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39 Foods That Start With Z

Have you ever tried to think of all the foods that start with Z? I have. Instead of counting sheep, I think of all the foods that start with each letter of the alphabet. There’s not a very long list when it comes to the letter Z. In case you’re looking to solve this mystery too, here’s a list of foods that start with Z.

Foods That Start With Z


Za’atar is two things – an herb and a spice blend. The spice blend is more commonly known, especially in the US, and is often used in recipes for hummus, as a seasoning for meats, or stirred into soups and sauces. Za’atar recipes do vary, but they usually include a mix of sesame seeds, thyme, oregano, sumac, and salt. The herb za’atar is known as Syrian oregano or wild thyme.

Zabaglione (Zabaione, Zabajone)

Zabaglione or Zabaione is Italian and can be either a dessert or a drink. In dessert form, it is a custard made with eggs, sugar, and a sweet wine like marsala. It is great paired with fresh berries or cookies. The beverage is made with the same ingredients, but the liqueur may vary.


Zagnut is a Hershey candy bar that dates back to 1930. It is still produced today, but it may be harder to find. The recipe has stayed the same over the years and is a crunchy peanut butter center wrapped in toasted coconut flakes.


Zaleti is a Venetian cookie made from cornmeal, flour, raisins, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, butter, and lemon. Perfect to pair with tea or coffee.


Zampone is a traditional Italian dish that is essentially a pig hoof (called a trotter) stuffed with sausage, and poached or cured, then served with lentils. You can also sous vide them.


Zander is a white fish native to Europe and is popular in served roasted, grilled, or fried. It is usually cooked whole.

Zante Currants

Zante currants are small raisins made from the seedless grapes known as Black Corinth. They are thought to be one of the oldest types of raisin and may have been cultivated in Ancient Greece.


Zapiekanka is a popular Polish street food. It is a hot open faced sandwich made from a sliced and toasted baguette with sauteed mushrooms, cheese, and sometimes ham, and topped with ketchup.

Zapote (Sapote)

An edible fruit native to Central America. It has a smooth brown peel and bright orange flesh. The edible sometimes stringy flesh is similar in texture to an avocado. The seeds are inedible.

Zaru Udon

Zaru Udon is a Japanese cold noodle dish in which the Udon noodles are cooked, then chilled and served with a flavorful dipping sauce that is often soy sauce based.


Often called Zarzuela de Mariscos, this is a Spanish seafood stew similar to a boulliabase or cioppino. It is traditionally made with a tomato based broth, almond paste, cured pork, and plenty of shellfish.

Zebra Cakes

A popular snack cake produced by Little Debbie made with yellow cake, coated in white icing, and finished with fudge stripes.


Zelnik is a traditional Bulgarian pastry pie made of spinach, feta, onion, garlic, and browned meat like lamb or pork, and wrapped in a wheat flour or phyllo dough.


A zeppole is an Italian donut or fritter that is usually baked or fried and covered with powdered sugar, and is sometimes filled with custard or cream.


Zerde is a traditional rice pudding dessert infused with saffron that is popular in Persian, Iraqi, and Turkish cuisine.

Zereshk Polo

Zereshk Polo is a traditional Persian dish similar to a rice pilaf that is often made with rice, barberry, saffron, and chicken.

Zha Cai

Zha Cai is a mustard plant stem that is pickled with hot pepper paste added. It is popular in Chinese cuisine.

Zhajiangmian or Zha Jiang Mian

Zha Jiang Mian is a popular Chinese dish that is both a popular street food and upscale restaurant dish. It is made of noodles, mushrooms, and a meaty sweet bean based sauce (you can also use hoisin sauce) prepared in a wok. You can top it with julienned carrots, cucumbers, and scallions.

Zig Zag Vine Fruit

The zig zag vine fruit is a rainforest fruit. These are rarely found in the US. They are edible and some say they taste similar to orange sherbet.


