis. They are also said to be aphrodisiacs.
Juniper or juniper berries are used to highlight the taste and give a sharp flavor. They are primarily included in wild birds’ dishes and used to season sauerkraut and pork dishes. Juniper can also give flavors to liquors such as gin and beer. The oil from juniper can be extracted and used in aromatherapy for massages, put in diffusers, and for making perfumes.
42. Jute Mallow
Jute mallow or nalta jute is a shrub that grows in Africa and Asia. The leaves, young fruits and seeds are edible. The younger leaves are more tender, while the more mature ones have a fibrous texture. Jute mallow leaves can be really slippery when cooked; that is why they’re commonly used to thicken soups, curries, and stews.
The leaves can be dried and used for herbal teas. This superfood is packed with nutrients such as iron, riboflavin, folate and vitamins A and C.