Continuing our series of foods with different numbers of letters, in this article we look at lucky number five!
The List: 42 Five-Letter Foods
Adobo is a famous Filipino dish that is prepared with meat, seafood or vegetables marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves and black peppercorn, browned and simmered. The adobo dish cooking method and general description in Filipino cuisine has the same similar characteristics as found in Spanish cuisine, due to the Philippines being colonized by the Spanish in the late 16th century to early 17th century.
This five-letter condiment is derived from a flowering Apiaceae plant native to the eastern Mediterranean and to Southwest Asia. It has a sweet and aromatic flavor similar to fennel and licorice and is commonly used around the Mediterranean as food flavoring for candy and alcoholic drinks, as well as giving an aromatic hint to culinary dishes. It has long been used in traditional medicine in Europe for its carminative effect.
The apple tree originated in Central Asia and is now grown all over the world. This five-letter fruit has been grown for thousands of years and different cultivars are bred based on taste, and used for cooking, eating raw, and producing apple cider vinegar. Apple is commonly paired with pork in savory dishes like sausages.
This five-letter piece of meat can enhance the flavor of your food by serving it as a side dish, as a topping on pizza, or in a sandwich. Bacon is a salt-cured pork product made from various cuts of pork, most notably the pork belly. Bacon is often served in a full breakfast meal with eggs and sausages.
Bagels are a bread product that originated in Poland’s Jewish communities. They are traditionally ring shaped and made from yeasted wheat dough, boiled, and baked, resulting in a dense, chewy, doughy interior while being browned and sometimes crispy on the outside. Bagels have been around since the 13th century, when they were referred to as ka’ak in an Arabic cookbook, and the first reference to the name “bagel” is in texts from 1610 in Poland.
Balut is a Filipino term for a boiled fertilized developing egg embryo and eaten from its shell. It is typically sold in the streets in South China and Southeast Asia, especially in Cambodia and Vietnam. Balut is acknowledged as a national food in the Philippines but its origin may be in China as it is said that Chinese traders and migrants brought it to the country.
A tender plant used in culinary dishes all around the world, Basil has many varieties but the most commonly used is sweet basil or Genovese basil. Basil originates in India and in tropical regions of Africa and Southeast Asia but it is now globally cultivated. The delicious aroma of this five-letter herb is best when it is fresh, so adding fresh leaves in the last few minutes of cooking is ideal.
Betel is a vine from the family of Piperaceae like pepper and kava. It is consumed in Asia and around the world by Asian emigrants. The leaves are wrapped around areca nut and slaked lime, and the parcel chewed.
Betel contains a substance called arecoline, which has a stimulant psychoactive effect similar to caffeine; it can lead to alertness and a sense of well-being. This property makes it illegal in the US and other Western countries, but in many Asian countries it has a strong cultural tradition. Betel is often used as a mark of respect and is offered on special occasions and when in the company of senior members of the community.
Bread, made from a flour and water dough, is a prominent staple food in a number of countries around the world. It is made with or without yeast or other leavening agents. It is thought to be one of the oldest man-made foods, with evidence of grain pounding from 30,000 years ago found in Europe and Australia. Bread can be eaten fresh, or made into toast for a breakfast favorite.
Chard takes its name from the French word carde, originating in the 14th century. This is a highly nutritious green leafy vegetable with large leaves that are often separated from the leaf blades. You can simply add it raw to your salads, but it does have a bitter taste when eaten this way. The bitterness fades when the leaves and stalks are cooked, making it perfect for stir-fries, soups, omelets and even tortillas.
This five letter herb is widespread in nature across Europe, Asia and North America. A cousin of onions and garlic, chives give a milder flavor for salads and sauces. It is also a natural pest deterrent when grown around your other vegetables!
This dairy product can make your dishes creamy and tasty. It is made of fats that have undergone homogenization. In some industrial production of cream, they speed the process by using centrifuges called separators. Cream that is skimmed from milk is called “sweet cream” to distinguish it from whey. This five-letter food has plenty of uses in various foods such as ice cream, sauces, soups, stews, puddings, custards, cakes and more.
Curry usually refers to a spice or herb mixture including turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, and chilies, but curry is also a plant whose leaves are used in traditional curries. A range of dishes from India and Southeast Asia and Oceania are referred to as curries. They can have a tomato- or coconut-based sauce, and are often eaten with rice. Curry has been dubbed the “national dish” of the United Kingdom, with an estimated 12,000 curry houses throughout the nation.
Dashi is from the family of stocks which is usually used in Japanese cuisine. It is usually forms the base flavor with additional savory liquids called umami for soups such as miso soup, clear broth soup and noodle broth soup. In the 20th century, making Dashi became less popular due to the use of granulated or liquid instant dashi.
Made with juices of meat and thickened with wheat flour or corn starch, gravy commonly accompanies roasted meat, meatloaf, rice, noodles and mashed potatoes.
Guava is a small tree from myrtle family that originates in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. India is the largest producer in the world, with 17,650,000 metric tons of guava harvested annually. The most eaten species of Guava is the Apple Guava.
