Ever wonder what food starts with the letter "X"? Keep reading as we delve deep into the fascinating world of food that starts with X, unearthing hidden gems and untold tales that grace the plates of adventurous epicureans. From exotic fruits with mystical flavors to age-old recipes passed down through generations, we navigate through a myriad of tastes, textures, and aromas that are waiting to be savored.
14 Foods that start with X
1. Xôi (Vietnamese sticky rice)
Xôi is a traditional Vietnamese dish made from sticky or glutinous rice. It is a popular breakfast or snack item in Vietnam and comes in various sweet and savory variations. The sticky rice is typically steamed and then mixed or topped with different ingredients, such as mung bean paste, shredded chicken, pork floss, fried shallots, coconut, or sesame seeds, depending on the type of xôi being prepared. The dish can be enjoyed plain or with various accompaniments and is known for its unique sticky and chewy texture.
2. Xiao Long Bao (Chinese Soup Dumplings)
Xiao Long Bao, also known as soup dumplings, is a type of Chinese steamed dumpling that originated in the Jiangnan region of China, particularly Shanghai. It is a popular dish in Chinese cuisine and has gained international recognition.
Xiao Long Bao is typically filled with a mixture of minced pork, along with seasonings such as ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil. The filling is wrapped in a thin, delicate dough wrapper and pleated at the top. What makes Xiao Long Bao unique is the addition of a flavorful and aromatic soup or broth inside the dumpling.
The dumplings are traditionally steamed in bamboo baskets, which allows the soup to melt and form a delicious broth inside the dumpling. When properly prepared, the soup remains trapped within the dumpling until it is bitten into, creating a burst of flavorful liquid that accompanies the tender filling.
Xiao Long Bao is often served with a dipping sauce made from black vinegar and shredded ginger. Eating Xiao Long Bao involves being careful not to break the delicate wrapper, sipping the soup inside first, and then enjoying the combination of the flavorful filling and the dumpling itself.
It is a popular dish in dim sum restaurants and has gained a reputation for its delicious taste and unique eating experience.
3. Xacuti (Goan curry)
Xacuti, also spelled as Xacutti or Shakuti, is a flavorful curry dish that originates from the coastal state of Goa in India. It is a popular dish in Goan cuisine, known for its rich and complex flavors.
The base of Xacuti is a thick curry sauce made from a combination of various spices and ingredients. The key spice blend used in Xacuti typically includes a mixture of dried red chilies, cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, poppy seeds, and other aromatic spices. These spices are roasted and ground to create a fragrant and vibrant spice paste.
Xacuti can be made with different types of protein, such as chicken, lamb, beef, or shrimp. The meat or seafood is cooked in the spicy curry sauce along with other ingredients like onions, garlic, ginger, and coconut milk. The dish often incorporates tamarind pulp or vinegar to add a tangy element to the curry.
The resulting Xacuti curry is known for its bold, spicy, and aromatic flavors. It is typically served with steamed rice or Goan bread called poi. The dish is popular not only in Goa but also enjoyed by food enthusiasts around the world who appreciate the unique and vibrant flavors of Goan cuisine.
4. Xanthan Gum (food additive)
Xanthan gum is a commonly used food additive and thickening agent. It is derived from the fermentation of sugars, usually from corn, soy, or wheat. Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide, meaning it is a complex carbohydrate made up of sugar molecules.
In the food industry, xanthan gum is valued for its unique properties. It has a high viscosity, which means it can add thickness and improve the texture of various food products. Xanthan gum is soluble in both cold and hot water, and it forms a gel-like substance when mixed with liquids. This makes it useful for stabilizing and emulsifying food products, preventing them from separating or undergoing undesirable texture changes.
Xanthan gum is commonly used in a wide range of food products, including sauces, dressings, soups, ice cream, yogurt, baked goods, and gluten-free products. It helps improve the consistency, moisture retention, and overall quality of these foods. It is also used as a binding agent in gluten-free baking to replace the elasticity and structure typically provided by gluten.
In addition to its culinary applications, xanthan gum can be found in other industries such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, where it is used as a thickener, stabilizer, or suspending agent.
It is important to note that xanthan gum is generally considered safe for consumption in small amounts. However, individuals with specific allergies or sensitivities should be cautious, as it may cause adverse reactions in some cases.
