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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

51 Foods That Start With U: The Unbelievable Food List!

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I’m excited to share my guide to 51 foods that start with U! I’ve discovered 51 incredible, tasty, and unique foods, ranging from fruits and condiments to desserts and main dishes. Join me as we dive into this diverse and delicious list that will introduce you to some new favorites!

Graphic that says "Foods That Start with U" with a variety of food in the background.

This guide is part of my comprehensive “Foods A-Z” series, where I explore and share food inspiration for all of the letters of the alphabet!

When I started looking into foods that begin with the letter U, I had a few familiar foods like udon or upside-down cake in my mind. But I was pleasantly surprised to find a total of 51 foods that made up this list!

This helpful guide will share 51 interesting, new, and unusual foods beginning with U – all of which can help you explore different cultures, cuisines, and taste profiles. It’s helped my family become more open to different foods, especially my kids!

Read on to see a list of some of the most unique foods that start with the letter u!

🍎 Fruits, Veggies, And Condiments That Start With A U

1. Urfa Biber

I have used urfa biber in various curries and sautees, and it’s one of my favorite ways to add a ton of flavor to dishes.

This condiment comes from the Urfa region of Turkey. It is made from a Turkish chili pepper about the size of a bell pepper. It is dark burgundy in color and is also called urfa pepper flakes. It has a sweet, smoky, and salty flavor and a deeper heat than a “spicy” heat.

I like using this food beginning with u to elevate almost any recipe! You can add it to stews or soups, or sprinkle it on raw veggies, use it on roasted veggies, or add it to a dish that’s already pre-made to give it more smoke and spice. Try it over my vegan roasted potatoes the next time you want to add a twist to a traditional breakfast side dish!

2. Ugba

Ugba is fermented seeds made from an African oil bean tree. The seeds grow inside a long pod, which bursts open when it reaches maturity. The seeds are then boiled, cracked opened, and shredded. Afterward, they are fermented.

Ugba comes in different sizes after being processed, and you can also buy them salted or unsalted. It’s commonly used in salads and other raw dishes.

When you buy ugba, make sure it is well-fermented by checking the flavor and ensuring it has been adequately salted during the fermentation process.

A well-rounded ugba has a rich, soft taste with a pungent / umami flavor. Ugba is rich in protein, but the vitamin and mineral content of the seed is low.

3. Ugli Fruit

Ugli fruit, or uniq fruit, commonly known as Jamaican tangelo, is a citrus fruit that arose through the natural hybridization of a tangerine orange with grapefruit or pomelo. This fruit that starts with u is mainly grown in Brown’s Town, Jamaica.

I have tried ugli fruit before, and it’s very sweet and juicy. It is slightly larger than grapefruit and doesn’t have a lot of seeds. It also happens to be rich in vitamins, especially vitamin C and contains antioxidants called flavonoids (source). 

I recommend using ugli fruit the same way you might use oranges or grapefruit, like in my breakfast fruit salad recipe!

Raw Green Organic Ugli Fruit

4. Ume

Ume fruit, also known as Japanese apricots or Japanese plums, is actually native to China, but is used in a lot of Japanese cuisine. Ume fruit is similar in appearance to apricots – they’re small and round, with a greenish-yellow skin.

This fruit that starts with U is typically harvested and used while it is still unripe and green, and it has a tart and sour taste. They are often pickled, fermented, or cooked before eating.

My favorite way to use these ume plums is to make a simple syrup or a compote with them. I will often use my peach simple syrup recipe, but replace the peaches with ume, and it tastes delicious!

5. Umeboshi

A Japanese delicacy, umeboshi is made from pickled, dried ume fruit. The name translates to ‘salted Japanese plums’ in English. And as I mentioned above, ume is a Japanese plum that grows on a flowering plum tree.

