48 Foods That Start With U

Unearthing the world of “foods that start with U” offers an exciting culinary journey into unique flavors, textures, and cultural tales.

bowl of undhiyu

From the vibrant purple hues of ube to the rustic charm of Utah scones, the letter ‘U’ serves as a gateway to a symphony of dishes and ingredients waiting to be explored. Dive in with me as we embark on this gastronomic adventure, savoring the diverse and often under-celebrated delights that U-branded foods have to offer. Here are some of our favorite dishes and foods that start with the letter U.

Foods that Start with U (Fruits and Veggies)

Umbrella Fruit

The Umbrella Fruit is a captivating tropical delight, named due to its distinctive appearance, reminiscent of a splayed, open umbrella. Originating from dense rainforests, the fruit’s flesh is succulent and offers a tantalizing blend of sweetness with a hint of acidity. Its unusual form makes it a favorite among both children and adults, adding a touch of whimsy to fruit platters and tropical beverages. It’s also high in fiber which makes it a great option for snacks!

Urfa Biber 

Hailing from the Urfa region of Turkey, Urfa Biber is a cherished chili pepper that, once dried, adopts a deep, dark red hue. Its unique drying process, which involves exposure to the sun during the day and being tightly wrapped at night, gives it a characteristic smoky and raisin-like flavor. Despite its moderate heat, its rich, earthy undertones make it a staple in Middle Eastern dishes, adding depth to kebabs, stews, and salads.


Deeply rooted in Nigerian culinary traditions, Ugba is crafted from oil bean seeds from Africa that undergo a meticulous fermentation process. This method imparts a robust aroma and a taste profile that is an acquired taste for many. Often incorporated into traditional dishes, Ugba is celebrated for its protein-rich content and is a testament to the rich food heritage of Nigeria.

bowl of ume fruit


Steeped in centuries of Japanese culture, Umeboshi are plums that have been masterfully salted and fermented, resulting in a product that is both sour and salty. Their strong flavor profile is often used to counterbalance the richness of certain dishes. Whether tucked into onigiri (rice balls) or placed atop a bowl of steaming rice, Umeboshi is a revered condiment that showcases Japan’s dedication to preserving and elevating simple ingredients.

Urad Dal

Urad Dal, or black gram, is an intrinsic part of the culinary landscape in India. These small, black lentils, when dehusked, reveal a creamy white interior. Rich in proteins and vital nutrients, they form the base for various dishes, including the soft and fluffy idlis and crispy dosas of South India. When ground into a paste, they are also used to make vadas, deep-fried doughnut-like snacks. These lentils are typically cooked with savory items such as ginger, garlic and onions.

Ugli Fruit

Also known as Uniq Fruit or a Jamaican tangelo, is a hybrid citrus fruit, believed to be a combination of grapefruit, orange, and tangerine. It has a wrinkled exterior but is juicy and tangy-sweet on the inside. Ugli fruit is also high in vitamin C.

Ububese Fruit

Shrouded in mystery, the Ububese fruit isn’t as widely recognized or documented as many other fruits. As of my last update in 2021, specific details about its origins, flavor profile, and uses remain sparse. However, the very name suggests a unique and potentially indigenous or localized fruit that might hold significance in certain cultures or regions.


Often referred to as the “caviar of the sea,” Umibudo, or sea grapes, are a type of marine algae native to the warm coastal regions of Okinawa, Japan. Resembling miniature clusters of green grapes, these seaweeds pop in the mouth, releasing a taste that’s reminiscent of the ocean. Beyond their intriguing taste and texture, Umibudo is a superfood, rich in minerals and often served fresh as a salad or accompaniment in Japanese dishes.

close up of bowl of umibudo, a food that start with u

Umbu Fruit

Native to the semi-arid regions of Brazil, the Umbu Fruit, also known as “Spondias tuberosa”, boasts a vibrant green exterior encasing a juicy, sour pulp. This succulence is a refreshing respite in its native hot climates. Often transformed into thirst-quenching beverages, jams, and jellies, the Umbu Fruit is a testament to Brazil’s rich biodiversity and its ability to offer culinary delights even in harsh conditions.


Vibrantly colored, the Ulluco tuber paints the plate with hues ranging from bright yellows to deep purples. Native to the Andean region of South America, this tuber, second only to the potato in its native cultivation, is celebrated for its crisp texture even after cooking. With a subtly nutty flavor profile, it graces various traditional dishes, offering both taste and a delightful visual appeal.

