Did you know that of the 170,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, only 400 start with the letter X?
That’s around 0.2%. No wonder it’s so hard to think of words beginning with X, let alone foods!
Fortunately, in our age of globalization, we can look to other languages for foods that start with the letter X – and here we present 40 of the best for you!
We dare you to read these names out loud: you’ll have some tongue-twisting fun. Enjoy!
The List: 40 Foods That Start With X
Xacuti is a curry coming from India, the state of Goa, to be exact. Traditionally, fishers prepare xacuti sauce with white poppy seeds, black pepper, turmeric, chili, onions, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Then, they even added some toasted coconut to the mix, bringing all the flavors together. The curry is served as a side dish for some freshly caught and prepared fish or chicken.
Today, although xacuti is thought of as an Indian dish, many cultures have adapted it. Portugal even has its variation of the name – “chacuti.” Additionally, this dish is rich in vitamin C and iron.
2. Xalapa Punch
As the name suggests, xalapa punch is a mixed drink. It’s made from black tea, dark rum, apple brandy, and dry red wine. These basic ingredients are spiced with honey, orange and lemon rinds, and ice. It has a rich, orange-based taste, and it’s perfect for winter weather. This beverage is rich in carbohydrates and fiber.
Agaricus bisporus, or as we know them in English champignons, are types of edible mushrooms. They are widely used all over the world, but native to Europe and North America.
Today, we use champignons with everything – from sauces and soups, through to garnish sides for meat, to toppings for salads. Additionally, it contains antioxidants.
4. Xampinyons en Salsa
Once we learn what xampinyons are, the rest is easy. Xampinyons en salsa is a Catalan dish of mushrooms in a sauce. Experienced cooks do all kinds of salsa with mushrooms, but the most famous one is with tomato puree, onions, garlic, and fresh parsley. Once the salsa is prepared, it can be eaten as is or, most likely, served with grilled meat. Just like other forms of salsa, xampinyons en salsa does not increase blood sugar levels.
5. Xanthan gum
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide derived from simple sugars through a fermentation process. The name xanthan comes from the bacteria used to promote the fermentation process – Xanthomonas campestris. Once fermented, this gum derivative is used as a thickening agent that binds ingredients together and can be usually found in things like salad dressings, ice creams, soups, fruit juices, syrups, and the like. Xanthan gum can lower blood sugar levels.
Xanthia is a cocktail made with cherry brandy, gin, and yellow chartreuse. It’s a little unclear where the cocktail’s name comes from since there is a type of moth and a Greek goddess with the same name.
Xarem is a Portuguese soup made from cornmeal, sardines, and clams, with a combination of grilled meats. Originally from Portugal, it spread to Cape Verde and Brazil, so today, you can find it in many Portuguese-speaking countries. In modern times, the soup goes under xarem, xerem, and hominy. Since xarem includes sardines, it can be a good source of Omega-3.
Xato is a Catalan national dish in the form of a sauce. It’s prepared with hazelnuts and almonds in the base, after which peppers, breadcrumbs, and garlic are added. At the end, the sauce is seasoned with salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Once completed, the xato sauce is served with a salad containing endive and types of small fish or tuna.
9. Xavier Soup
The Xavier soup gets its name from a famous Spanish missionary, Francis Xavier, who was later canonized as a Saint. The soup essentially starts with making flour, cream, butter, and parmesan dough. Parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs are added to make it richer with flavor. The dough is then left to solidify in the form of small dumplings. They are then boiled in salted water with chicken stock. The result is a chicken-based soup with boiled dumplings. This soup is rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
10. Xavier Steak
The Xavier Steak was invented in New York in the 19th century. It’s not clear if the name gets its origin from the same Saint as the Xavier Soup. As you might guess, the base for this dish is a New York strip steak that has been marinated in Worcestershire sauce. Once grilled, the steak is served with asparagus slices and topped with Swiss cheese. It can be served with baked potatoes or rice.
11. Xec xec
Xec xec is a traditional Goan (Indian) dish prepared with crabs. The crabs are served with mildly spicy curry and rice. The curry contains red chilies, onions, black pepper, grated coconut, roasted masala, and dried mango. Although this meal originated in India, it has already spread to all cuisines that offer and consume fish.
12. Xi Gua Lao
This food comes to us straight from Beijing. “Xi gua” means watermelon in Chinese, while “lao” stands for jelly. First, agar (jelly substance) is mixed with water, vanilla powder, and sugar. Once boiled, watermelon pieces are crushed inside, releasing all their flavored water into the mix. The dessert is left to cool and thicken and then it’s served on ice with cherries on the side.
Since it is made with watermelon, it encourages urination.
