Did you know that the letter X makes up just 0.07% of the English language? No wonder when someone asks about food beginning with Z, your mind draws a blank! Although few American foods start with Z, there are numerous edible treats, from vegetables to whole meals, fruits to spices, which start with the letter Z that you can delight in.
The List: 39 Food that Start with Letter Z
Dating back to ancient Egyptian times, Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with ground dried thyme, oregano, and marjoram mixed with dried herbs such as sesame seeds, dried sumac, salt, and other spices.
Za’atar can be tossed into salads, and roasted chicken, mixed with olive oil, amongst other uses. It is popular in the Middle East and North African Culinary.
The many ingredients in Za’atar spice that contribute to its impressive health benefits. An example is thyme which improves the immune system, thus preventing coughing and treating bronchitis.
Zabaione is an Italian dessert, sometimes a beverage or topping dating back to the 15th Century from the Piedmont region in Italy.
It is made with egg yolks, sugar, and sweet wine such as Marsala wine, and in some cases, it may contain alcohol making it suitable for adults.
It can be served by itself or spooned over freshly cut fruit or even a cake.
Zabaione has a nutritional content of vitamin B12, which is essential for immune system function, mental health, and healthy cell division to reduce fatigue.
Zacusca is a vegetable spread that is popular in Romania and Moldova.
The spread is made from roasted eggplants, onions, tomato paste, red pepper, and vegetable oils. It is traditionally served on bread, as a relish for meats, and as a flavor for pasta dishes.
Zacusca is high in Vitamin A and C, which act as antioxidants that prevent cells from being damaged.
Eggplant is a high natural plant chemical called polyphenols, which helps process sugar if you have diabetes.
Red pepper has nutrient content of beta-carotene, which supports the overall vision and eye health.
Zakuski is a cold starter, snack, or appetizer served before meals in the food culture of Russia and Slavic-speaking countries. Zakuski is made from cold cuts, caviar, roe, pickled vegetables, and marinated mushrooms.
It can be served before the main meal as an appetizer or alongside vodka shots.
The concept is believed to have come from Eastern and Northern Europe and Asia in the 18th Century.
Zakuski is a high source of vitamin D, which is good for healthy bones and strong teeth.
The caviar ingredient is high in potassium and magnesium, maintaining healthy blood circulation and increasing hemoglobin levels.
Zakusochnyis a Russian soft blue cow cheese milk.
The cheese is prepared by squeezing curdled milk to extract more lactoserum, then adding penicillium candidum to encourage mold growth inside.
After several months of ripening in a humid place, serve this cheese with fruits, nuts, or cooked vegetables.
Zakusochny provides essential vitamins: A & D and minerals such as potassium and sodium vital for boosting the immune system and preventing diseases.
Zapiekanka or Polish pizza is an open-faced sandwich made of half a baguette or a long roll of bread, topped with mushrooms and gratin cheese.
It is a famous street food you would find served with hot ketchup on every street corner in Poland. Zapiekanka is a popular snack among students.
The snack hails back to the 1970s and a is an excellent source of fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels, improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke.
Zarda is yellow, sweet rice dessert made by traditionally boiling long grain rice with ghee, spices, milk, yellow color and flavored with cardamom and almonds.
It is a cuisine popular in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
Zedoary is a plant of South Asian origin with yellow flowers and purple leaves. It has an underground stem known as a rhizome which is the edible part of the plant with a bitter aftertaste.
It is used in Indian cuisine to flavor dals and chutneys. Zedoary is also served in Thai cuisine sliced with herbs and vegetables.
Although native to South Asia, Zedoary is now being cultivated in Florida, USA.
Zedoary rhizome is used in traditional medicine to relieve inflammation and pain while the dried rhizome is used to aid digestion. It’s also used as a mosquito repellant.
9. Zeera rice
Zeera rice is an Indian dish made of rice with ghee, cumin, and spices. It is served hot with lentils, gravy dishes, or any Indian side dish. It is popular in North India and Pakistan as a staple rice dish.
The rice is believed to have been introduced to Indian cuisine by the Moguls. Zeera rice is great to eat to boost immunity.
Zeeuwse is a sweetened Jewish pastry from the Dutch province of Zeeland. It is baked with flour, milk, salt, dark brown sugar, yeast, ground cinnamon, and butter. Zeeuwse are often eaten with coffee or on their own.
What makes Zeeuwse unique is their shape.
They are traditionally rolled out and then shaped into a shell-like shape and then covered with icing sugar or cinnamon.
Zefir is a type of soft confectionery made by whipping fruit and berry puree, egg white, and sugar with additional gelling agent pectin and agar. Zefir is a popular Russian sweet that has been named after a Polish aircraft.
Zefir is great for those watching their weight because it has zero fat which is considered a healthy snack. But watch out for the carbs in Zefir.