Although not one of the foods that start with Z, this bottled drink was discontinued in the US in 2008. Zima was a popular clear alcoholic beverage that had a lemon-lime flavor.


Zimtsterne are traditional German Christmas cookies that are usually made into stars and made with plenty of cinnamon. They have a base of almonds or hazelnuts and are iced with a white frosting that hardens.

Zinfandel Grapes

Zinfandel grapes are black skinned grapes that are generally used to produce wine.


Zingers are popular snack cakes made by Hostess and Dolly Madison brands. They come in a variety of flavors including Devil’s Food, Vanilla, and Raspberry.


One of our favorite foods that start with Z, Ziti is a type of pasta that is tube shaped and often used in classic baked pasta recipes and paired with sausage, cheese, and creamy sauces. This style of pasta originated in Campania.


Zizania is a name that often refers to wild rice. There are multiple variations such as zizania latifolia, zizania palustris, zizania aquatica, and so on.


Zongzi, or sticky rice dumplings, are popular in Chinese cuisine and are commonly made and eaten during the Duanwu Festival, or the Dragon Boat Festival. The sticky rice dumplings are usually stuffed with fillings, wrapped in bamboo leaves, and steamed or boiled.

Zoni (Ozoni)

Zoni is a traditional Japanese soup mad with a miso-based broth and mochi rice cakes. It is most commonly consumed on New Years Day. Some regions prepare it with a dashi based broth. You can also add meatballs, chicken, fish, and vegetables.


Zoodles is a word used to describe vegetables that have been spiralized into noodles. Zucchini was the first to be used in this manner, hence the “z”. Other vegetables you can spiralize include beets, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, and even onions.


Zopf is a traditional Swiss, Austrian, and German Bread that is often braided and brushed with egg yolk, egg wash, or milk, to create a golden brown crust. It is traditionally served as a Sunday breakfast food or at meals on the New Year.


We all know one of the most common foods that start with Z. Zucchini is a green summer squash that can be eaten raw or cooked, turned into zoodles, added to salads, stir fries, soups, and casseroles, or carved into zucchini boats and topped with meat and other goodies.

Zucchini Bread

Another way to use the versatile zucchini, there are many different ways to make zucchini bread, and most of them are delicious and the zucchini keeps it extra moist! Just a side note here…you can also make zucchini brownies.


Zuccotto is a chilled, almost frozen Italian dessert cake that originated in Florence, It is usually made in the shape of a pumpkin and consists of Italian sponge cake soaked in liqueur, and a filling made of ricotta, gelato, or icing. It is often topped with icing, powdered sugar, or cocoa. Fun fact: zuccotto translates to “little pumpkin”.

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana translates to Tuscan Soup. It is a classic Italian soup that is traditionally made with cannellini beans, potatoes, kale, vegetables, and pancetta or Italian sausage, and served with toasted bread. The creamy, nutrient dense soup is ideal for winter months.


Zurek is a traditional Polish soup. It is commonly made with rye starter, smoked meats and sausage, topped with a hard boiled egg and served with fresh bread.


Zwetschgenknödel are plum dumplings that are common in Germany and Romania and surrounding regions. They are usually made with plums that are cored and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, wrapped with a dough and cooked in hot water or fried.


Zwieback is a super crunchy type of toast or bread. It originated in Germany and became common in surrounding European areas. In America, zwieback is most commonly used as something to give to babies who are teething.


Zweibelkuchen is a traditional German savory onion pie or cake. It is most commonly prepared with steamed or caramelized onions, bacon, cream, and caraway seeds on a flaky pie crust and baked until golden.


Zwiebelrostbraten is an Austrian dish that consists of sliced beef topped with gravy and fried onions, and often served with potatoes or steamed rice. Sirloin steak is a great choice to use for this dish. The steak is then pounded, coated with flour on one side, and seared. The gravy is made in the same pan with the dripping from the cooked beef, then the beef is simmered in the gravy.


A type of Belgian beer.

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Heidi Deal
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