Upland Cress

A verdant, leafy green, Upland Cress is a cousin to the more widely known watercress. Its peppery bite adds zest to salads, sandwiches, and soups. Growing in a rosette pattern with delicate leaves, it not only provides a burst of flavor but also a rich array of nutrients. A perfect garnish, it elevates dishes with both its taste and visual charm.


The Philippines’ pride, Ube, is a striking purple yam that has taken the world by storm, thanks to its dazzling color and inherently sweet flavor, similar to a sweet potato. Beyond its natural beauty, Ube is a culinary chameleon, effortlessly melding into a variety of desserts — from ice creams and pastries to the traditional Filipino “halaya”, a rich, dense jam. Its rise in global popularity is a testament to its versatility and the world’s growing love for Filipino cuisine.

Ube and taro are both starchy tubers, with the former being a vivid purple yam from the Philippines and the latter a root vegetable with a lighter purple or white flesh, and they are often mistakenly interchanged due to their similar appearance and uses in desserts.

close up of ube ice cream in bowl

Foods that Start with U (Proteins)

Urchins or Uni

Uni, the Japanese name for the edible roe of sea urchins, is a marine delicacy that tantalizes the palate with its rich, briny essence and luxuriously creamy texture. Revered by sushi enthusiasts and chefs globally, Uni is a testament to the ocean’s bounties, presenting a flavor profile that is often described as the taste of the sea itself, with sweet undertones and a melt-in-the-mouth experience.


A star in the world of Japanese cuisine, Unagi refers to freshwater eel that is meticulously grilled and glazed with a sweet-soy reduction, resulting in a dish that is both sweet and savory. Its buttery texture combined with the rich glaze makes it a favorite, whether served atop a bed of steamed rice in an ‘Unadon’ or as a stand-alone sushi piece. The meticulous preparation of Unagi is a testament to Japan’s dedication to culinary excellence.

Foods that Start with U (Dishes)


A culinary gem from the southern regions of India, Uthappam is akin to a pancake, crafted from a fermented mixture of rice and urad dal (lentils). Distinctive for its soft, fluffy center and crisp edges, the Uthappam is generously sprinkled with toppings like chopped onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, creating a mosaic of textures and flavors that dance on the palate.


Deeply rooted in Russian culinary traditions, Ukha is a clear fish soup that pays homage to the freshwater bounty. Made using fresh fish, often with the inclusion of perch or pike, the soup is simmered gently with root vegetables, herbs, and aromatic spices to create a nourishing and flavorful broth. Each spoonful captures the essence of Russian comfort food, warming both the body and soul.


Upma, a breakfast staple in South India, is a savory porridge prepared from semolina (rava) or coarse rice flour. Gently roasted and then cooked with a medley of spices, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and assorted vegetables, Upma is a harmonious blend of soft texture and aromatic flavors. Often enjoyed with coconut chutney or a sprinkle of sugar, it’s a versatile dish that encapsulates the simplicity and richness of Indian cuisine.

bowl of undhiyu


From the vibrant state of Maharashtra in India comes Usal, a robust and spicy curry that showcases sprouted beans or legumes in a symphony of spices and flavors. Often tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves and cooked with tomatoes, onions, and coconut, Usal is a flavorful journey that pairs wonderfully with bread or rice, embodying the fiery spirit of Maharashtrian cuisine.

Ulava Charu

Hailing from the Andhra Pradesh state of India, Ulava Charu is a traditional soup made from horse gram, a resilient legume known for its nutritional benefits. Slow-cooked to extract maximum flavor, this soup is enriched with tamarind, spices, and sometimes cream or milk, offering a tangy, spicy, and slightly creamy taste profile. Often served with rice, it’s a dish that showcases the rich culinary traditions of the region.


Steeped in Polish tradition, Uszka are small dumplings that symbolize the festive spirit of the country, especially during Wigilia, the Christmas Eve supper. Their name translates to “little ears”, echoing their distinct shape. Typically packed with a sumptuous blend of wild mushrooms and minced meat, these dumplings shine when served with the deep, earthy flavors of borscht, making every bite a celebration of Polish heritage. They make a perfect dinner or delicious side dish.


