43 Foods That Start With I That May Surprise You

, Staff Writer
Updated May 27, 2021
i food word insalata caprese
    i food word insalata caprese
    Ismail Chiro / EyeEm / Getty Images
    Used under Getty Image license

Are you searching for some interesting foods that start with “i” to expand your horizons? Beyond the obvious “i” foods like ice cream and iceberg lettuce, there are some truly interesting foods starting with “i” to consider.

Fruits and Vegetables That Start With I

There are some interesting off-the-beaten-path fruits and vegetables that have “i” as the first letter. Consider these somewhat surprising selections.

  • icaco - This plum-like, oblong-shaped fruit grows in coastal areas. It can be picked and eaten fresh or used to make jam or compote.

  • ice plant - Indigenous to South Africa, ice plant is a leafy green vegetable that has a salty flavor. It can be eaten raw in salads or added to stir-fry dishes.

  • ilama - Indigenous to Central America, this tropical fruit comes in a green variety with a sweet flavor and a pink variety with a tart taste.

  • Illawarra plum - This tasty fleshy fruit that grows in Australia fruit is similar to a blueberry in size and shape. It’s eaten fresh or used as a condiment.

  • Inca berries - Native to South America, these berries have a tart flavor that is the perfect combination of sweetness and sourness.

  • Indian almonds - The fruit of the Indian almond tree are not true almonds, but they are edible. The seeds, husk and fruit are edible. The seeds taste similar to hazelnuts.

  • Indian corn - This variety of corn, also known as maize, is different from sweet corn that would be eaten from the cob. It is harder and used for hominy and to make cornmeal.

  • Indian squash - Also known as tinda or apple, Indian squash is a cucurbit vegetable commonly used in the cuisine of India and Pakistan.

  • inga edulas - Also known as ice cream beans, these legumes grow in South America. People eat the sweet, cinnamony pulp inside the seedpod.


Main Dishes That Begin With I

Looking to expand your entree options? Investigate these flavor-filled main dishes that start with “i” the next time you want to get adventurous in the kitchen.

  • Icelandic fish stew - If you’re looking for a rich and creamy soup, you just might love this option featuring fish and potatoes in a creamy bechamel sauce.

  • Icelandic fermented shark - If you travel to Iceland and see hákarl on the menu, that is Icelandic fermented shark, also known as rotten shark. It’s a delicacy in the country.

  • Ichi roll - If you’re a fan of sushi, you’re sure to love this basic nori-wrapped roll featuring eel or tuna encased in flavorful sticky rice.

  • Impossible quiche - Any kind of quiche that does not have a separate crust (such as a pie crust) can be referred to as an impossible quiche. Recipes usually include Bisquick.

  • inside-out stuffed peppers - Love the taste of stuffed peppers but not the work of stuffing each one individually? Put the stuffing ingredients in a pan, add diced peppers and bake.

  • interlaced roast - When individual pork or lamb rib racks are curved together to form a crown shape, they are interlaced to form a crown rack of lamb (or pork) roast.

  • Italian meatballs - To make Italian meatballs, you’ll need to mix together pork, beef, parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, oregano, and tomato paste, then bake in the oven.

  • Irish bacon - This bacon is made from the back of a pig rather than the belly, which is what is used for traditional bacon. It’s sometimes referred to as back bacon.

  • Irish stew - This hearty dish features chunks of beef cooked in a flavorful broth along with chunks of potatoes and carrots. It often includes Guinness beer and/or tomatoes.

  • Italian sandwich - For a meal-sized sandwich, stuff a chunk of Italian bread with cured meat, pepperoncini circles, provolone, Italian dressing, lettuce, and tomatoes.

  • Italian wedding soup - This delicious soup features meatballs in a flavorful broth with escarole, eggs and parmesan cheese.

i word italian wedding soup
    i food word Italian wedding soup
    bhofack2 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

Snacks and Sides That Begin With I

In search of new snack and side dish ideas? Consider these interesting foods that start with “i” if you’re ready for a culinary adventure.