Umeboshi is actually one of the first foods that start with u that I ever ate when I was a kid! It holds a lot of nostalgia for me, and I’ve enjoyed it for a long time. My dad used to put umeboshi on vegetables to make them more enticing for me to eat – umeboshi and broccoli in particular is an amazing combination.

Umeboshi can have an extremely salty and sour taste, but you can also get a sweet variety with added honey. It is usually served with rice or onigiri in small quantities to add a punch of flavor, but you can add it to veggies or anything you like.

Here are some of my favorite tips for cooking with umeboshi. I’ll also often add it to stir-fries, like in my frozen vegetable stir fry recipe, for some added umami flavor!

Umeboshi served on a golden plate.

6. Ugni Fruit

Ugni fruit, also known as Chilean guava or strawberry myrtle, is a small, round berry that is native to South America, particularly Chile and Argentina. The scientific name of the plant is Ugni molinae.

This fruit is roughly the size of a blueberry and is known for its sweet and slightly tart flavor, which resembles a combination of strawberries and cranberries. The fruit is typically dark red or purple when ripe and has a unique, aromatic quality.

This food that begins with u is commonly in jams, jellies, sauces, and desserts. It can also be eaten fresh or used as a garnish.

7. Urad Dal

Urad dal, also known as split black gram or black lentil, is one of the most common Indian foods that start with u. It can be cooked in several ways, depending on the region. In Northern India, urad dal is largely used to make dal (or dal makhani), and in the South, it is mostly used to make batter for idli and dosa.

Urad dal is another food from my childhood, my parents made dal almost every day for dinner, often using urad dal over other types of lentils.

Try using urad dal in my sweet potato dahl for a twist on the traditional recipe!

Instant pot dal makhani, served in a white bowl, garnished with cashew cream and fresh herbs.

8. Umibudo

Umibudo is a type of seaweed that grows in the shallow water of Okinawa, Japan. It can be found in many other Asian countries as well.

This healthy food that starts with u is also known as sea grapes or green caviar and is prized for its delicacy and taste. It looks like extremely tiny grapes or small marbles. It’s mostly eaten raw, but it can also be grilled or added to soups. It has an ocean-like and salty flavor, with a unique, crunchy texture.

I’ll often add umibudo to my vegan sushi for an added textural component, like in my avocado sushi rolls.

Sea Grapes (Caulerpa Lentillifera) seaweed - Sea Grapes (Caulerpa Lentillifera) seaweed

9. Ububese Fruit

Ububese fruit is native to Africa and can be found in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. It is a yellow-colored fruit with a luscious sugary taste. You can eat them preserved, cooked, or raw. 

I would imagine that juicing this fruit would produce the most amazing, sweet juice ever! So that’s how I’d recommend using it the first time you try it.

10. Urava Fruit

Urava, also known as mangrove apple or perepat, is a curious-looking fruit. Small and spherical, they look like a tiny hat. The outer skin is thick and green in color. They are quite widespread and are found mostly in mangroves. 

Just like the urava fruit, the leaves of the urava tree are also edible. In Sri Lanka, the pulp of the fruit is mixed with coconut milk and made into a milkshake.

11. Umbu Fruit

Umbu fruit is also known as Brazil plum, and it is native to northeast Brazil. It is light yellow to red in color, and is round and small with a rugged and hardened outer skin. There are many varieties of umbu, some the size of cherries and others as big as lemons. 

This healthy food starting with u can be eaten fresh or made into juice. They can also be made into jams or sweetened preserves. Another delicacy made from umbu is umbuzada, a rich beverage that can substitute a full meal.

12. Usuma Fruit

Originated from the Andean region, usuma fruit is native to South America. It is also called peanut butter fruit because it tastes exactly like that. Usama fruits are small and red. 

Because of its unique flavor and pleasant taste, it’s great for milkshakes, smoothies, jams, and juices, or just eaten fresh! Try adding it to my spinach and banana smoothie recipe, its nutty flavor will balance out the rest of the ingredients in that smoothie really well!

