38 Foods Starting with Z

Finding foods beginning with the letter ‘Z’ can be quite challenging, as you may already know. We’ve made efforts to uncover as many as we could, but if we’ve overlooked any, we welcome you to share them in the comments section below.

1. Za’atar

Like a magic carpet ride, Za’atar will whisk you to exotic realms of flavor. This Middle Eastern spice blend, used as a versatile seasoning in Arabic foods, typically includes thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.

2. Zabaglione

This Italian dessert seduces with its creamy, frothy texture and rich sweet flavor. Made with egg yolks, sugar, and Marsala wine, zabaglione is gently cooked to create a velvety custard, and served warm or chilled.

3. Zaleti

Visit Venice for its stunning architecture, world-famous canals and beautiful crumbly cornmeal cookies. Sprinkled with raisins and overflowing with vanilla and lemon zest, they’re a wonderful companion for coffee or tea.

4. Zampone

Zampone, a specialty from Modena, Italy, consists of a deboned pig’s trotter stuffed with ground pork meat, seasoned with herbs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and sometimes garlic. And this little piggy turned out delicious!

5. Zander

Native to Europe and parts of Asia, zander is a common freshwater fish that inhabits lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. If you wonder how to cook it, zander can be simply baked in a white wine, honey, and Dijon mustard marinade.

6. Zante Currants

These aren’t actually currants, but rather small raisins with intense sweetness and concentrated taste. Sprinkle some over your morning oatmeal or use them to bake decadent fruitcakes, because they’re currant-ly irresistible.

7. Zapiekanka

The unofficial national dish of Poland, zapiekanka is an awesome open-faced sandwich made with a halved baguette topped with sautéed mushrooms, melted cheese, and sometimes ham, then baked.

8. Zaru Soba

From the land of the rising sun (i.e. Japan), this is another great example of amazing noodle dishes. Made from buckwheat and elegantly presented on a bamboo mat (zaru), soba are topped with nori (seaweed) and paired with a savory dipping sauce.

9. Zaru Udon

There’s nothing like thick, chewy udon noodles. Served chilled with a robust salty sauce of mirin, dashi, and soy sauce that contrasts their natural subtle sweetness, you’ll be in noodle heaven. Use the wasabi and grated ginger sparingly.

10. Zarzuela (de mariscos)

This seafood stew truly embodies the coastal flavors of Catalonia. Zarzuela is a medley of fish, shrimp, mussels, and squid simmered in a rich tomato broth that’s enhanced with saffron and paprika. Simply magic!

11. Zebra Cake

Zebra Cake

Alternating layers of vanilla and chocolate cake batter create a striking zebra-like pattern when baked. Moist, soft, and irresistibly chocolaty, it’s perfect for any occasion. Here’s our delicious zebra cake recipe.

12. Zelnik

The Balkans are often referred to as a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and traditions. Take the Zelnik. It has delicate phyllo dough, reminiscent of Turkish baklava, Greek feta cheese and savory fillings such as Bosnian spiced beef.

13. Zenzero

While not a traditional ingredient in Italian cuisine, zenzero (ginger) does shine in Scaloppine allo Zenzero. Here, thinly sliced veal or chicken scaloppine are cooked in an aromatic sauce flavored with ginger, garlic, white wine, and herbs.

14. Zeppole

For Catholics world-wide, 19 March is a day of feasting. And how better to celebrate St. Joseph’s Day than with a light, airy fritter dusted with powdered sugar and filled with ricotta cheese?

15. Zerde

To make zerde, ground rice is simmered with saffron-infused water and sugar until thickened. This Iraqi dessert is quite sumptuous so maybe try just a little – if you can resist.

16. Zereshk Polo

Continuing the saffron bonanza, zereshk polo combines basmati rice steeped in saffron with tart barberries (zereshk) and tender chicken or lamb. The dried rose petals and silvered pistachios are optional, but definitely create a nice visual.

17. Zesty Sauce

No need to be upset if Burger King’s Zesty Sauce is not available anymore. Recreate it at home by mixing mustard, sweet pickle relish, lemon juice, onion and garlic powder. Season, adjust, and enjoy the tangy goodness!

18. Zha Cai

Looking to improve your condiment game? These pickled mustard stems are really something else. Pungent, salty, and slightly spicy, they go marvelously with meats and vegetables, or incorporated into hot pots and noodle soups.

19. Zha Jiang Mian

When you ask for Zha Jiang Mian, you get just that – “fried sauce noodles” (translated from Mandarin). The sauce is not fried, but rather a hearty affair of ground pork or beef, soybean paste, and aromatics such as garlic and ginger.

