29 Foods That Start With Z From Around the World

, Staff Writer
Updated May 27, 2021
z food word ziti example
    z food word ziti example
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    Used under Getty Images license

While there aren't a lot of words that start with "z" in general, there are more foods that start with "z" than you might expect to find. Discover some interesting culinary delights that begin with the last letter of the alphabet.

Entrees and Sides That Begin With Z

If you've already explored foods that start with "y," it's time to look for foods starting with "z." It can be challenging to come up with foods that start with "z," but there are definitely some options to consider. Explore these interesting entrees and side dishes.

  • zander - This fish is commonly found throughout most of Europe. Zander fillets are often baked, fried or grilled. It is a freshwater fish in the perch family whose flavor is said to be similar to pike.
  • zarzuela - A zesty Spanish seafood stew, this dish features a mixture of seafood (clams, mussels, scallops, squid, and shrimp) simmered in a highly seasoned and flavorful tomato-based sauce.
  • zereshk polo - This Persian dish features chicken cooked in a flavorful saffron and tomato sauce, served with basmati rice mixed with zereshk berries and fried onions. The finished dish is often garnished with slivered almonds or sliced pistachios.
  • zigeuner salat - This German dish features marinated raw cabbage, bell peppers and onions tossed in an oil-based salad dressing along with cooked kidney beans. It is also referred to as gypsy salad.
  • ziti - These hollow pasta noodles are a popular option for pasta casseroles, though they can be used in any dish that calls for pasta. Baked ziti features cooked noodles tossed with marinara sauce, ricotta cheese and Italian sausage.
  • zoni - This Japanese soup features fish flakes, fish paste, spinach, kelp, and citron peel. It is spooned over mochi cakes. It is often eaten over the New Year holiday.
  • Zuppa Toscana - A cream-based Italian soup, this dish includes sausage, chicken, potatoes, cream, and kale. It's a menu favorite at Olive Garden restaurant.
  • zrazy - This Polish beef roulade features very thin steaks rolled up over a combination of pickles, onions, bacon, and seasonings. The individual rolls are pan-fried, then simmered in a stock-based mushroom sauce.
  • zucchini boats - Zucchini are often sliced in half lengthwise and hollowed out before being stuffed with tasty mixtures and baked. Popular zucchini stuffings include a mixture of rice, sausage or ground beef, cheese, and chopped vegetables.
  • zucchini fritters - To make this pancake-like side dish, shredded zucchini is combined with egg, flour and various seasonings before being shaped into individual patties and pan-fried.
  • zwiebelrostbraten - This Austrian dish features pan-fried slices of roast beef covered in a flavorful beef gravy, then topped off with fried onion rings.
z food word zucchini boats
    z food word zucchini boats example
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Snacks and Sweets That Start With Z

When you're looking for food that starts with "z," be sure to consider snacks and sweet treats.

  • zabaglione - This Italian dessert is a steamed custard made from egg yolks, sugar and wine. It can be eaten on its own or served over pastry or dried fruit.
  • zapiekanka - This open-faced sandwich is a popular street food selection in Poland. It is a baguette covered with a mixture of onions and mushrooms, topped with cheese and then pan-fried in butter or oil. Drizzle with ketchup before eating.
  • zeppole - These decadent Italian doughnuts are made with a light, flaky pastry and filled with a rich sweetened cream or custard. They are often topped with a candied cherry.
  • zerde - This Turkish dessert is a rice pudding flavored with turmeric, pine nuts, currants, saffron, sugar, and rose water. It is served cold. Top with more pine nuts and/or currants, along with other toppings such as coconut or pistachio pieces.
  • Zero candy bar - The focal point of this commercial candy bar from Hershey's is a rich nougat of almonds and peanuts. It is topped with a thin layer of caramel, then completely covered in a white chocolate candy coating.
  • zimtsterne - These star-shaped German cinnamon cookies are particularly popular during the Christmas season. The primary ingredient is hazelnut meal or almond meal, paired with (of course) cinnamon.
  • Zingers - These commercially available snack cakes from the Dolly Madison brand feature cake with a white creamy filling. The chocolate and vanilla varieties are frosted, while the raspberry flavor is covered with a fruity glaze and shredded coconut.
  • zopf - This savory loaf is also referred to as Swiss braided bread. It is a yeast bread that includes butter and egg in addition to flour. It is formed into a braid with three strands prior to baking.
  • zucchini bread - This quick bread is a sweet, cake-like bread that uses shredded zucchini as a primary ingredient. It's mixed with flour, sugar, cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
  • zucotto - This Italian dessert is particularly popular in Tuscany. It is a dome-shaped sponge cake filled with ice cream, raspberries and chocolate ganache.
  • zwetschkenknödel - These German plum dumplings are made using a sweet potato-based dough wrapped around pitted plums and sugar, then steamed.
  • zwieback - This crunchy twice-based toast is a popular snack throughout Eastern Europe and many Mediterranean countries. You can make it yourself or purchase packages of Brandt brand rusk toast.
z food word zopf example
    z food word zopf example
    sinarp2 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

Fruit That Starts With Z

There are a few edible fruits that begin with the letter "z."

  • zereshk berries - Also referred to as barberries, these berries come from the berberis Vulgaris shrub, which grows in Iran. They are used in Iranian chicken and rice dishes, as well as to make jam and juice.
  • zhe fruit - The scientific name for zhe fruit trees is Maclura tricuspidata. They grow in Asia. They produce small red berry-like fruit with a sweet flavor. They are sometimes called Chinese mulberries or Mandarin melon berries.
  • zig zag fruit - This fruit grows on Melodorum leichhardtii trees, which are commonly referred to as zig zag vine fruit trees. They grow in parts of Australia. These small orange fruits are cooked to make orange-flavored sauces.
  • Zinfandel grapes - These black-skinned grapes are very common in the United States. They are a black grape primarily used to make wine, though they can be eaten fresh or used in recipes that call for grapes.
  • Ziziphus fruit - More commonly referred to as jujube fruit or Chinese dates, Ziziphus fruit grows on Ziziphus jujuba trees, which are native to Asia. They are most commonly eaten in dried form. They are very sweet.
  • zucchini - This green summer squash has seeds, so it meets the definition of fruit even though it's usually considered to be a vegetable. It's most often eaten as a savory side dish, though it can be used in sweet baked goods.

Explore More Interesting Foods

Of course, food items are not the only words that start with "z." Now that you've discovered some foods that start with "z" from around the world, keep looking for other culinary surprises. For example, exploring unique foods that start with the letter "u" is an interesting place to start. After that, investigate real foods that start with "x" if you're ready to get really adventurous.