13. Ulluco

Second, only to the potato, Ulluco is one of the most widely grown root vegetable crops from the Andean region of South America. It is brightly colored with waxy skin – it can be yellow, pink, and purple in hue.

With a slightly sweet taste, this vegetable that starts with u is a great source of protein, carbs, and vitamin C, especially to the people living at high altitudes in the mountainous regions of South America. It also has less than 2% fat content.

In Bolivia, ullucos are a traditional food in Catholic Holy Week celebrations. They are not suitable for baking or frying but they can be cooked in many other ways. One of the more popular forms is pickled ullucos.

Ulluco root vegetables stacked on each other.

14. Ube

Ube is probably one of the most well-known foods that start with u. It is a bright purple yam from the Philippines, with a mellow taste and sweet flavor, and is a cousin to other sweet potatoes.

If you are active on social media, there’s a high chance you have come across pictures of aesthetically pleasing purple-colored desserts; gorgeous lavender ice-creams, macaroons, brownies, cream puffs / puff pastry, waffles batters, pancakes, you name it.

These beautiful dark-hue-colored desserts all contain Ube! I will often use this brilliantly purple sweet potato in desserts like ice cream or pies too!

Ube doesn’t taste exactly like regular sweet potatoes; it isn’t over-the-top sweet, it can be described as creamy and coconut-like with a mellow, vanilla-like, nutty flavor.

Ube has the same nutritional value as sweet potato; it is high in fiber, vitamins, carbs, and antioxidants (source). It’s a great healthy dessert option – try these ube cookies the next time you’re in the mood for something sweet!

15. Upland Cress

Similar to watercress, upland cress is a green leafy vegetable, native to Europe and Asia. It has been grown and used in England since the 17th century. It’s packed with nutrients (source), and you can use this vegetable that starts with u just like you’d use watercress!

I have used upland cress in salads, sandwiches, soups, or cooked down and served like spinach – and it tastes great in almost any preparation. Try it in my Panera Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich recipe for more texture and flavor!

16. Umbrella Fruit

Umbrella fruit is a sour fruit, grown in tropical regions all over the world – especially in Asia and Africa. It’s also spelled “ambarella fruit” and can be green and yellow in color, crisp in texture, and mildly acidic – with hints of pineapple and mango.

🍲 Foods That Start With U: Savory Dishes

17. Udon

Udon is a thick wheat flour noodle, originating from Japan. It’s is considered comfort food for many. In its simplest form, udon noodles are served either with mild broth or hot soup. 

The broth is usually made from dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. The fascinating thing about the broth is that the color changes based on the region of Japan it is from; dark soy sauce is added in eastern Japan, and light soy sauce is added in the west.

This food that starts with the letter u is made from fresh ingredients and, when made from whole wheat flour, is considered a healthier option than ramen, since it’s higher in fiber and whole grains.

The most common topping used in udon is thinly chopped scallions. Although udon is best served plain, most restaurants top it with a variety of options. Some of my favorites include – kakiage: mixed tempura fritter, prawn tempura, abura-age: deep-fried sweet tofu, kamaboko: sliced fish cake, and shichimi seasoning. I’ll also often make stir fried udon noodles, like in this recipe!

udon noodles foods that start with u

18. Urchins or Uni

A culinary delicacy, sea urchins are all the rage nowadays. The only edible part of the urchin is the Uni, or the creature’s gonads (reproductive glands). Uni is common in Japanese cuisine; you can find it in most sushi bars. 

Uni has a deep umami flavor and a fresh, salty taste. It melts in your mouth with each bite. The creamy texture is similar to salmon roe. There are many ways to eat uni; it can be served with a bed of rice, as a topping for nigiri sushi, or even added into a Japanese-style pasta combined with nori seaweed. Try this uni pasta dish as a great fusion option to enjoy uni!

19. Ukha

Ukha is a classic Russian fish soup. It originated around the 12th century, and the recipe has been adapted and changed over the years. Ukha is unique in its taste because every family in Russia has its own way of preparing it. 