5. Xigua (Chinese watermelon)
Xigua refers to a type of fruit that is more commonly known as watermelon. "Xigua" is the Mandarin Chinese term for watermelon, and it is often used in Chinese cuisine and culture.
Watermelon, or xigua, is a large, juicy, and refreshing fruit that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It has a thick green rind and a sweet, red, or pink flesh containing numerous black seeds. The flesh of watermelon is known for its high water content, making it a hydrating and thirst-quenching fruit.
6. Xnipec (Yucatecan salsa)
Xnipec (pronounced "shnee-pek") is a spicy salsa or condiment that originates from the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico. It is a traditional accompaniment to various Yucatecan dishes, adding a vibrant and fiery flavor.
The name "xnipec" comes from the Mayan word "x-ni-pec," which translates to "dog's nose" in English. This name refers to the sensation it can create, as the spiciness of the salsa can make your nose tingle.
Xnipec is typically made from a combination of habanero peppers, red onions, tomatoes, sour orange juice or lime juice, and cilantro. The ingredients are chopped or minced finely and mixed together to create a chunky salsa. The habanero peppers provide the distinctive heat and spiciness, while the other ingredients contribute to the overall flavor profile.
The salsa is known for its intense heat, so it is advised to use it sparingly or adjust the amount of habanero peppers based on personal spice tolerance. It can be served alongside various dishes such as tacos, grilled meats, fish, or as a topping for tortilla chips.
7. Xouba (small fish)
Xouba is a type of small fish that is native to the coastal regions of Galicia in northwest Spain. It is specifically known as the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) or the Bay of Biscay anchovy.
The xouba, or anchovy, is a silver-colored fish that belongs to the Engraulidae family. It has a slender body, measuring around 10 to 15 centimeters in length. The xouba is known for its strong, distinct flavor, which is both salty and slightly fishy.
In Galician cuisine, xouba is a popular ingredient used in various dishes. It is often prepared by marinating the fish in vinegar, olive oil, and spices, and then served as an appetizer or tapas. Xouba is also commonly used to make conservas, which are canned or jarred seafood products.
In addition to being consumed fresh, xouba is frequently salted and cured to create boquerones, which are marinated white anchovies. These are widely enjoyed in Spain and other Mediterranean countries.
8. Xanthorhiza (yellowroot plant)
Xanthorhiza is a genus of flowering plants that includes a single species known as Xanthorhiza simplicissima, commonly referred to as yellowroot. It is a perennial herb native to eastern North America.
Yellowroot is recognized for its distinctive yellow-colored roots, which contain various chemical compounds with potential medicinal properties. The roots have been used in traditional herbal medicine for centuries. Yellowroot is often prepared as a tea or decoction by boiling the roots in water. It is believed to have potential benefits for digestion, liver health, and as a general tonic.
The plant itself features fern-like leaves and small, inconspicuous flowers. It thrives in damp woodland areas and is commonly found along streams, in swamps, or in other moist habitats. Yellowroot is also valued for its ornamental appeal in gardens due to its attractive foliage and tolerance for shady conditions.
9. Xylitol (sugar substitute)
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute and sweetener that is widely used as an alternative to traditional sugar. It belongs to the sugar alcohol family and is derived from various plant sources, such as birch trees, corn cobs, and fruits.
Xylitol has a similar sweetness to regular sugar but with fewer calories. It is commonly used in foods, beverages, chewing gums, toothpaste, and oral care products due to its unique properties. It is considered a low glycemic index sweetener, which means it has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
One of the significant benefits of xylitol is that it does not promote tooth decay like regular sugar. In fact, it has been shown to help prevent dental cavities by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth and promoting dental health.
Xylitol is also known for its cooling effect, similar to mint, when consumed. It has a slightly different taste compared to sugar and may have a mild, cooling sensation on the tongue.
While xylitol is generally recognized as safe for human consumption, it is important to note that excessive consumption can have a laxative effect and may cause digestive discomfort, especially when consumed in large quantities.
10. Xarem (Portuguese cornmeal dish)
Xarém is a traditional Portuguese dish that consists of a cornmeal-based porridge or mush. It is particularly popular in the Algarve region of Portugal, where it is considered a local specialty.
