In this list of reviewing foods with different numbers of letters, we look at those fruits, vegetables, meats and condiments with four letters to their names.
The List: 36 Four-Letter Foods
Let’s start off with one four-letter food that might be a family favorite! What comes to mind when you hear beef? It might be steak, burger patties, corned beef or roast!
There’s a lot of cuisine that makes use of beef. Beef comes from the meat of cattle or cows, and is a good source of protein and nutrients. It is also the third most widely consumed meat in the world with 25% meat production worldwide. However, people of the Hindu religion don’t eat beef as it is against their beliefs.
Bran is made from the hard outer layer from a cereal grain. In botanical terms, it is formed from the pericarp, which includes fiber and the protein-rich aleurone layer. This four-letter food can be made from all sorts of cereal grains including rice, corn, wheat, oats, barley, rye and millet. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, essential fatty acids, some of vitamins and minerals.
Bran is commonly used in your bread products like muffins and breakfast cereals. Alternatively, you can find it as an ingredient in the recipe for George Washington’s “small beer” made from bran, hops and molasses.
The famous star of ceremonial occasions such as weddings, anniversaries and birthdays, a cake can range from the humblest of desserts to the most decorated showpiece. Cake is a four-letter food that is traditionally made from flour, sugar, eggs and other ingredients, then baked to produce a sweet and delicious dessert. You can decorate it with your preferred design and flavor it with icing, dried or candied fruit, nuts, cocoa and extracts such as vanilla.
Clams are a type of edible seafood, including several species of shellfish that have two identical shells joined together. Clams burrow into the ground, and have to be dug out to be harvested. Scallops are a delicious species of clam, and clam chowder is another popular culinary dish featuring this four-letter food.
Corn is a cereal plant originating from the Americas. This four-letter food is widely distributed worldwide, because it has plenty of use such as livestock feed, human food, biofuel and raw material in industry. It is use to make tortillas, tamales, corn puddings and more.
This delicious four-letter seafood is prepared and eaten in any different ways worldwide. Some crab species can be eaten whole, while with others just the claws or legs are edible. Crabs are also prepared in different ways for different cuisines: you can try the masala crab or the chili crab, or how about steamed blue crab with old bay seasoning, Alaskan king crab or snow crab with lemon butter. This mouth-watering food is a firm favorite amongst its fans.
Moving forward with a four-letter herb, dill is an annual herb from the celery family. In some European countries, dill is considered staple culinary herb together with chives and parsley. As well as pairing beautifully with fish, you can use this herb as a topping for soups such as hot red borsht, kefir, yogurt or okroshka.
Flax is a flowering plant that is cultivated as food and fiber crop in regions with temperate climate. This four-letter food can be ground into a meal or made into linseed oil for a nutritional supplement, high in omega-3 fatty acids. Flax has a host of health benefits for our bodies, including promoting digestive health and regulating blood pressure.
Jamu is a traditional Indonesian herbal medicine that has long been a part of their culture and was designated by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture in 2019 as an intangible cultural heritage. This four-letter drink can be consumed warm or cold and is made of fresh turmeric, ginger, lemon and water. It has a bitter, spicy taste, and can be mixed with honey or palm sugar to sweeten the flavor.
This traditional medicine drink has been used to maintain a healthy body and to treat diseases. It is traditionally sold by a Mbok Jamu, a Javanese woman carrying a bamboo basket with bottles of jamu on her back, but can also be found in dried or sachet form to make your own jamu at home.
Kale belongs to the family of cabbages that are grown for their edible leaves. Having become famous as a health food, featuring in morning shakes and health salads, some species of kale are also used as ornamental plants due to their colorful shades of green and purple. Did you know that flavored “kale chips” are used as a vitamin-packed substitute for potato chips?
A native fruit from central and eastern China, the commercial cultivation of kiwi’s first took place in New Zealand in the 20th century. Kiwi can be made into juices or used to flavor baking and puddings, or just eaten raw! They have a unique sweet-sour flavor, and their tiny seeds help provide fiber to your digestive system.
Lamb is the term for meat from a sheep who is less than one year old. Compared to mutton from older sheep, lamb is mostly preferred in Western countries because of its mild, delicate flavor. Different cuts of lamb lend themselves to different forms of cooking, such as grilled, roasted, boiled, braised or stewed. Lamb is a common ingredient in middle-eastern kebabs such as those from Turkish cuisine.