Various types of fish are used to cook ukha. Common ones are bream, wels catfish, northern pike, etc. Apart from the fish, onions, potatoes, and carrots are the other primary ingredients. Millet is sometimes used to thicken the broth. Black peppercorns, dill, parsley, and bay leaf are used as seasoning.

The fish stock for ukha is cooked with fish bones, tail, and heads. Often, the smallest fishes are cooked first and the bigger ones are added later. Everything is added at once and cooked together.

20. Uthappam

Uthappam (or uttapam) originated from Southern India and is a breakfast dosa. Each state in South India has its own version with different names. This food that starts with u is different from a typical dosa; it’s not crispy and crepe-like but more like a pancake with toppings. 

I have both made and eaten different versions of uthappam throughout my life and have loved them all! Typically, I make uthappam from urad beans (which is a type of lentil) and rice – like in this recipe.

Then I load it up with my favorite toppings: tomatoes, onions, chilies, bell peppers, coriander, coconut grated carrots, and beets, you name it. Uthappams are usually served with sambar or chutney as well.

South Indian food - uthappam with chutney served on a black plate.

21. Upma

If there’s one Indian dish that can be described as the most versatile breakfast meal, this is it. Upma is a thick porridge made from dry-roasted semolina or coarse rice flour. Think of upma as an empty canvas; any seasoning or topping can be added during cooking according to your preferences. 

I have made upma in a variety of different ways. While semolina is the traditional base ingredient, you can also use sooji, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, rice, corn, Kesari, or vermicelli – you name the ingredient and probably you can make an upma out of it! This easy upma recipe is a great way to get started!

Suji upma served in a white bowl.

22. Unagi

Unagi is a Japanese freshwater eel. As most travelers would say, this is one of the more popular foods to try if you ever visit Japan. It’s delicious and is considered a luxurious delicacy in Japan. 

There are few ways you can enjoy unagi. The traditional kabayaki is grilled unagi with tare (a sweet soy sauce) or shirayaki – roasting unagi with just salt and dipping it into wasabi and light soy sauce.

You can also enjoy it as nigiri, umaki (egg omelet rolled in slices of unagi), and hitsumabashi, which is finely chopped unagi with rice and nori. Try these 17 unagi recipes the next time you want to eat this u food at home!

23. Usal

Usal is an Indian breakfast dish made from mung bean sprouts. It’s super healthy, rich in fiber, protein, vitains and minerals, and is super easy to make.

The base ingredients usually used to make usal are mixed sprouts, tomatoes, and onions. You will also need curry spices such as red chili, cumin seeds, turmeric, garam masala powder, and garlic, ginger, and oil.

I like to enjoy this dish that starts with u on its own (like in this recipe), or even add it to a stew of vegetables – such as peppers, sweet corn, and any other veggies you like.

Eat this as a main meal, or serve it as a great snack for potlucks, game nights, or parties too. 

24. Ulava Charu

Ulava charu, commonly known as horse gram lentil soup, is yet another amazing, healthy curry common in Indian cuisine.

The horse gram lentil is boiled and soaked in delicious coconut red chili gravy.

It is then cooked in ‘rasam’ form, which means it’s cooked by itself in a pressure cooker.

The red chili gravy consists of tomatoes, onion, the coconut base, and of course, red chilies!

25. Uszka

Uszka or vushka are small dumplings that originated from Poland, traditionally served as a Christmas Eve dish. They are nicknamed “little ears” because of their shape. 

The filling is primarily wild forest mushroom, sometimes mixed with minced meat. The other ingredients are onion, bread crumbs, parsley, egg, salt and pepper to taste, and unleavened dough to make the shells. I’ve had the vegetarian version of uszka on its own, with a few drops of melted butter and chives on top.

These foods beginning with u are quite flavorful and can be eaten as a snack or added to a soup. Try this traditional recipe for uszka which will help you make them perfectly every time!

