Food is a form of art and expression and a necessity. It’s an essential component of any culture, and the flavors and ingredients used in a particular dish represent tradition.
Let’s take a culinary journey around the world using foods that begin with the letter L.
The List: 35 Foods that Start with L
1. Laal Maans
Laal maans is a royal, red, Rajastani curry that is not for the faint-hearted. The name laal maans means red meat. It is a delicious yet spicy combination of chunks of meat, a lot of chilies, and plenty of ghee infused with a lump of smoked coal.
The curry’s red flavor is the special Mithiana chilies used to prepare the curry. The curry has a yogurt base, rich in chilies and garlic. Enjoy it with fresh rotis or naans.
Labskaus is a traditional hamburger. The dish hails from Germany and consists of mashed potatoes, beets, and corned beef. Labskaus also includes other ingredients such as rollmops, pickles, and fried eggs. It is said to be a dish created by sailors on long voyages and needed ingredients that could last.
The winter season starts with the preparation of lahndi in Afghanistan. Lahndi is not just a dish but a tradition that started when remote communities needed meat but could not reach the bazaars because of snow.
Lahndi is dried meat prepared from sheep who have been fattened specifically for this purpose. Lamb and sheep are preferred, and beef is seldom eaten in this dish. Lahndi is prepared during December and January, and the drying process takes 15 days if it’s cold enough. It is a traditional meat dish eaten on cold nights.
Lalapan is a simple vegetable salad served as a side in Indonesia, mostly with a fried or grilled main. It is an important component of the cuisine and is a necessary side for dishes such as ayam bakar, and ayam goreng. The ingredients of the salad include cucumber, lettuce, basil, tomatoes, and long beans, primarily the inexpensive and available vegetables throughout the year.
Lamb is a great protein option, especially if you are looking for something different and flavorful. Lamb is very easy to cook in various ways globally. Lamb can be ground into mince to make burgers, cooked with the bone-in, or made into a delicious stew.
Some of the recipes where lamb becomes a star include tandoori lamb, lamb chops, roast lamb, Irish stew, kibbeh, koftas, shish kebabs, and lamb biryani.
Lamprais is a fairly complicated Sri Lankan dish. It is made of rice that has been cooked in stock, curry made of three types of meat (beef, pork, and lamb), pickle made of eggplant, onion, shrimp paste, meatballs, ash plantain curry, and the common additions can include fried eggs. These diverse ingredients are wrapped into a banana leaf and baked in an oven.
7. Lancashire Hotpot
Lancashire hotpot is a delicacy of Northwest England. The term hotpot refers to the tall earthenware used to cook the food. Similar to a casserole, this dish consists of several layers of root vegetables, lamb, and thinly sliced potatoes.
The layers are cooked in the pot for several hours, and the lid is removed in the final hour. The hotpot is often paired with a side of pickled beetroots or red cabbage.
Larb is a spicy minced meat salad found as a staple in most Thai restaurants. The salad recipe varies as per the different regions of Thailand. The ingredients typically include ground beef, chicken, or pork, fresh herbs such as mint, basil and cilantro, garlic, onions, and chillies. It is usually served over cold lettuce leaves as a side with sticky, or jasmine rice.
Larb is a perfect summer addition to any dish with its vibrancy and spicy freshness.
Famous lasagna is the superstar of Italian cuisine. Some claim that it is the first ever pasta dish created. It is basically a baked casserole prepared with wide flat pasta layered with vegetables, different cheeses, and bechamel. Every Italian region has its own traditional recipe of lasagna.
The word “lasagna” originated from “laganon” in ancient Greek cuisine, which referred to the method of layering pasta and sauce.
Lassi can be counted as the first-ever smoothie. The creamy, frothy, yogurt-based drink provides a profound cooling effect in hot scorching summers. The drink is from the lands of Punjab and Multan and started with a simple mixture of yogurt and honey. This combination was initially called the “food of gods,” which later became lassi.
Lassi comes in two varieties, savory and sweet. Different flavors such as mango lassi have also been introduced over time.
Latte is an iconic drink popular across the globe and is favored in a hot and cold form. A latte has the same base as cappuccino and a shot of espresso coffee. The mixture is combined with steamy, frothy milk to make a creamy coffee version called latte.
The latte is then topped with a thin layer of milky foam. The commercial variation of the popular drink was created in America and has been known as a breakfast beverage.
Laulau is a Hawaiian dish consisting of fatty pork, and salted butterfish wrapped in laulau leaves, steamed, and eaten with rice. This Hawaiian dish is trendy and a favorite of many on the island. A freshly made laulau melts in your mouth, is extremely flavorful, and is packed with fish and pork juices.