Zelnik is a traditional Macedonian pastry eaten mainly in North Macedonia and Bulgaria. Traditionally, Zelnik is stuffed with cabbage or sauerkraut. It is made up with thinly rolled white flour dough filled with spinach, cheese, eggs, and leeks. Zelik is usually served hot with a glass of yogurt or kefir.
Zelnik is an excellent source of energy, vitamins and protein.
This is a sweetened bread pudding typical in Czech and Slovak canteens. It is made of apples or pears and raisins soaked in milk and baked. Zemlovka is eaten as a main meal but can also be served as a dessert. It is very similar to the British bread pudding, but it has added fruit.
Zeppole is a deep-fried Italian pastry. It is made out of dough, and powdered sugar and filled with jelly, and cream such as chocolate or candied fruit. Zeppole are served as a dessert or snack.
Zeppole are great for breakfast because of the high levels of energy. A snack this high in sugar can only make a person happy because of the dopamine.
It is a food ingredient that is prepared by cutting the peel of citrus fruit such as lemon, orange, and lime. Zest is mostly used as a food flavor for food such as cookies, cakes, and confectioneries. It can also be used to add flavor to cocktails. The origin of Zest is France in the 17th century.
The aroma that comes with Zest is very appealing plus the taste when eating something that has Zest in it. The fruit peelings have anti-cancer activity protecting against colon and prostate cancer. The peels rich in polyphenols can improve insulin resistance.
16. Zha Cai
Zha Chai originated from Chongqing, China and mustard plant stem from Brassica junceais was traditionally used to pickle. Nowadays, any vegetable can be pickled. The stems of the vegetable are salted, pressed to slowly release moisture, and dried before rubbed with hot chili paste. The mixture is then left to ferment in earthenware jars. The pickle can be eaten in a chutney or achar as an accompaniment to any dish.
Zha Cai is renowned for its health benefits because It is high in vitamins which can help in weight loss and is also important for spleen and stomach improvement.
Zhaliang is a typical dish found in Cantonese cuisine and is crispy chinese dough (youtiao) wrapped inside rice noodles. Zhalian is often served with a sauce such as soy or sesame paste and enjoyed mainly for breakfast. Zhaliang is a traditional Chinese snack but can be found in Malaysia.
Although Zhaliang is great for digestion, watch out because it is high in carbs.
Zhug is a fresh Yemeni hot sauce packed with a lot of chili peppers, and fresh herbs and seasonings such as salt and coriander. Zhug is traditionally used as a sauce for barbecued lamb, marinated fish or soups, and salad.
Zhug helps in weight loss because of the component Capsaicin which increases fat burning.
Zicai is a dried sheet of edible seaweed, red algae Porphyra which grows in cold and shallow seawater. They can be eaten as snacks or used to make sushi rolls. In Japanese cuisine, it is used to wrap sushi while in Chinese cuisine it is a flavorful ingredient for soup. It is believed to have Japanese origins dating back centuries ago.
Zicai has a high amount of fiber which is good for digestion. It has traditional medicinal uses such as dissolving phlegm and helping in urinary infections.
20. Zig-Zag Vine Fruit
Zig-Zag vine fruits is a species of rainforest vines that produce edible orange fruit. Zig-Zag fruit has a very nice spicy orange flavor which is why it is great for sauces and making liqueurs. It can also be eaten as condiments in a fruit salad or mixed with ice cream. Zig-Zag is native to Malaysia, New Guinea, and the Queensland state of Australia.
21. Zigeuner Sauce
Zigeuner Sauce is a sauce made with brightly colored bell peppers, fresh tomato with vinegar, or white wine. It is used as an accompaniment to meat or as a dip for bread. The sauce is said to have originated from Hungary but became popular in German and Austrian households.
Zigeuner or gypsy sauce was popularized in Germany, where it’s used as a topping on schnitzels.
22. Zillertaler krapfen
Zillertaler krapfen, also known as Zillateral donuts are traditional crispy pastries filled with gray cheese. The fritters are made with a combination of rye flour, eggs, water, and salt. They are prepared for special occasions and festivals, served as a buffet or crisp green beans. An Austrian dish originating from the Ziller valley.
Zincica is a traditional dairy beverage made from sheep milk whey and drunk mainly in Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Zincica is similar to Kefir and has been fermented so it tastes pretty sour which is why it is often served with bryndzové halušky or boiled potato. Because of the fermentation, Zincica is a great source of calcium for making the teeth strong and healthy. It is also a great skincare product. When applied like a natural moisturizer, it makes the skin glow and eases sunburn.
24. Ziti Pasta
Ziti pasta is short, hollow-baked pasta that is seasoned with tomato or meat sauce with a generous amount of cheese. A ceremonial meal such as a wedding is served with an easy green salad and roasted broccoli. Its place of origin is Sicily, Italy. Although in some cases it is said to be from Italian-American cuisine
Ziti pasta is high in carbohydrates thus giving sustained energy to the brain and muscles. A well-balanced diet because of combination with protein ingredients. The cheese component is also important for healthy bones.