Homemade Polish dumplings, or uszka, filled with mushrooms and cabbage on a black plate.

26. Undhiyu

This is an authentic Gujrati curry made of fresh vegetables, and I often had it at my husband’s relatives house when we would visit. The name for this meal starting with u derives from the Gujrati term ‘undhu,’ which translates as upside down. And, true to its name, it is typically served upside down in underground earthen pots.

It’s a seasonal dish, which means you add whatever vegetables are available in season. There are many variations of this curry as it’s prepared differently in different parts of Gujrat.

This creamy, rich vegetable dish can rival any meat curry with its taste and is usually served on special occasions such as festivals and wedding ceremonies. 

27. Utica Greens

In the 1980s, Italian restaurants in New York started serving a variation on traditional sautéed greens from the region of Sicily and Southern Italy. The restaurant which popularized the dish was situated in Utica, hence the name. 

This food starting with u is usually made of hot peppers, escarole, cheese, bread crumbs, pecorino, chicken stock or broth, and prosciutto as well as variations of meat. Escarole makes this dish stand out. This is a perfect dish for anyone who loves greens as well as spicy food!

28. Umbricelli Pasta

Umbrecilli pasta is very similar to ‘pici’ pasta. It hails from the Umbria region of Italy and is a thick hand-rolled spaghetti-shaped pasta.

Umbrecilli pasta traditionally does not use dough made with eggs; it is mainly prepared from durum wheat flour and water. It is more compressed and quite hard to knead. Umbrecilli is notorious for filling you up quickly because of its thick texture.

This u food is thick in consistency and therefore goes well with a rich tomato sauce with mushrooms or an earthy truffle sauce. I’ll often use umbrecilli as a substitute for spaghetti in many of my pasta recipes, and it especially tastes great in my vegan pasta primavera!

Umbricelli Pasta

29. Ukrainian Dinner Rolls

Quite similar to garlic bread, Ukrainian rolls, or pampushky, are savory buns made of yeast dough and brushed with garlic sauce.

Baked to a perfect golden color, the rolls are fluffy and airy inside while crusty outside. Ukrainian dinner rolls are perfect to pair with a soup or a main dish, especially with borsch, a Ukrainian beet broth.

If you want to make this food that starts with a u, you need to be prepared to be patient as the rolls require proofing overnight. Whenever I want to make these dinner rolls at home, I always turn to this recipe – which gives me perfectly soft, buttery, garlic rolls!

30. Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage (Ukrainian Holubtsi)

There are many versions of stuffed cabbage from around the world, but it’s most common in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Recipes change and adapt over time to keep in step with societal and cultural needs.

Ukrainian cabbage rolls, commonly known as holubtsi, also has many variations, but it remains a classic dish. 

Holubtsi translates to “little pigeons.” The traditional recipe does not contain any meat and it is a perfect side dish to richer, meaty dishes.

It is the perfect warm comfort food for chilly weather. Fermented cabbage leaves are wrapped around a variety of fillings. It can be served with a tomato-based sauce or sour cream. This Ukrainian dish also requires a lot of time and patience to prepare.

Stuffed cabbage leaves with meat, rice and vegetables on a plate.

31. Usban

Usban is a traditional Tunisian sausage meal. It is stuffed with a mix of rice, lamb, chopped liver and heart, and herbs. There are several varieties of usbans, but the herbs and spices typically used are cayenne pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. Dried mint, parsley, and dill are also added. 

The spices are then added to a mix of spring onions, tomato, rice, and vegetable oil. The mixture is then stuffed inside a sheep’s intestine and boiled and then fried. Usban is usually served with a dish or rice or couscous. 

32. Ugali

Ugali is a type of maize or cassava flour porridge that originated in East Africa, and a staple in Kenya. It is similar to polenta. Corn (or maize) was introduced to Kenya by Portuguese traders back in the 19th century. They intended to export the crop, but locals adapted and transformed it into nourishing ugali.