Guava is often the ingredient used in making the fruit drink agua fresca, and it’s also used to make pulque de guava, a popular alcoholic drink in Mexico and in other Latin American countries. It’s also a key ingredient in punch, juices for culinary sauces, ales, candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, desserts, and a dip in chamoy.
Honey is produced from sugary secretions that bees collect from floral nectar or from secretions of other insects called honeydew. Honey has been used as food for over 8,000 years and proof of this can be found in several paintings in Cuevas de la Araña in Spain. This five-letter food is mainly use for cooking, baking, desserts and a sweetener for tea or other beverages. The Hazda tribe in north central Tanzania rank honey as their favorite food.
Kebab is a Middle Eastern dish that is popular worldwide. It is made of ground meat, mashed onion, vegetables and various other ingredients depending on the recipe. Traditionally, kebab is commonly made from mutton or lamb but other recipes used beef, goat, chicken, and fish. Pork is rarely used due to religious prohibitions. Kebabs are skewed over a fire or baked in oven or a stew such as tas kebab, with combination of herbs, raw onions and rice or bread.
This five letter food is a traditional fermented drink of Slavic and Baltic areas, commonly made from rye bread or black bread. Kvass is classified as a non-alcoholic drink in some European countries such as Ukraine, Belarus, and Poland, where the alcohol is usually low (0.5-1.0%). It is also a popular drink in Russia because Kvass can be paired with strawberries or raisins, or herbs like mint.
Liver is a common food in many parts of the world, and it is rich in iron, copper, vitamin B and preformed vitamin A. Liver from pigs, lamb, calves, oxen, chicken, and geese is sold in markets worldwide, but liver from stingray and burbot are only common in European countries. This five-letter food can be prepared by baking, boiling, frying, stir-frying or eating raw such as the liver sashimi in Lebanon called asbeh nayeh or sawda naye. Cod liver oil comes from the livers of codfish and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Mirin is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine which is a type of rice wine, similar to sake but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar level. There are three types of mirin: hon mirin (true mirin) with 14% alcohol, shio mirin (salt mirin) with 1.5%, and shin mirin (new mirin) with 1%. Mirin is also used to remove the fishy smell from fish for grilling and broiling, and it is also added to sauces such as Kabayaki sauce, Nikiri mirin sauce, Sushi su and Teriyaki sauce.
Mochi is a traditional food for Japanese New Year. It is made from short-grain glutinous rice with water, sugar and cornstarch. Mochi is also used for seasonal specialties such as New Year kagami mochi, Spring Time Sakuramochi, Children’s Day Kashiwa-mochi and Girl’s Day Hishi mochi.
Olive is the most important agricultural source of oil in the Mediterranean region and traditionally found in the Mediterranean Basin and also in South America, South Africa, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and United States. Olive is considered one of the “trinity” or “triad” basic ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine, along with grapes and grain. 90% of olives that are harvested are processed to make olive oil while only 10% are eaten as fruit.
Onion is one of the most cultivated vegetables worldwide. It is very pungent when chopped as it releases a chemical substance that irritates the eyes. It’s used in many savory dishes, or eaten raw or used in pickles and chutneys. Onion is used as main ingredient in dishes such as French onion soup, creamed onions and onion chutney.
A flattened round of ground meat, legumes, grains, vegetables or any other meat alternative served in cuisines all around the world, and usually cooked or grilled. The word ‘patty’ is commonly used in American English and it is almost a stranger to British English since they usually call this a ‘burger’. Patties are served in different styles such as croquettes, cutlets, fritters, quenelles, sandwich fillings, tartares and turnovers.
Pecan is a nut originating in northern Mexico and southern United States region of Mississippi river, which is used for snacks or in recipes such as praline candy and pecan pie. The United States and Mexico are responsible for 92% of world production. Pecans have a buttery flavor and can be eaten fresh or used in cooking.
Petai is a long, flat bean with a bright green seed that is shaped like a plump almond. Petai has a unique smell that is similar to a shiitake mushroom but much stronger. This smell is due to compounds containing sulfur, and it can be smelled on breath, sweat and other bodily fluids for a day after eating it! Petai is a popular ingredient in countries like Indonesia, eaten either raw with sambal (Sudanese cuisine) or added to cooked dishes. Petai also features in some Indian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai dishes.
Pilaf is a dish where rice is cooked together with a stock or broth, spices and vegetable or meat. Examples include paella, pilau, and biryani. This method of cooking rice spread from India to Spain. It is also the staple food and most famous dish in many countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China and Romania.
Pizza is a popular savory dish from Italy that is made from a round, flattened base of leavened wheat-based dough and topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and a selection of meat, olives, anchovies, or pineapple, according to taste. Fun fact: the world’s largest pizza, measuring 1,261 square meters, was prepared in Rome in December 2012. It was named “Ottavia”, after the first Roman emperor Octavian Augustus.