  • idiyappam - These steamed rice noodle snacks are popular in India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

  • idli - Looking for something to eat with your favorite stew or curry recipe? This Indian cuisine item is a savory cake made from rice and lentils.

  • Insalata cannellini - Drain a can of cannellini beans and mix with olive oil, olives, red onion, tomatoes, and Italian seasonings to make this flavorful marinated salad.

  • Insalata Caprese - also referred to as Caprese salad, this dish consists of layers of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil, and/or arugula, drizzled with vinaigrette.

  • Indian fry bread - These flat flour-based bread circles that are deep-fried can be topped with honey or jam for a sweet treat or topped with meat, cheese and veggies for tacos.

  • involtini eggplant - This creative dish features slices of eggplant stuffed with a ricotta cheese mixture, topped with cheese and baked in tomato sauce.

  • Irish nachos - Rather than tortilla chips, the base of Irish nachos are potatoes or potato chips. They are typically topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream, and/or salsa.

  • island beans - Island beans are simply baked or stewed beans with a Caribbean twist. They’re flavored with islandy-seasonings like tropical fruit, cilantro, rum, and sugar.

  • Israeli falafel - These flavorful, protein-rich patties are made from seasoned chickpeas, mashed and formed into patties, then baked or fried.

  • Italian green beans - These green beans have a wide pod. They are often flavored with oregano and basil, then stewed with tomatoes and onions.


Sweet Treats That Start With I

Your sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied with some of these incredible “i” sweet options. Don’t stop with just one!

  • ice cream cake - So cake and ice cream are common, but it may surprise you to learn that you can layer cake and ice cream together to make an ice cream cake.

  • ice cream cookie sandwiches - Spread slightly softened ice cream between two cookies for an ice cream cookie sandwich. Any single layer cookie will work.

  • ice pops - Freeze your favorite beverages in popsicle molds to make your own ice pops. Freeze any liquid on its own, or stir in flavorful add-ins like fruit or pieces of hard candy.

  • icebox cake - This tasty no-bake dessert combines sweetened whipped cream with crushed, store-bought wafer cookies. It’s simple and incredibly sweet.

  • iced doughnuts - Glazed doughnuts might taste good, but iced doughnuts offer even more sugar-filled flavor. Doughnuts slathered in icing are truly decadent.

  • iced gems - When a cookie isn’t sweet enough on its own, opt for an iced gem. This is a tiny cookie topped off with a thick swirl of frosting.

  • iced oatmeal cookies - Top your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe with a delicious sugary icing for this super-sweet and lovely treat.

  • imarti - This circular sweet treat is a staple in Indian cuisine. Its base is a deep-fried batter made from urad dal (split black lentils, then soaked in a sugary syrup).

  • Iraqi cardamom cookies - These tasty flour-based cookies include ground almonds and are spiced with cardamom. They can be made with rose water or orange blossom water.

  • Irish scones - Flavorful flour-based scones that have cut-up dried fruit (like raisins or figs) stirred directly into the batter.

  • Irish potato candy - Despite the name, there are no potatoes in this sweet treat, which is made with cream cheese and coconut, then shaped to resemble tiny potatoes.

  • Irish soda bread - This popular and economical quick bread is simple to make because it does not require yeast. Instead, it relies on baking soda and buttermilk to rise.

  • Italian cream cake - This decadent dessert is a multi-layer coconut cake held together and topped with a rich frosting made of cream cheese, sugar and pecans.

i word ice cream cake
    i food word ice cream cake
    LauriPatterson / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

Discover More Surprising Selections

Did this list of food that starts with “i” reveal some dishes that you didn’t already know about? Go beyond just reviewing the list to actually trying some of these selections. Don’t stop at foods starting with “i” in your quest to expand your culinary vocabulary. Turn your attention to foods that start with “j” as you make your way through the alphabet! Or, if you're more interested in further exploring the letter "i," investigate WordFinder by YourDictionary where you can open your eyes to many more words that begin with "i."