You don’t need utensils to eat ugali. You can eat it with your hand — take a small lump of the ugali and roll it into a ball. Make a small indentation in the center of the ball and scoop stew with it!

Ugali has a subtle popcorn-like flavor. You can add butter or salt to emphasize the taste. I love this guide to making ugali at home – it’s great for beginners who are just starting out with trying this food!

33. Umami Burger

An umami burger refers to a style of hamburger that emphasizes the savory taste known as “umami,” one of the five basic tastes alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

Umami is often associated with ingredients containing high levels of glutamates, compounds that provide a deep, rich, savory flavor.

Umami burgers are designed to maximize this taste sensation through the use of specific ingredients and cooking techniques.

These might include the use of umami-rich foods such as soy sauce, Parmesan cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

Additionally, meats selected for umami burgers are often ones with higher natural umami content, such as beef or pork, which are sometimes enhanced further with umami-rich sauces or marinades. To make an umami burger perfectly, just follow this guide!

Umami burger on a homemade wooden cutting board.

🥨 Snacks That Start With U

34. Urgelia Cheese

Urgelia cheese hails from the Catalan Pyrenees mountain region of northern Spain. It is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and is produced in a wheel that has a rind infused with yeast brine.

Cured for only a short time, this cheese has a beautiful aromatic, creamy and soft texture. It is ivory or straw-colored with a robust, salty flavor. It can be served in a fresh salad or with fruits and meats. I’ll often serve it along with other cheeses and crackers on my vegetarian cheese board!

35. Urda Cheese

This is a traditional whey cheese of the Balkans region, claimed to be originally from Romania. The whey can be from sheep, cow, or goat milk.

This is a low-fat, soft, and granulated cheese. Urda cheese is great for baking cheesecakes. You can also enjoy it with salads. 

36. Unpasteurized Cheese

Unpasteurized cheese is cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk. The debate whether unpasteurized cheese is better than pasteurized cheese has been going on for years, and it depends on your personal preference.

When milk is heated during the beginning of the cheese-making, it is called pasteurization. Pasteurization destroys harmful microorganisms that can cause sickness. As this step is avoided during unpasteurized cheese making, the cheese needs to be aged for at least 60 days to naturally prevent salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and other harmful bacterias.

Cheese made from raw milk is more complex in flavor and has a tender texture. But, as it has not been heated to kill bacteria, there is a chance of foodborne illness and should be avoided if you are pregnant.

Unpasturized cheese on a cheeseboard with a knife.

37. Unni Appam

A very popular snack in Kerala, unni appams are small, round, sweet fritters made from rice, jaggery, banana, roasted coconut pieces, ghee, cardamom powder, and roasted sesame seeds.

You can also use jackfruit instead of banana if you are feeling adventurous. These snacks starting with u are gluten-free and vegan. They’re super sweet and are one of my favorite indulgences to enjoy in India.

38. Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi is the New Year’s Day for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka in India. It is the first day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar. This food that begins with a u is a special festive food that combines six different flavors: sweet, sour, salt, spice, bitter, and pungent. 

The flavors signify the mixture of emotions of life. Sweet signifies happiness, pungent signifies surprises, bitter is sadness, sour refers to unpleasantness, salt signifies fear of the unknown, and spice symbolizes anger.

The flavors come from neem flowers, jaggery, pepper, powdered coconut, raw mango, and salt. Additionally, fried gram, cashews, raisins, and sliced banana can also be used.

🍰 Desserts That Start With U

39. Utah Scone

While this is called a “scone,” names can be deceiving! If you are looking for a scone that you can serve with tea or coffee, this is not it.

Scones are triangular-shaped baked biscuits served with clotted cream. However, Utah scones are deep-fried pieces of bread – they look nothing like classic scones, and taste different too!

Utah scones are made from sweet yeast dough, buttermilk, and baking powder/soda (you can see a popular recipe for utah scones here).