Lard is pig fat that has gone through a rendering process, meaning it has been heated up so that the fat separates from any other material in the food. Lard may be almost odorless and tasteless if it is properly rendered but it is high in saturated fatty acids which makes it one of the least healthy fat options out there! Lard can be used as cooking fat or shortening but it is best included in savory dishes like sausages, pâtés and fillings.
This round green citrus fruit contains acidic juicy vesicles and is a common cooking ingredient, particularly in Asia. This four-letter fruit has several different varieties such as Key lime, Persian lime, kaffir lime and desert lime. Limes are often used to add sharp, aromatic flavorings to foods and beverages, and are particularly good paired with chicken or fish. Lime is also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
A loaf is defined as a mass of food, usually baked in a rectangular pan or loaf pan. Although bread often springs to mind when we think of loaves, there are other foods that come under this umbrella because they are cooked in the same way. Examples include meatloaf and cakes.
This four-letter ingredient is probably one of the most used products in our daily life. We use milk for cooking, drinking, baking, desserts, feeding our young children and more. Milk is a very nutritious liquid food, most commonly produced by cows.
India is the world’s largest producer of milk and the leading exporter of skimmed milk powder, while New Zealand, Germany and the Netherlands are the largest exporters of milk products. Milk is processed to different dairy products such as cream, butter, yogurt, ice cream, kefir and cheese.
Plants of the Mentha species are commonly known as mint, although varieties include peppermint, spearmint and even lime mint. Mint can be used fresh or dried for cooking. It has a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet and cool flavor that you can combine with teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies and ice creams.
Mint traditionally pairs well with lamb: in the Middle East, mint is cooked in with lamb dishes while in British and American cuisines, it is served as mint sauce or mint jelly on the side.
Oats are very good source of fiber especially beta glucan, and provide excellent levels of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants. This whole- grain cereal is mainly grown in North America and Europe. Oats are known for helping control cholesterol levels and diabetes due to the way they are metabolized. That makes oats a popular food for people on a weight-control diet.
Oats lend themselves to breakfasts and can be prepared as porridge with a bowl of fruit, or in baked goods, bread, muesli and granola bars.
Known in most English-speaking countries as ladies’ fingers, this four- letter food comes from a flowering plant in the mallow family. The products of okra are characteristically gooey, producing a kind of mucus or slime when the seed pods are cooked. This slime actually contains soluble fiber, and contributes to the health benefits of the food! You can remove the slime if you cook them with acidic food such as tomatoes. Okra can also be pickled, eaten raw or included in your salads.
There are a lot of varieties of pear all around the word, with various shapes and taste, but in many places this four-letter fruit is valued for its juice. Pear is native to coastal and temperate regions of the Old World, and is harvested in the autumn. The fruit is eaten fresh, canned, made into a juice or dried as candies.
Plums are a seasonal favorite in countries where they grow, with a number of varieties including Damson, Greengage, Mirabelle, Victoria and more. Plums are widely cultivated around the world, and their flavor ranges from sweet to tart. Plums can be eaten fresh or used to make jam or even wine.
Prunes, which are dried plums, are also very popular, and particularly good for your digestive health. Dried, salted plums make a snack which is sometimes known as saladito or salao.
Pork is the culinary name for the meat of domesticated pig and is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide. This four-letter meat is consumed freshly cooked or preserved by curing to extend the shelf life of the products such as ham, smoked pork, gammon, bacon and sausage. Though pork is widely consumed, there are some religions that prohibit eating pork, namely Islam and Judaism.
Rice is a staple of the diet in many parts of the world, and provides more than one-fifth of the calories consumed by humans worldwide. Asia and Africa are the greatest consumers of domesticated rice. There are lots of varieties of rice, and even more ways to cook it! Whether it’s for an Italian risotto, Thai sticky rice, sushi, or rice pudding, there is a variety of rice that will fit your dish perfectly!
Sage is an herb with a strong aroma and earthy flavor. It is used to savory recipes and holiday stuffing. This herb is from an evergreen shrub that is part of mint family, and the most common species used for cooking are common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage or Salvia Officinalis.
Sage has medicinal properties and is particularly good at boosting the immune system and fighting coughs and colds. Ancient cultures believed that the smoke from burning sage leaves could ward off evil and keep you safe.
This four-letter food condiment is one of life’s essentials – quite literally! Our bodies need salt in our diet every day to maintain the fluid balance in our cells. Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride. It is a natural crystalline mineral present in rocks, which can be mined to form rock salt. It can also be produced by allowing salty sea water to evaporate, and then raking up the crystals that form.