The main ingredient in xarém is cornmeal, which is cooked with water or broth until it thickens into a smooth and creamy consistency. It is often seasoned with salt and can be enriched with ingredients such as butter, olive oil, or spices to enhance the flavor.
Xarém can be enjoyed as a standalone dish or as an accompaniment to other dishes. It is often served alongside seafood, such as clams, shrimp, or fish. The xarém acts as a flavorful base that pairs well with the natural brininess and juices of the seafood, creating a harmonious combination of flavors.
11. Xalwo (Somali sweet)
Xalwo, also known as Halva, is a sweet confectionery that is enjoyed in various cultures around the world. It has a rich history and is prepared in different ways depending on the region.
Halva or xalwo typically consists of a base ingredient such as sesame seeds, tahini (sesame seed paste), or semolina flour, combined with sugar or honey. Other ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits, or spices may also be added for additional flavor and texture.
The mixture is cooked and stirred until it reaches a thick and dense consistency. It is then usually shaped into blocks, loaves, or rounds and allowed to cool and set. The resulting xalwo or halva has a crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture and a sweet, nutty flavor.
Xalwo/halva comes in various regional variations, each with its unique characteristics and ingredients. For example, in the Middle East, it is often made with tahini and flavored with rosewater or pistachios. In India, it can be made with semolina, ghee, and cardamom, while in Eastern Europe, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds are sometimes used as the base ingredient.
Xalwo/halva is often served as a dessert or sweet treat, enjoyed on its own or accompanied by tea or coffee. It can also be used as a topping or filling for pastries, cakes, or ice cream.
12. Xanthosoma (tropical leafy vegetable)
Xanthosoma is a genus of tropical plants that belongs to the family Araceae. It consists of several species, the most notable of which is Xanthosoma sagittifolium, commonly known as elephant ear or arrowleaf elephant's ear.
Xanthosoma plants are known for their large, heart-shaped leaves that resemble the ears of an elephant, hence the common name. These plants are native to tropical regions of the Americas and are cultivated both for ornamental purposes and as a food source.
Xanthosoma plants are primarily grown for their edible tubers, which are starchy and nutritious. The tubers are typically harvested when the plants reach maturity. They can be cooked and used in various culinary preparations, similar to other starchy root vegetables like potatoes or taro.
In traditional cuisines of the Caribbean, Central America, and parts of South America, Xanthosoma tubers are often boiled, steamed, fried, or mashed and used in dishes such as soups, stews, or side dishes. The taste and texture of the tubers are similar to that of potatoes or taro, with a mildly earthy flavor.
It's worth noting that while Xanthosoma plants have edible tubers, other parts of the plant, including the leaves and stems, can contain calcium oxalate crystals, which may cause skin irritation or discomfort if handled improperly.
13. Xavante cheese (Brazillian cheese)
Xavante cheese, also known as Queijo Xavante, is a traditional cheese variety from the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. It is a type of artisanal cheese made by the Xavante indigenous people, who are native to the region.
Queijo Xavante is typically produced using raw cow's milk, which is collected from local farms or raised by the Xavante community themselves. The cheese-making process involves curdling the milk with the addition of rennet or natural enzymes. The curds are then cut, drained, and pressed to form the cheese.
The texture and flavor of Xavante cheese can vary, but it is generally a semi-soft cheese with a creamy and slightly tangy taste. The cheese has a natural rind and often retains some of the characteristics of raw milk cheeses, including a rich and complex flavor profile.
Traditionally, Xavante cheese is consumed fresh, and it is commonly enjoyed on its own, as part of a cheese platter, or incorporated into various dishes and recipes. It pairs well with fruits, bread, and preserves.
14. Xampinyons (Catalan mushrooms)
Xampinyons is the Catalan term for mushrooms. Mushrooms are widely consumed and appreciated in various cuisines around the world.
Mushrooms come in a wide range of varieties, each with its own unique flavor and texture. They can be used in various culinary preparations, including soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta dishes, sauces, and as toppings for pizzas and burgers.
In Catalan cuisine, xampinyons are often utilized in traditional dishes, such as "cargols a la llauna" (grilled snails) with mushrooms or "escalivada" (roasted vegetables) with mushrooms. They can also be sautéed with garlic, parsley, and olive oil, or used as a filling in savory pies and pastries.