These desserts that start with u are light and fluffy but dry and crumbly in texture. There are no rules when it comes to toppings; you can add whatever your heart desires.

I love serving them with melted butter and drizzled with honey or maple syrup, but you can also add jam, marmalade, peanut butter, or any other toppings. And, if you want to make it a bit more special, add powdered sugar on top!

utah scone - foods that start with u

40. U-No Bar

U-No is a truffle-type bar covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate. It is sprinkled with almond bits inside the truffle and it comes in a silver foil wrapper. 

It reminds me of the classic 3 Musketeers Bar, but tastes different because it has a bit more texture than a 3 Musketeers Bar. While it looks like a snack bar, it is really a dessert bar, and can even be considered junk food that starts with u – since it contains 235 calories and 12 grams of sugar per bar!

41. Upside Down Cake

The name of this cake is self-explanatory: Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an upside-down cake as a ‘cake that’s baked with its batter covering an arrangement of fruit and served with the fruit side up.’  

The origins of upside-down cake date back hundreds of years. A perfect upside-down cake tastes soft and buttery with a caramelized brown sugar fruit topping. Its luscious texture seeps with juice from the fruit.

I absolutely love upside-down cake, and I typically make it with pineapple, the star fruit most commonly used in this delicious cake. To make it look more appealing, I add maraschino cherries on top of the pineapple slices. 

Easy to bake, this dessert that starts with u can be served any time of the year. Try my recipe for vegan pineapple upside down cake – it’s super easy and tastes just like the classic version!

Vegan pineapple upside down cake on a white plate.

42. Ube Halaya

Ube halaya, or purple yam jam, is a simple yet delicious recipe for adventurous, bold bakers. It is made by slow-cooking ube with butter, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk , and evaporated milk. You can use ube halaya in baked doughs, pastries, halo-halo (another great dessert), and even ice cream!

Ube halaya also has a very gentle, milky, and mellow taste. It has a creamy texture, unlike fruit jams, as it’s made from a starchy vegetable. You can also find vegan recipes if you are not a fan of dairy.

43. Ube Cake

Another great dessert option using ube. Usually, ube cakes are almost identical to chiffon and sponge cakes. But you can also make cupcakes with ube whipped cream, ube cheesecake with coconut cookie crust, and so much more. 

The main ingredient of ube cake is ube jam or halaya, and if you don’t have the real thing you can substitute it with ube powder or extract.

The taste will be similar, but when you use the jam, the cake is much denser yet soft in texture as the jam is quite thick. It is delicious and will totally satisfy your sweet tooth!

44. Ui Boov

I would be surprised if you have heard of ui boov. Native to Mongolia, it remains quite obscure to the outside world.

Ui boov translates to “shoe sole cake.” It is a traditional cake or deep-fried cookies baked during Mongolian New Year, Tsagaan Sar. It’s more of a spiritual offering than a simple dessert.

Ui Boov looks like a pyramid of cross-hatch bottomed shoes with an intricate design, layered on top of each other in a special fashion symbolizing the Shambhala realm. The fried cakes are topped with sugar cubes, aarul, and candies wrapped in plastic. These foods that begin with u are colorful, beautiful, and have social significance in the Mongolian culture. 

45. Unsweetened Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate is not strictly a dessert item but an ingredient to make desserts. It is perhaps the purest, simplest form of chocolate and is made from 100 percent fermented and roasted cacao nibs. This food starting with the letter u is very bitter and is a common ingredient to add a strong chocolate flavor to a recipe. 

You can use unsweetened chocolate in all kinds of baked goods and desserts (chocolate cakes, brownies, and cookies), but will likely have to add sugar to make those desserts taste sweet!

Unsweetened chocolate in a brown bowl.

46. Ugly Pie

The charming children’s book Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler introduced me to this uniquely delicious sweet treat. The story of ugly pie is loved by all and is especially popular during Thanksgiving. 