Salt also has an important place in food history: it was the first method of food preservation. From salting meats to brining vegetables, salt enabled our ancestors to extend the longevity of the harvest, and feed their families a nutritious diet year-round.
Soup is a liquid comfort food, especially good for warming you up in the colder seasons. It is generally served warm or hot, and can be made of meats or veggies, and sometimes with milk or cream. Soup is similar to stew; the only difference is that soup has more liquid broth.
Because the water is served with the food, soup is a great source of vitamins that might otherwise be lost in boiled vegetables. That makes it a healthy and nutritious meal, and traditionally soup is offered when people are sick. In French cuisine, soup is classified into two groups: clear soups, like bouillon, and thick soups, such as bisques.
Sour is commonly known as a flavor, caused by acidity in the food we eat. But did you know that sour is a type of drink? It was one of the original cocktails that Jerry Thomas described in his book in 1862. It is a combination of base liquor, lemon or lime juice and a sweetener. This four-letter drink takes different names depending on the alcohol used, such as gin sour, rum sour, amaretto sour and more.
Let’s move on with another warming dish which is stew! It is a combination of solid food cooked in liquid and served in a gravy form. Solid food ingredients used for stew can be both meat and vegetables. Sometimes red wine is added for additional flavor. Stew is much thicker than soup and takes longer to cook. It is served on a plate or in a bowl with the gravy and solid ingredients.
Suet is actually the raw, hard fat of beef or mutton which is located around the loins and kidneys. It has a higher melting point than butter, which makes it ideal for deep frying and pastries. One example of a dish that traditionally uses suet is British Christmas pudding, which is a steamed cake for Christmas Day containing fruits and spices.
Taco is a traditional Mexican dish that is made of a corn or wheat tortilla and fillings which can be beef, pork, chicken, seafood, beans, vegetables and cheese. Don’t forget to add condiments such as salsa, guacamole or sour cream to add more flavor.
Traditional variations of tacos consists of tacos al pastor (made with pork grilled on a spit), barbacoa tacos (made with sheep or goat meat) and more. As the taco has gained international popularity, non-traditional variations have been created including soft-shell tacos and breakfast tacos.
Taro is the most widely cultivated member of Araceae family, and is a staple food in countries such as Africa, Oceanic and South Asian cultures. It is an ancient cultivated crop and found in tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Papua New Guinea and Northern Australia. You can roast, bake or boil Taro tubers. It contains natural sugars which give it a sweet and nutty taste.
Tart is a sweet or savory treat, usually featuring a pastry base without a lid. This four-letter baked dish can be made with fruit and custard, and comes in different popular varieties such as treacle tart, tarte tatin and Bakewell tart. Savory tarts often use cheese or a savory egg custard in the filling, such as onion, garlic and cheddar tart.
Tofu is a vegetarian favorite that originates in China. It is also known as bean curd, and it is made by coagulating soy milk and pressing the curd into a solid white soft block. You can use it in sweet and savory dishes, and it takes well to being marinated as it readily absorbs seasoning and flavorings.
Fried Tofu is a street-food bestseller in South East Asia, where tofu squares are boiled in salty stock to infuse them with flavor, and then deep fried for a crispy finish. Depending on how it is cooked, tofu is low in calories which makes it a friendly option for those who are watching their weight.
Tuna is a saltwater fish coming from the family of Thunnini. It is served fresh for sushi in Japan, and is frequently sold canned for convenience. Fresh tuna steaks have also gained popularity over the last thirty years, and celebrity chefs serve them in salads, wraps and char-grilled dishes.
Unfortunately, its popularity has come at the expense of sustainability. In some parts of the world, tuna populations have been fished to near-extinction, upsetting the balance of marine ecosystems. Tuna fishing methods are also regulated, as the bycatch threatens dolphins, marine turtles and other species.
Veal is a more expensive meat compared to beef; it comes from the meat of calves. It is an important ingredient in traditional dishes in Italian, French and other Mediterranean cuisine. Veal is used in dishes such as cotoletta in Italy, Wiener Schnitzel in Austria or the classic French dish fried escalopes.
This four-letter food is a byproduct of manufactured cheese: it is the liquid that remains after milk has been curdled and strained. Whey can be sweet or sour depending on the cheese it came from. Hard cheeses using rennet, such as cheddar, produce sweet whey, while sour cheeses like cottage cheese produce sour whey.
Whey is used to make traditional ricotta and whey butter. Whey is also the primary ingredient of most protein powders because of its high level of leucine, which is ideal for muscle growth and repair.
Also check out: Foods with 3 Letters