25. Zlatarski Sir
Zlatarski sir is a block of traditional Siberian cheese made from raw cow milk or sometimes a mixture of cow’s milk and sheep’s milk. It is left for 3-8 weeks before being consumed. The semi-hard cheese originates from the Zlatar mountain in Siberia.
Zlebbia or Zlabia, is a type of pastry made of flour, yeast, yogurt, and sugar or honey. Zlebbia is believed to have originated from the Middle East and is now common in Northwest Africa in countries such as Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya.
Zoervleis is Limburgian sour meat made of horse or beef, vinegar, apple butter, and gingerbread. It can be served with mashed potatoes, fries, or homemade pasta. The regional meat origin is from the province of Limburg which exists both in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Zoervleis is high in protein and less cholesterol which helps your body repair cells and make new ones. It is high in iron and vitamins which are essential in body needs for growth and development.
28. Żółty Sos Polski
Żółty Sos Polski is a sauce made up of wine, egg yolks, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and saffron. The saffron gives it a yellow look. Although it originated in Poland, it is also famous in America. The sauce is an ideal dressing for dishes such as fish and chicken.
Żółty Sos Polski is high in antioxidants boost which has omega 3-fats and vitamin A. It is high in vitamin D, vital for bone growth and development.
Zongzi is glutinous rice wrapped inside a leaf stuffed with different fillings. They are boiled or steamed and then best served with honey and wrapped in flat leaves such as bamboo leaves or banana leaves. Zongzi is also known as sticky rice in most Western countries and is usually eaten as a sweet dish.
These dumplings originated in China and are associated with the Duanwu or Dragon Boat Festival.
Zopf is a traditional Swiss bread with a soft texture and braided appearance. Zopf is made from flour, butter, yeast, milk, and eggs and is similar to the Jewish bread, challah. This buttery delicious bread is usually served for Sunday breakfast with butter and jam.
Zopf is high in fiber essential nutrients which keep you fuller and help manage sugar levels. It contains protein for building muscle mass and strength and maintaining bone health.
Zosui is a mild and thin Japanese rice soup. Rice is cooked in flavored soup with vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, and sometimes meat or seafood. It is usually served with pickles, for example, Japanese pickled plum. It’s native to Japan.
Zosui is very nutritious because of its vitamins and protein content. It can be used when one is feeling unwell from a common cold. It is also recommended for individuals with stomach upset because it is easy to digest and very healthy.
Zrazy is an Eastern European dish consisting of a thin piece of meat, usually beefsteak, wrapped around the filling and then browned and braised. It is served warm with sour cream and herbs and is similar to what the British would call a Sunday roast. This is because it is usually accompanied with potatoes, vegetables and gravy.
Zucchini is a fruit eaten like a vegetable. It is a summer squash belonging to the Cucurbitaceae plant family and is often confused with cucumber. Zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked in soups and stews. It can also be added to salad, sliced, or diced. Zucchini are native to Central America and Mexico.
Zucchini is rich in antioxidants that help protect your body from damage by free radicals. Zucchini is also rich in vitamin B6, which plays a role in diabetes prevention and management.
Zuccotto is an Italian semi-frozen dome-shaped dessert made with sponge cake, liquor, and ice cream. This creamy dessert is traditionally served chilled and sprinkled with sugar or unsweetened cocoa.
Because it is made with sugar, Zuccotto is great for helping you beat stress and mood swings.
35. Zuger Kirschtorte
This European layer cake consists of sponge cake, buttercream, and nut-meringue. The name Kirschtorte comes from the cherry brandy which flavors the cake. Perhaps this cake is for adults only? But, it is generally eaten for dessert or with a cup of coffee or tea. Heiri Hohn invented a cake from the Zug region’s Swiss cuisine in 1915.
36. Zuppa Inglese
Zuppa Inglese is a typical Northern Italy sponge trifle famous for being soaked in rum. Similar to the Western trifle, it is sweet and light with layers of sponge and chocolate custard cream. Zuppa Inglese can be served on its own or topped with fruit or sliced almonds.
The cake is full of chocolate which will give you extra energy which can be good to kick start your day.
37. Zuppa Pavese
Zuppa Pavese is a traditional Italian soup made from eggs, bread, cheese, and broth. The soup can be served any time of the day as an appetizer or as a main meal. T
It is said that Zuppa Pavese originated out of a lack of quality ingredients, so a liquid broth was poured over bread to serve as a meal. The dish has now evolved and is a rich luxury meal traditionally made out of leftovers.
Zwetschge is a popular German plum from the plum prunus domestica in Central Europe. These small plums are somewhat astringent or sour and ideal for cooking into sauces or toppings.
Zwieback is a type of crisp sweetened bread enriched with eggs baked, sliced and toasted until dry and crisp. These German rusks are ideal for dips, sauces, atchara, and many other accompaniments. They are also great with just a cup of coffee or soup.
Zwieback is a favorite for teething babies. It also acts as the first solid food for patients with upset stomachs.