The story takes us on a journey with Bear, who wakes up one morning with a craving for ugly pie. But the only ugly thing he can find in his kitchen is some sweet molasses. So Bear goes on a journey to find the ugliest ingredients to make the ugliest yet most delicious pie.

To make your ugly pie at home, you are going to need just a handful of simple ingredients including: Granny Smith apples, molasses, lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, brown sugar, dried cranberries, and walnuts. For the crust, you are going to need all-purpose flour, shortening, salt, and ice cold water. 

47. Uunijuusto

Uinijuusto is a Finnish dessert made from cow’s colostrum, salt, butter, or margarine. Colostrum is the first milk of a calved cow. 

Uunijuusto translates to “oven cheese.” It is an egg-free, vegetarian dessert that’s perfect for everyone. You can add eggs if you desire, just like the Swedish version of uunijuusto. 

This food starting with a u typically eaten with berries, especially cloudberries or jam. In Finland it is served with mehukeitto, a soup made from fresh berries such as red currants and lingonberries. 

48. Ugli Pie

Just as the name suggests, this is a pie made from ugli fruit.

Ugli pies are a great substitute for apple pies as they are sweet and tangy. All you need to bake the pie is ugli fruit, crushed pineapples, mini marshmallows, milk, and whipped cream. For the crust, use graham crackers, coconut cream wafers, and butter.

🍹 Drinks That Start With U

49. Umbuzada

Umbuzada is a traditional Brazilian fruit drink or non-alcoholic beverage made from the umbu fruit, also known as the Brazilian plum or imbu. I first had this drink when I visited Brazil a few years ago and I was hooked! It’s sweet, refreshing and delicious.

To prepare umbuzada, the umbu fruits are typically mashed or blended, and their pulp is mixed with water (or milk) and sugar to create a refreshing and slightly tangy drink.

Variations on this drink may include mint or other flavors. It’s often served cold and is particularly popular during the summer. Umbuzada is not only enjoyed as a beverage, but is also used as a base for desserts and sweets in Brazilian cuisine.

50. Up To Date

The Up To Date is a sherry based cocktail, that dates back to the early 1900s. It tastes similar to a Manhattan and is made with sherry, rye whiskey, Grand Marnier, and Angostura bitters. It’s often garnished with a lemon peel.

Up to date cocktail in a glass with a lemon peel garnish.

51. Ulmer Maibock

Ulmer Maibock is a type of beer brewed by Familienbrauerei Bauhöfer GmbH & Co. KG in Renchen, Germany. “Maibock” is a traditional style of German beer that is typically brewed in the spring and released for consumption in May, hence the name “Mai,” which is German for May. Maibock is a strong, pale lager, and it’s often associated with the springtime and the celebration of the arrival of warmer weather.

Maibocks are known for a balanced maltiness and hop bitterness. They have a moderately sweet, malty flavor with a little bit of hoppy-ness. They usually have a clean and crisp finish, making them very drinkable, and their aroma often includes a prominent malt character with hints of caramel, toffee, and breadiness.

Final Thoughts

I hope this u foods list helped you to expand your palate and discover new foods that start with the letter u!

From sides to desserts, drinks to snacks, there is something for everyone on this u foods list. Once I created this list, I started trying more of these recipes, but there are so many more that I am going to be trying at home soon! for more eating guides? Check out these posts!

For more recipe inspiration and ideas, be sure to check out the full ‘foods that begin with’ series from covering the letters A to Z – here are some to start with!

Love this eating guide? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

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8 responses to “51 Foods That Start With U: The Unbelievable Food List!”

  1. I love these collections. They are fun and useful to keep in the bookmarks. So many great options to try!

  2. This was very interesting—I had no idea there were so many foods that started with a U. Thanks for an exciting read. Have a great day, looking forward to more posts and incredibly delicious recipes.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this very helpful guide! I look forward to trying some of the recipes you’ve linked in the post!

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