A winter delicacy, Undhiyu is a culinary gem from the western state of Gujarat in India. This hearty mixed vegetable curry is a colorful mosaic of fresh seasonal vegetables, aromatic spices, and delicate fenugreek dumplings called ‘muthias’. Slow-cooked to perfection, it offers layers of flavor, revealing the region’s penchant for sweet, spicy, and tangy nuances in a single dish.

bowl of undhiyu

Utica Greens

A flavorful testament to Italian-American heritage, Utica Greens originated in the city of Utica, New York. This dish exudes rustic charm, showcasing sautéed escarole bathed in garlic and peppers. Generously topped with breadcrumbs and sometimes cheese, it’s a delightful blend of textures and flavors, encapsulating the melding of Italian tradition and American innovation.

Umbricelli Pasta

From the rustic kitchens of Italy comes Umbricelli Pasta, thick strands of hand-rolled delight. Their robust nature makes them perfect carriers for hearty sauces, absorbing flavors while maintaining their chewy integrity. Celebrating the handmade tradition of Italian pasta-making, Umbricelli is a nod to simpler times and artisanal craftsmanship.

Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage

‘Holubtsi’, as locals fondly call them, are tender cabbage leaves lovingly wrapped around a hearty filling of meat and rice. This Ukrainian classic is slow-simmered in a savory tomato sauce, which lends a tangy richness to the dish. With each bite, it evokes memories of grandmothers’ kitchens, family gatherings, and the warmth of Ukrainian hospitality.


Venturing into North African cuisine, Usban is a unique Libyan delicacy. This sausage encapsulates the bold flavors of the region by stuffing seasoned rice and organ meat into intestine casings. It’s a rich interplay of textures and flavors, underscoring Libya’s rich culinary traditions and history.


Central to many East African meals, Ugali stands as a symbol of sustenance and simplicity. This dense porridge, formed from maize flour and water, possesses a neutral taste, making it the perfect accompaniment to vibrant stews and sautéed vegetables. Ugali’s starchy, filling nature has nourished generations, solidifying its role in the culinary heart of the region.

bowl of ugali

U-No Bar

A treat for the senses, the U-No Bar takes chocolate indulgence to another level. Beneath its glossy milk chocolate exterior lies a velvety, truffle-like filling that effortlessly melts in the mouth. Every bite is a fusion of rich, smooth textures, making it a sought-after candy bar for those with a penchant for chocolate luxuries.

Unni Appam

Hailing from the diverse culinary landscape of India, Unni Appam is a sweet delight that celebrates the country’s love for deep-fried treats. These little fritters, made from a blend of rice, ripe bananas, and the caramelly undertones of jaggery, are fried to a luscious golden brown. With a soft inside and a slightly crisp exterior, they are a popular treat during festivals and special occasions.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi is not just a dish but a reflection of life’s philosophy as celebrated during Ugadi, the Telugu New Year. This multi-flavored concoction embodies the six different tastes, each symbolizing an emotion or phase of human life. It’s a thoughtful blend of neem buds (bitterness for sadness), raw mango (tanginess for surprise), tamarind (sourness for displeasure), green chili (heat for anger), jaggery (sweetness for happiness), and salt (for fear). Consuming Ugadi Pachadi is an annual ritual, reminding one of the varied experiences of life and the importance of embracing each one.

Foods that Start with the Letter U (Cheese)

Urgelia Cheese

Hailing from the picturesque regions of Catalonia, Spain, Urgelia Cheese is a luscious cow’s milk cheese, celebrated for its creamy texture and delicate tang. With a distinct, orange-hued rind and a soft, yielding interior, it’s a cheese lover’s dream, perfect for pairing with fruits or simply savoring on its own.

Urda Cheese

A cherished dairy product in Eastern European countries, Urda Cheese is derived from whey, resulting in fresh, soft, and slightly grainy cheese. With a mild and slightly tangy profile, it serves as a versatile base for both savory dishes and sweet desserts, embodying the dairy-rich traditions of the region. This cheese is typically made from sheet, goat, or cow’s milk.

Unpasteurized Cheese

Unpasteurized cheese, often referred to as raw milk cheese, is crafted from milk that has not been exposed to the heat treatment of pasteurization. This allows for a richer microbial environment, which can lead to a depth and complexity of flavor often cherished by cheese enthusiasts. However, because of the retained natural bacteria, it’s also important to consume them with care and awareness, especially for those with sensitive health conditions.