13. Xia Mi
The literal translation of xia mi from Chinese is “rice shrimp,” but it is actually small, dried shrimps that are used as ingredients in dishes such as soups and broths, noodles, salads, or fried rice. This food is rich in iron, potassium, and calcium.
14. Xiao long bao
Xiao long bao, otherwise known as soup dumplings, are small buns traditionally filled with pork and aspic (meat gelatin). Modern adaptations exist, where xiao long baos are filled with other kinds of meat, seafood, or vegetables. They’re served in a little bamboo steaming basket, hence the name. They are made with leavened or unleavened dough, which is filled and then steamed. Eaten with chopsticks, they are dipped in Chinese black vinegar and eaten as bites. Each Xiao long bao inside contains a little bit of meat and a little bit of soup.
Moving on to something sweeter, xiaodianxin are Chinese cookies. They are made with simple ingredients like flour, corn starch, butter, sugar, and milk. Once the batter is mixed, it’s baked and cool. Xiaodianxinare is butter cookies, best served with some tea or coffee as an afternoon snack. Xiaodianxin can help boost energy because of the key ingredients such as flour that is packed with vitamins and proteins.
Another Chinese soup popular in Yunnan is on our list. Xidoufen is made from boiled peas and garlic, spring onions, ginger, or chili added for flavor. Xidoufen is a good source of antioxidants and vitamins C and E.
Maybe the easiest dish to prepare on this list is Xihongshi – a form of stir-fried eggs with tomatoes. Skinless tomatoes are chopped and fried separately with chopped scallions, water, and a little bit of salt and sugar added to the mix. Once this “tomato sauce” is done, the eggs are added back and reheated with the rest of the sauce. This meal is quite common in Chinese cuisine since it’s easy and fast to make. But it’s not exclusive to China. Many cuisines and almost every region with both eggs and tomatoes make this combo in a meal.
18. Ximenia Americana
Ximenia Americana, or simply ximenia, is a bush tree with edible fruits, usually called hog plum. It is native to tropical parts of Africa, Middle and South America, South Asia, Oceania, and some parts of Australia. Researchers believe that this plant has not been domesticated and cultivated so far, even though it’s used as food. Parts of the ximenia tree can be toxic to some small animals, but native people have been using this plant as food. It’s eaten raw and squeezed into juice. Oil can be produced from the kernel of the fruit and some Asia natives even use the leaves as a vegetable. Its fruits and leaves are being used in folk medicines for cold, fever, toothache, and even as a cure for poison.
19. Ximenia Caffra
Ximenia caffra is from the same genus of plants as the Ximenia Americana. It too grows in tropical regions and is widespread in southeast Africa. The fruit of the tree is edible, with a little sour and dry taste but rich with potassium. African native tribes eat it when it’s ripe or a little overripe. They put it in water to soak and squeeze the pulp in the middle (without skins and seed). Like that, they create a porridge or store it as a jam. The pulp is also used as filling for desserts and sweets.
20. Xingren Donfu
Xingen donfu is a Chinese dessert made from almond milk, agar (jelly substance), and sugar. It’s soft and really sweet, served as an appetizer, with beverages, or after a meal.
21. Xinomavro Grapes
As the name suggests, xinomavro is a variety of dark-skinned grape. This variety of vine comes from Northern Greece and North Macedonia. The name itself is derived from the Greek words “xino” (meaning sour) and “mavro” (meaning black or dark). Because of its acidity, wine made from xinomavro is pretty sour and needs to be mixed with other, sweeter types of wines.
Xiphias gladius is the Latin name for swordfish. This kind of fish is distinctive for its long and pointed bill. Xiphias are usually game fish but can also be eaten. It is an oily fish that contains high levels of mercury, which is toxic. That’s why a lot of Food Administrations don’t recommend big quantities of swordfish meat to young children or pregnant women. Nonetheless, the meat from xiphias is marinated, grilled, or fried and served as a specialty dish.
23. Xmas Cookies
Christmas cookies – we all know them; we all love them. These classic vanilla cookies are famous for their festive forms and colors, served on every Christmas table. Xmas cookies are made with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Once baked and cooled, the biscuits are perfect for expressing artistic abilities. They are usually cut into festive forms such as Christmas trees, stars, boots, snowflakes, and the like. The frosting is green, white, and red and they are certainly the trademark of the festive Christmas spirit.
We’ve come to Mexican cuisine – xnipec is a spicy sauce made of habanero peppers, purple onions, orange juice, and salt. The origin of the name comes from the combo of the words “ni” (meaning nose) and “peek” (meaning dog). The name serves as a warning for those willing to try it – since it’s very hot and spicy, the nose of the one who tries it will burn and sweat like a dog’s nose. Mexican chefs often include this sauce (or its variations) in their dishes, but do have control over much habanero peppers go into it. We’re safe!
