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28 Foods That Start With The Letter Y

If you were asked to name foods beginning with the letter Y off the top of your head, how many could you list?

Chances are you may not be familiar with too many of them depending on where you live in the world.

There are many Y foods out there that are fruits, vegetables, desserts, and everything in between. Curious as to what they are? Here is a list of 28 foods that start with Y to teach you.


28 Foods That Start With The Letter Y

1. Yams

Yams are often confused with sweet potatoes, but there are some differences between them. The skin of a yam is darker in color, the flesh is more starchy, and they do not taste as sweet.

They taste more like a regular potato and can grow very large. Some can weigh over 70 kilograms!

2. Yam Beans

The yam bean is also known as the jicama and it originates from Latin America.

It is closely related to soybeans and other legumes.

An interesting fact about them is that their pods are actually toxic when they are mature, but when young, they can be eaten.

3. Yellow Eye Beans

Yellow eye beans are a staple in many American pantries.

They are very versatile and have the perfect texture when cooked just right. They don’t have an overpowering flavor and add a nice touch to soups or as a side dish.

4. Yiessas

Yiessas grow on trees and are small fruits with a thin yellowish-orange skin.

Their flesh is sweet and moist. Once they are picked after they reach maturation, they have to sit for a bit of time to ripen before eating.

5. Yakhni

Yakhni is a savory meat dish that refers to a curry.

Two of the main ingredients in yakhni are yogurt and saffron. The yogurt adds a creaminess to the dish while the saffron packs a punch of flavor.

6. Yakisoba

Yakisoba is a traditional Japanese dish and it translates to “grilled noodles.”

It is similar to ramen or Chow Mein noodles. The noodles are stir-fried and then meat and various vegetables are added to create a comforting and delicious dish.

7. Yangmei

This berry originates from China and has many nicknames, but perhaps the most well-known name is “yumberry.”

It’s a very suitable nickname for the Yangmei.

It has a similar flavor to a strawberry or raspberry but it has more of an herbal taste. Yangmei that is bright red are sour and ones that are dark red are much sweeter.

8. Yalanchi

Yalanchi is a popular Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dish that translates to “vegetarian stuffed grape leaves.”

They are typically served cold and consist of rice, finely chopped onion, fresh parsley, fresh dill, and lemon juice.

The mixture is rolled up in preserved grape leaves and then baked in the oven.

9. Yacon

Meaning “water root” in the Inca language, the yacon originates from South America. At first glance, it looks like a potato but is much more juicy and sweet.

Yacon has many health benefits including aiding in digestion and boosting the immune system.

10. Yautia

Another name for yautia is “malanga.” It is a starchy root vegetable that has an exterior that looks similar to a yam.

The flesh of it is crisp and can be of various colors.

It has a flavor that can be described as earthy and nutty when it is prepared properly.

11. Yuca

Yuca is the root of the Cassava plant and it grows in tropical climates all around the world.

The flavor of yuca has been described as lighter and fluffier than a regular potato and is typically crispy on the outside when cooked. It is toxic when eaten raw, so be careful!

12. Yeast

Baking bread or brewing beer?

Yeast is a necessary ingredient. It is a living single-celled fungi that ferment once it interacts with the sugars in bread, and thus makes it rise while it bakes.

13. Yellow Plum

There are approximately 40 species of plums that exist, and the yellow plum is one of them.

The flesh of this fruit is very sweet, but the taste of the skin adds a hint of tartness.

The yellow plum can be eaten on its own, used as a baking ingredient, or made into a jam.

14. Yemas

“Yemas” is the Spanish word for egg yolks and it is also the name of a traditional Spanish dessert (the full name for it is yemas de Santa Teresa).

They are very simple to make and consist of granulated sugar, water, powdered sugar, and egg yolks, of course. They are rolled into small balls and then topped with powdered sugar.

15. Yellowtail

Contrary to what some people may think, yellowtail is not tuna.

It is actually in reference to a species of fish called Japanese amberjack and it habits the Pacific Ocean between Japan and Hawaii. It is popular in sushi restaurants and is commonly served raw.

Yellowtail is an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as many other vitamins and minerals.

16. Yellow Squash

Yellow squash, also called “summer squash,” is an incredibly nutritious vegetable and has a consistency that is similar to zucchini.

It has a mellow flavor but is delicious when it is dressed up with olive oil and various spices. Yellow squash can be sauteed, roasted, or grilled.

17. Yogurt

Here is a “Y” food that everyone knows. Yogurt is a dairy product and it is made by taking fresh milk, pasteurizing it, and then fermenting it with live bacteria cultures.

The result is a creamy product that can have added flavors to it.

18. Yellow Wax Beans

Yellow wax beans look like a yellow version of traditional green beans.

They are usually harvested young and have a crisp, firm texture as well as grassy and nutty flavors.

The term “wax” is used to describe the yellow wax beans due to the interior legumes having a very faint waxy texture.

19. Yellowfin Tuna

Yellowfin tuna is what often gets confused with yellowtail, but yellowtail is also very commonly served in sushi restaurants as sashimi.

Like yellowtail, yellowfin tuna also is very high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

It can be found in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

20. Yodels

Yodels are chocolate snack cakes that come premade and individually wrapped, but it is possible to make them in your kitchen, too.

There is a vanilla cream in the center and it is swirled into the cake, which you can see once you bite into it.

21. Yolks

Eggs are a vital ingredient to many recipes and their yolks are no exception.

The bright yellow center is concentrated on most of the calories, fat, and omega-3 fatty acids that make up the egg.

22. Yōkan

Yōkan is a traditional Japanese dessert with a gelatinous texture. It is made with red azuki beans, agar, and sugar and formed into a rectangular block.

Once it is chilled, it’s cut into slices and served as a refreshing summer treat.

Additional ingredients, like fruits or matcha powder, can be added as well.

23. Yorkshire Pudding

This classic English starter dish is surprisingly very simple to make.

The ingredients are eggs, whole milk, salt, flour, and vegetable oil for greasing the pan.

They come out of the oven a beautiful golden brown color and should have a nice crisp to them.

24. Yoginanas

Yoginanas is what you get when you cross a banana with yogurt.

Half of a banana is placed on a popsicle stick and then dipped in yogurt to coat it.

It can then be rolled around in crushed corn flakes. It makes a very healthy snack or dessert!

25. Yuzu

Yuzu is a citrus fruit that looks like a small orange and it grows in East Asia.

It has thick skin and is described as much more sour than other citrus fruits.

Yuzu has many health benefits and its oil is commonly used for aromatherapy or mixed into perfumes.

26. Yiros

Yiros (also known as “gyros”) is an incredibly popular Greek dish.

Fresh pita bread is lightly grilled and then filled with meat, tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce.

Lamb is the most commonly used meat in yiros, but chicken or pork may also be used.

27. Ya Pear

The ya pear hails from China and looks slightly more rounded than a European pear.

It has thin pale-colored skin and juicy flesh that is very sweet. They can be eaten on their own or sliced up and served in a salad.

28. Yardlong

Last but not least, yardlong beans are named after how long they can grow in length but are often eaten before they are fully mature.

They are a legume that can grow in almost any warm region of the world and are widely used in many Asian dishes.

They have a more mild flavor than other legumes of the same family.

I hope this list taught you something new about different Y foods from around the globe. How many of them have you tried?