Hailing from the vast landscapes and culinary traditions of Finland, Uunijuusto, or “oven cheese”, is a baked delight with a unique texture that’s both firm and slightly crumbly. Traditionally made from rich cow’s or reindeer’s milk, this cheese is often enjoyed warm, allowing its subtle, creamy notes to shine. It’s traditionally paired with cloudberry jam, a sweet-tart accompaniment that complements the cheese’s mellow profile, making it a harmonious blend of Finnish flavors.

Foods That Start with U (Dessert)

Ugli Pie

A harmonious interplay of sweetness and tartness, Ugli Pie celebrates the unique flavors of the ugli fruit, a citrus gem with Jamaican roots. Encased in a buttery crust, the vibrant filling entices the palate, showcasing how a seemingly ordinary dessert can be uplifted by an unconventional fruit, making it a delightful centerpiece for any dessert spread.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This nostalgic treat is an artful dance of textures and flavors. Its top layer showcases golden caramelized pineapples studded with bright red cherries, revealing a soft, fluffy cake beneath. Its beauty lies in the baking inversion, with the pineapples starting at the base and ending up being the star when the cake is flipped, offering a visual feast that’s matched by its delightful taste.

pineapple upside-down cake with missing slice

Ube Ice Cream

A visual and gustatory sensation, Ube Ice Cream carries the vibrant purple hue intrinsic to the Philippine yam. With every creamy spoonful, it delivers a taste that’s simultaneously earthy and sweet, transporting one to the tropical heart of Southeast Asia. It’s a testament to how traditional ingredients can shine in modern culinary forms.

Ube Halaya

 A Filipino culinary jewel, Ube Halaya is a rich, velvety concoction that melds the earthy sweetness of ube with the creamy goodness of coconut milk. Its brilliant purple hue is a visual treat, making it not just a palate-pleaser but also a feast for the eyes. Often adorned with latik (crispy coconut curds), it embodies the essence of Filipino festivities.

Ube Cake

Marrying the splendor of cakes with the allure of the purple yam, the Ube Cake is a Filipino dessert classic. Each slice unravels layers of moist, lilac-hued cake interspersed with creamy ube frosting, making every bite an exquisite play of textures and flavors.

Ui Boov

Steeped in Mongolian traditions, Ui Boov is more than just a cake. It’s a symbol of respect and celebration, often gracing ceremonial occasions. Comprising layers of flattened dough adorned with intricate patterns, it’s a testament to the Mongolian reverence for art and tradition in their culinary practices.

Unsweetened Chocolate

Stripped of sweeteners, this is chocolate in its pure, unadulterated form. It’s a raw, intense experience of cacao, resonating with deep, bitter notes. Ideal for those who crave the true essence of chocolate or for culinary endeavors that demand full control over sweetness. Melt and drizzle over a little vanilla ice cream for a sweet treat. 

Ugly Pie

Defying the norms of aesthetic perfection, the Ugly Pie is a rustic beauty that believes in substance over form. Often brimming with a mix of fruits, its haphazard appearance is a testament to the focus on genuine flavors. Each bite, bursting with the authentic taste of fruits and a crumbly crust, is a reminder that perfection often lies in imperfections.

More Foods that Start with U 

Unsalted Butter

A kitchen staple, unsalted butter is a creamy, rich dairy product devoid of added salt. Made purely from cream (and occasionally with added cultures), its pristine, neutral flavor makes it a favorite among chefs and bakers. It allows for precision in recipes, ensuring that dishes aren’t overly salty and that desserts maintain a delicate sweetness, all while delivering a silky, luxurious mouthfeel.

large piece of butter

Unagi Sushi

A culinary delight hailing from Japan, Unagi Sushi pays homage to the sumptuousness of freshwater eel. The eel, meticulously grilled, attains a perfect balance of crispy exterior and tender flesh, only to be further elevated by a lustrous glaze of a sweet-soy reduction. When nestled atop sushi rice and often enveloped with a thin strip of seaweed, it’s a harmonious blend of textures and flavors — a bite that’s deeply rooted in Japanese tradition and culinary artistry.

Udon Noodles

Udon noodles are the comforting embrace of Japanese cuisine. With their distinct thickness and pleasantly chewy texture, they are crafted from a simple dough of wheat flour, water, and salt. Whether submerged in a soul-warming broth or tossed with delectable ingredients in a stir-fry, udon noodles absorb flavors magnificently, delivering a hearty and fulfilling culinary experience.