25. Xnipec Salsa
To continue from where we left – the xnipec salsa contains the basics of xnipec sauce with extra tomatoes and coriander and lemon juice. Salsa is great for dipping tortillas or as an ingredient in tasty tacos.
26. Xo sauce
Xo sauce is a luxurious Chinese sauce made from seafood. The sauce is made with very fine grating (steaming and frying) of scallops, shrimp, shallots, garlic, Jinhua ham, chicken stock, red chili peppers, mushroom soy sauce, fish sauce, and chili flakes. Once made, the sauce can be used as a condiment for different dishes made with rice, noodles, or vegetables.
Xocolatl is a Mexican form of hot chocolate that originated in the Aztec times. Traditionally, it contained sweet cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla, and chili powder. It had a little bit of a bitter taste, with rich flavors. Modern versions of the traditional xocolatl contain sugar, melted chocolate, honey, or maple syrup to sweeten it up. Instead of the traditional water base, milk is used to make it richer and creamier. Xocolatl can be served and drunk both hot and cold.
Xoconostle, scientifically called Opuntia matudae, is a type of cactus native to Mexico. The fruit from the cactus was traditionally used as medicine and food. It has a little sour and acidic taste and contains high levels of betalains, which are antioxidants. The fruit’s betalains were responsible for its traditional use in medicine. Xoconostle’s common names are prickly pear, cactus pear, or dessert pear. It’s great for eating as is or in syrups, candies, and jellies.
Xoi is a Vietnamese dish that can be savory or sweet. It’s made of glutinous (so-called sticky) rice. This dish can be found almost anywhere now and can also be eaten savory with vegetables, meats, mushrooms, seaweed, or tofu. The sweet variations of the dish include soaking in spices-enriched water, cooking it with a little bit of coconut milk, and topping it with shredded coconut, chocolate, or crushed peanuts.
30. Xoi xoai
Adding “xoai,” meaning mango, to our previous dish and you get xoi xoai: a Vietnamese mango dessert. It is made with ripe mango, sticky rice, and coconut milk, and is served warm. The variety of mango has a big impact on the dish, and usually the sweetest varieties are used. In other parts of Southeast Asia, black sticky rice can be used to add a colorful twist to the classic.
Xoubas is the Galician (Spanish) name for small sardines. They are part of numerous meals like stews, with potatoes on the side, or granted in sauces and salads. Sardines are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium, among other things. Xoubas are known to prevent heart diseases and lower inflammation and blood pressure.
Xuixo is another Catalan food, this time in the form of a pastry. The dough is deep-fried and coated with sugar, while the inside contains the famous Crema Catalana. This Catalonian cream is egg yolks, milk, sugar, corn flour, and vanilla or cinnamon aroma. Xuixo pastry is traditionally served for breakfast, or as a snack, usually with a cup of tea or coffee.
Xygalo is a soft cheese from the island of Crete, Greece. It’s made from raw goat’s or ewe’s milk, from locally herded animals on Crete, eating local herbs and weeds. The cheese is white and salty, with a creamy texture suitable for spreads. It is also used as an appetizer with olive oil on top.
This one is not a food, but sweet natural sugar alcohol found in fruits and vegetables. Xylitol has become popular of late as a substitute for regular sugar. It contains fewer calories and is also known not to promote tooth decay. That’s why it’s used as a substitute for many sugar-free sweets, chewing gums, or candies. Aside from calories, it doesn’t contain any vitamins or minerals since it’s highly refined.
35. Xylocarp Cupcakes
Xylocarp is a group name used for fruits that have a hard woody pericarp or shell. A good example would be a coconut. In that sense, xylocarp cupcakes are cupcakes that have coconut as the main ingredient, either dried and granted, coconut juice or sprinkled on top. The most famous coconut cupcakes are muffins sprinkled with coconut on top.
Xynomizithra is another famous Greek cheese made in Crete. It’s a whey cheese with added goat or sheep milk. Xynomizithra cheese is a variation of Mizithra cheese with a white color, soft texture, and creamy and sour taste. Xynomizithra, just like other types of cheese, is rich in proteins and calcium. It’s served as an appetizer with olive oil and olives or as a dessert with honey on top.
If you didn’t have enough of the Greek cheese (pun intended!), here’s another one – xynotyro. It’s pasteurized whey cheese, similar to yogurt, with a combo of sweet and sour taste. The name itself means sour cheese in Greek and is best eaten when cooked. Research carried out by the French Medical Institute concluded that xynotyri (Greek spelling of the word) contains bacteria with antibacterial properties that can kill Salmonella pathogens. This means that the xynotyro cheese is tasty and healthy.