Lavangi is the national dish for Azerbaijan and is a stuffed chicken breast or stuffed fish dish. Traditionally, the stuffing is made of walnuts, onions, cherry plums, and different condiments.
Once stuffed, the meat is baked in an oven. It is usually seasoned with melted butter and served with a side of rice. The overall flavor of this traditional delight is a mix of both sweet and salty.
Would you like to try out the traditions of Azerbaijan with a stuffed chicken recipe like Lavangi?
You might be wondering how you might include lavender in your food. But the truth is that lavender is an excellent substitute for various components and has several health benefits.
Lavender is divided into two groups. The most popular kind is English lavender, which is good for cooking. Lavender stems, which are gray green, can be substituted for rosemary in many cuisines. The French Lavender is the other type, and it has a strong pine flavor. These edible blooms are frequently used as decorations.
Laziji is a Shandong cuisine and a classic. A whole chicken is prepared with onion, dry chili, salt, pepper, and glutamine. The cooking method of the dish is different in each region and has different characteristics. The chicken is slightly sweet and salty, spicy, and refreshing. The spicy chicken is shiny brownish and red with a thick spicy flavor.
Lechazo is a roasted suckling lamb dish popular in Spain. The lamb used in the dish’s preparation needs to fulfill strict criteria. For example, it must only weigh between 5 to 7 kg and should not be older than 30 days. The lamb should also only have fed on its mother’s milk.
As a result, the meat in the dish is extremely tender and has a smooth texture. For the making of Lechazo, the entire process of obtaining the meat is quite specialized and must be followed to the letter.
17. Leche Frita
The literal translation of “Leche Frita” is fried milk, and it remains one of the most popular and delicious Spanish desserts. These are easily available in all restaurants and bakery shops across Spain.
The cool pudding-like milk is coated in a crunchy batter made of eggs and flour and is quite easy to make at home. Leche Frita is eaten in different ways, and some people enjoy it hot with a scoop of velvety ice cream, while others prefer to relish it at room temperature.
Continuing with the Spanish theme, lechon is a traditional pork dish that takes its name from the Spanish word for milk, “leche”. In this case, it indicates the suckling pig’s age that is required to create this traditional delicacy.
The animal is usually skewered and then roasted over charcoal or wood. The spit is turned slowly to make sure that each side of the animal is cooked to perfection. This cooking style is like that of a rotisserie. Lechon is prepared during festive occasions and holidays and is a dish that is particularly famous in the Philippines.
Leeks are members of the onion clan. They look like green onions or scallions but are bigger than them. Leeks are mild in flavor and easy to prepare, making them a popular addition to soups, white meat entrees, casseroles, etc. Leeks have white flesh, leafy greens, and the bulbs are slightly larger than the stem.
Leeks can be prepared in various ways and are usually boiled, boiled, braised, or even fried. The goal is to make sure that they are tender and not overcooked or mushy.
Lemon is a citrus fruit usually not eaten raw but is used to add flavor to many savory and sweet dishes. Whether you use lemon juice or zest, it advances the dish’s flavor and is a great compliment for dishes starring chicken and seafood.
The yellow and round citrus fruit also has many health benefits. For example, the pulp is a good source of pectin fiber and is beneficial for blood sugar.
The healthy amount of vitamin C in the fruit also makes it positive for your heart’s health and collagen production. Several types of lemons are available, including Lisbon lemons, Eureka lemons, and Meyer lemons.
21. Lemon Aspen Fruit
Lemon Aspen is a type of citrus. It’s usually tiny, pale green, or off-white and has long green stems. Lemon Aspen is available from mid-summer through fall and is native to the tropical forests of Australia.
The citrus is high in calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium. They are eaten raw and cooked and often added to different types of chutneys. They are also used to prepare sauces, purees, dressings for marinades, etc. The fruit, also known as bush tucker, has been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for generations.
As the name suggests, Lemonade is a lemon flavor beverage widely drunk l across the globe. There are different variations available for lemonade and usually contain sugar, water, and lemon. It is a drink that is thought to have been made in France for the first time, using sugar cane and lemon.
After gaining popularity, different variations were found in other regions. In the US, lemonade is a pink or yellow drink very similar to the original lemonade, whereas, in the UK, lemon drinks are carbonated and may or may not include real lemon juice. Nevertheless, this popular beverage quenches your thirst on hot summer days and keeps you hydrated and refreshed.