20. Zig-zag Vine Fruit

This plant climbs in a zigzag pattern, hence the name. It produces small, spherical fruit that are not commonly consumed by humans, but rather by birds and other wildlife.

21. Zigeunersalat

Go on, get a nice healthy salad. The German Zigeunersalat (literally translated to gipsy salad), for example, entices with sliced bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, dressed with a tangy vinaigrette made from vinegar, oil, mustard, and herbs. You’ll be shedding pounds by the minute.

22. Zima

To further your health drive, how about switching to the “malternative”? Produced by Coors and available on and off in recent years, Zima is a light alcoholic beverage similar to a cooler, with citrus, tangerine, or pineapple flavorings.

23. Zimtsterne

Just as the name suggests, cinnamon stars are traditional German Christmas cookies star-shaped and made from a mixture of ground almonds, sugar, egg whites, and cinnamon. Chewy and crispy, they’re the ideal treat for winter holidays.

24. Zinfandel Grapes

Most closely associated with California, Zinfandel are a dark-skinned grape variety primarily used for wine making. They’re bold, often exhibiting rich berry fruitiness, spicy notes, and moderate to high alcohol content.

25. Zingers

Like Twinkies, only better. Also produced under the Hostess brand, Zingers are oblong-shaped snack cakes with a cream filling (vanilla, chocolate, raspberry) covered in flavored icing. So sweet, so moist, grab ’em while you can.

26. Ziti

Ziti, a staple in Italian-American cuisine, embodies comfort and tradition. Made famous by Carmela Soprano’s lavish baked ziti, this pasta dish represents family gatherings, mob connections, and the incredible fandom of “The Sopranos.”

27. Zongzi

Zongzi are savory parcels of sticky rice filled with pork or mushrooms, wrapped in bamboo leaves, and steamed. They originated from the legend of poet Qu Yuan’s drowning, where villagers threw rice to protect his body.

28. Zoni

If you seek prosperity and good fortune for the New Year, tradition says you must have zoni. This cherished Japanese soup, brimming with mochi rice cakes and symbolic ingredients, invites blessings and abundance.

29. Zoodles

Zucchini noodles, or Zoodles, are the new craze, offering a healthier twist to traditional pasta dishes. With their low-carb and gluten-free appeal, Zoodles can replace spaghetti in dishes such as spaghetti carbonara, pad Thai, or be served with simple sauces.

30. Zopf

This rich and buttery braided loaf with a soft crumb and golden crust is often enjoyed for weekend breakfasts. It symbolizes unity and friendship in Swiss culture, though you can also find it in Germany and Austria as well.

31. Zucchini

In the United States, August 8th is celebrated as National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day, humorously acknowledging the abundance of zucchini that gardeners often have during the summer months.

32. Zucchini Flowers

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Not only are zucchini flowers edible, they’re actually pretty good in salads, stuffed with cheeses then fried, or even on pizzas. They add a mild slightly sweet flavor reminiscent of the zucchini fruit and a tender texture.

33. Zuccotto

In Renaissance Florence, noble banquets featured zuccotto, a dome-shaped sponge cake filled with ricotta, chocolate, and fruit, soaked in liquor. Adorned with chocolate shavings and fruit, it epitomized opulence and luxury.

34. Zuppa Toscana

While commonly associated with Olive Garden restaurants in the United States, authentic zuppa alla Toscana features a base of beef broth and excludes bacon, incorporating traditional Tuscan ingredients such as cannellini beans and bread for a heartier texture.

35. Zurek

Zurek’s distinctive sour flavor comes from the fermentation process of rye flour, giving it a characteristic tanginess. In Poland, it’s often served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread, known as chleb zurek, with halved hard-boiled eggs.

36. Zwetschkenknödel

The Austrian dish consists of dumplings made from potato dough filled with fresh plums (Zwetschken), sugar, and cinnamon. Similar dishes include Czech plum dumplings (knedlíky), Hungarian szilvás gombóc, and German fruit-filled dumplings (Fruchtknödel).

37. Zwieback

If you like toast, but wish you could have it even more crispy and crunchy, then Zwieback is the answer. This twice-baked bread offers a satisfying crunch and a longer shelf life, perfect for snacking or incorporating into recipes.

38. Zwijntje

This strong (8% alcohol) Tripel beer is produced in Ghent, the Flemish municipality in Belgium. It has a golden hue and a rich, malty sweetness with fruity (especially orange) and caramel notes.

Related: Foods Starting with Q
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