Originating in Java, this five letter food is a salad dish which commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. The most famous variant is composed of fruit and vegetables served with a spicy palm sugar dressing. It is often described as a tangy and spicy version of fruit salad. Rojak is also an essential part of Javanese tradition for a prenatal ceremony called Naloni Mitoni or tujuh bulanan, for the mother’s safe, smooth and successful delivery.
There are countless types of salad: garden salad, potato salad, Greek salad, Waldorf salad, sōmen salad. A salad usually consists of mixed pieces of food with at least one raw ingredient and added dressing, served chilled or at room temperature.
Salads can be served at different points during a meal: as an appetizer; as a side salad that accompanies a main course; as a main course salad with a high protein meat, fish, eggs, legumes or cheese; and even a dessert salad with a mix of sweet fruit. In 2016, Moscow recorded the largest Greek salad weighing 20,100 kilograms.
Salsa, paired with tacos and other Mexican or Mexican-American foods, is probably one of the best matches that you can have for this food. Salsa describes a variety of sauces that you can use as a dip which can be raw or cooked such as salsa roja and salsa cruda. Salsa as table dip was first popularized in United States by the Mexicans and in 1992 the value of salsa sales in United states surpassed tomato ketchup.
Satay is a Southeast Asian dish that made by seasoning the meat, which is skewered and then grilled, and served with a sauce, commonly made from peanuts. Satay is popular in many Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, while it is also recognized in Suriname and the Netherlands. Indonesian satay is served often with kecap manis (a sweet soy sauce) together with a type of rice cake called lontong.
Squid is a soft-bodied octopus-like sea creature. It is one of the major food resources that is used in cuisines worldwide especially in Japan, eaten as ika sōmen, as sashimi and as tempura. To avoid it turning rubbery, squid must be either cooked for a very short time, or a long time. It can be grilled, stir-fried or deep fried for just 30 seconds until opaque, or boiled or stewed for at least 30 minutes. Calamari is often thought to be the same as squid, but in fact it is a different animal.
Statistics show us that, as a species, we have a sweet tooth. The average world-wide sugar consumption is about 24 kilograms of sugar every year. In the main, sugar comes from sugar beet and sugar cane. It can also be sourced from certain species of maple trees, from sweet sorghum, and from sugar palm. Sugar is delicious but be aware that excessive consumption is related to weight gain and other health problems, including diabetes and tooth decay.
Sushi is known as one of the traditional Japanese dishes and it is prepared with vinegared rice, salt, a little sugar and variety of seafood and vegetables, often raw. Sushi is sometimes confused with sashimi which is primarily thinly sliced raw fish and meat, with an optional serving of rice. There are different kinds of sushi such as Chirashizushi, Inarizushi, Makizushi and preparation methods differ.
Syrup is a thick viscous liquid consisted of sugar and water that forms deposit crystals which are similar to molasses. Many types of syrup are used in food production such as glucose syrup, corn syrup, maple syrup and more. A simple syrup is a basic sugar-water syrup used as sweetener in making cocktails or in cooking and baking. Flavored syrup is infused with a flavoring agent such as herbs, spices or aromatics during the cooking process. Gomme syrup is commonly used for mixed drinks such as iced coffee in Japan.
Thyme is an herb from the mint family Lamiaceae which is a relative of oregano. It is used for culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes, and Thymus vulgaris is the common species used for cooking. Thyme was used for embalming in ancient Egypt while the Greeks used it in their baths, or as incense in temples. It is sold fresh or dried for cooking purposes.
Torte is a multilayered cake filled with whipped cream, buttercream, mousse, jam or fruit that is commonly baked in a springform pan. Torte has layers of cake and is made with little or no flour. The best-known tortes are Austrian Sachetorte and Linzertorte, German Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, and the multilayers of Hungarian Dobos torte.
Arc shape, thin wafer with a crispy, sweet or savory flavor, Tuile is originally from France and often served as accompaniment for other dishes, or garnish to desserts such as panna cotta or ice cream. Tuile is a thin cookie with curves like tuiles or tiles, similar to French country homes rooftops in Provence. It is traditionally made with flour, white sugar, melted butter and almonds.
This five letter food is a very thin, flat, light, crispy and dry cookie which is often paired with ice cream and other sweet dishes as a garnish. A wafer can also be a cookie with a cream filling, such as a Kitkat bar that has a wafer inside the chocolate coating. Some wafers are traditional or used for religious rituals such as a Communion wafer, a Spa wafer, a Christmas wafer and an Oblea.
Wheat is a food staple throughout the world, and it was first cultivated in the regions of the fertile crescent in 9600 BCE. This five letter food has a world trade greater than of all other crops in total and it is the second most-produced cereal. In the marketing year of 2019/2020, global production was over 765 million metric tons, an increase of over 30 million tons compared to the previous year.
Raw wheat can be ground for flour or semolina; or be germinated and dried to create malt; or crushed and de-branned into bulgur, also known as groats. Wheat is one of the major ingredients in making foods such as bread, porridge, crackers, biscuits, muesli, pasta and more.