23. Lemonade Berry
Lemonade berry is an evergreen berry or shrub typically found in coastal canyons. The fruit is red to gray, and it has a tart flavor. The fruit is small, sticky, and fleshy. Young fruit is pinkish white which then becomes a shade of reddish orange. Some people prefer to eat the fruit fresh, while others prefer to soak it in warm water before drinking it to extract the lemony flavor.
Lemongrass is an herb native to South India and Sri Lanka. You may find the stalks of lemongrass a common ingredient in many Asian recipes. It is also used to brew tea. Lemongrass reduces inflammation in your body and comes with many other health benefits. These include relieving anxiety, preventing infection, boosting oral health, and relieving bloating and pain.
Lentils, or pulses, belong to the species of plants called legumes. These are high in protein and are found to be an important part of a plant-based diet. They have, however, been prepared in a variety of ways for ages and are a pantry staple in almost every home.
Different types of lentils are usually available in the market, including the brown lentil, French green lentil, black lentil, red, and yellow lentils. Lentil soups or curries are easy to prepare and can be a delicious high protein addition to your weekly menu.
Lengua in Spanish means cow’s tongue, and this ingredient is the star of the Mexican dish tacos de lengua. People usually dice up the cow tongue in small pieces and then use it to fill tacos with other usual ingredients such as cilantro, onions, and meat. Lengua has this amazing combination of the softness of the tongue, the crispiness of the tortilla, and the freshness of the vegetables.
Lettuce is a leaf vegetable belonging to the aster family. This widely popular vegetable is usually an integral part of salads and often used as the base for green salads. The nutritional value usually depends on the type of lettuce, but it is commonly high in vitamin K and A.
The four main categories of lettuce include head lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and celtuce lettuce. Apart from salads, lettuce can also be used in wraps, tacos, smoothies, egg rolls, and sandwiches.
Linapang is a simple dish where fish is char-grilled and then boiled over a soup of onions and tomatoes. Even if the dish may sound bland, char-grilling the fish brings out some unique fish flavor and deepness.
This dish is usually prepared with leftover char-grilled fish in Philippine households. The name linapang refers to the method of cooking, chargrilling, then roasting, and broiling chicken or fish over a bowl of soup made of onions and tomatoes.
Linarang is a staple sour fish soup found around Metro Cebu in the Philippines. These are usually cooked in a large wok across all the sidewalks of a metro. It can easily be contested as the national dish of Cebu and is very popular.
The dish is very similar to the sinigang na isda, but the flavor profile is stronger and bolder. The key ingredients in a traditional linarang include black beans, added to the garlic, ginger, onion, and tomato base. The fish is then fried and added to the base.
Lingonberries are popular in Scandinavia and are used for making jams, condiments, sauces, and purees. These lesser-known berries are popular in North America and part of the Nordic diet. Lingonberries are sweet, small, and tart with a deep ruby color.
Traditionally, jam or sauce made of lingonberries is served with Norwegian pancakes. However, chefs have started adding these unusual yet flavorsome berries to cheesecakes, pickles, wines, and cocktails with everyday cooking. Have you ever tried these less popular ruby berries?
Many people are reluctant to eat liver. However, this is a protein-rich meat that can be very delicious if cooked right. Liver is prepared by either braising, pan-frying, or boiling. The traditional method of cooking liver is making it with onions and gravy. It is an excellent way to introduce people to it if they are eating it for the first time.
Another tip to preparing liver is to cut it into narrow strips and then soak it in milk for up to four hours to get rid of the strong aroma and flavor.
There is a unique way that the Finnish cook their fish, called loimulohi. Wooden planks with pegs on which the seasoned fillets of fish are placed, are driven into the ground near a fire for slow cooking.
Native Finns have been using this method to cook fish, especially salmon, for several generations. The fish fillets are usually seasoned with light salt, pepper, and herbs like thyme before cooking.
Lontong is a dish popular in both Malaysia and Indonesia. These are rice cakes in the shape of a cylinder formed inside a banana leaf. These are usually consumed with soup, curries, and salads and are considered snack foods commonly available from street vendors. All types of rice are used to make the dish, but the long basmati style rice is preferred.
One of Cyprus’s most popular delicacies is lountza which is traditionally made of dried and smoked pork tenderloin. The dish is prepared by soaking the meat in brine and then placing it in a red wine marinade. The tenderloin is then dried and smoked, either packed or left to age well. It is usually served in sandwiches or as a snack, and it can be eaten cold or after being grilled or fried.
Lychee is a tropical fruit and has a unique flavor profile and appearance. It is also known as the “alligator strawberry” because of its unusual, brown, and bumpy skin. Once peeled, the inner flesh is juicy and sweet with floral notes. The fruit can be eaten as it is or used in salads, cocktails, smoothies, or deserts.