Umami Burger

Beyond the usual sweet, salty, bitter, and sour, the Umami Burger ventures into the territory of the mysterious fifth taste: umami. It’s an exploration of depth, a journey into intensified savoriness. Built with ingredients that are rich in natural glutamates, such as juicy tomatoes, earthy mushrooms, and aged cheeses, this burger isn’t just a meal; it’s a sensorial experience. Each bite teases out the profound, meaty flavors, presenting a symphony of tastes that dance on the palate.

Umble Pie

Historically, a pie filled with the “umbles” of an animal, typically the heart, liver, and other offal of deer. The term “umble pie” is believed to be the origin of the idiom “to eat humble pie,” meaning to apologize and face humiliation. Over time, the actual consumption of umble pie became less common, but the phrase remains in the English language.

Ukrainian Dinner Rolls

Ukrainian Rolls (Pampushky) are soft and fluffy bread rolls that originate from Ukrainian cuisine. Traditionally, these rolls are often enjoyed with borscht (beet soup) or other dishes from the Ukraine. They can be plain or seasoned with ingredients such as garlic, dill, or poppy seeds. When prepared with a garlic butter glaze, they become a beloved accompaniment known as “garlic pampushky.” They are celebrated for their tender crumb and golden exterior, often brushed with butter for added flavor and shine.

Utah Scones

Distinct from the British baked goods of the same name, Utah Scones, often referred to as “scones” in the Intermountain West, are a delightful deep-fried treat reminiscent of Native American frybread. Puffy, golden, and often served piping hot, these scones have a slightly crisp exterior and a tender, airy interior. They’re commonly drizzled with honey or topped with butter and jam, making them a cherished breakfast or dessert staple in Utah and surrounding regions. The fusion of cultures and flavors encapsulated in this simple bread is a testament to the diverse culinary heritage of the American West.

bowl of ume fruit
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Foods That Start with “U”

Here are 48 foods that start with U. From fruits and veggies to spicy dishes to sweet desserts you'll never be able to get enough of.
Prep Time2 mins
Course: Food inspiration
Cuisine: african, American, Asian, Mexican
Keyword: foods that start with the letter u, foods that start with U
Servings: 1 servings


Fruits and Veggies

  • Umbrella Fruit
  • Urfa Biber
  • Ugba
  • Umeboshi
  • Urad Dal
  • Ugli Fruit
  • Ububese Fruit
  • Umibudo
  • Umbu Fruit
  • Ulluco
  • Ube
  • Upland Cress


  • Urchins or Uni
  • Unagi


  • Uthappam
  • Ukha
  • Upma
  • Usal
  • Ulava Charu
  • Uszka
  • Undhiyu
  • Utica Greens
  • Umbricelli Pasta
  • Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage
  • Usban
  • Ugali
  • U-No Bar
  • Unni Appam
  • Ugadi Pachadi


  • Urgelia Cheese
  • Urda Cheese
  • Unpasteurized Cheese
  • Uunijuusto


  • Ugli Pie
  • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • Ube Ice Cream
  • Ube Halaya
  • Ube Cake
  • Ui Boov
  • Unsweetened Chocolate
  • Ugly Pie

More Foods that Start with U 

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Unagi Sushi
  • Udon Noodles
  • Umami Burger
  • Umble Pie
  • Ukrainian Dinner Rolls
  • Utah Scones


  • Choose a recipe.
  • Gather ingredients.
  • Cook and enjoy!

Foods that Start with U FAQs

What junk food starts with U?

A popular junk food that starts with the letter ‘U’ is “Utz” potato chips. Utz is a well-known brand that produces a variety of flavored chips and snack foods.

What vegetable food starts with U?

“Ulluco” is a vegetable that starts with the letter ‘U.’ It is a colorful tuber native to South America, known for its crisp texture and nutty flavor.

What fruit starts with u?

“Ugli fruit” is a citrus fruit that starts with the letter ‘U.’ It’s a hybrid between grapefruit, Seville oranges, and tangerines. Another example is the “Umbu fruit” from Brazil, which has a juicy, sour flavor.

What French foods start with U?

In terms of authentic French foods that start with ‘U,’ there’s “Une Quiche,” which simply means “a quiche” in French, a savory tart filled with a custard made from eggs, milk or cream, cheese, meat, seafood, or vegetables. Another example might be “Un Pâté,” which means “a pâté,” a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste.

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have questions or suggestions about food that start with U? Leave them in the comments below.

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