45 Foods That Start With “U”: The Unbelievable Food List!This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Are you looking for a list of foods that start with U? This helpful guide will share 45 interesting, new and unusual foods beginning with U — many of which are both tasty and healthy for you! Read on to see a list of some of the most unique foods that start with the letter u.
You wouldn’t believe how many delicious foods there are out there that start with the letter “U”! From fruits to condiments, desserts to snacks, and main dishes to drool over, here is your comprehensive guide to all the different foods that begin with “u”.
Fruits, Veggies, and Condiments that Start with a “U”
1. Umbrella Fruit
Umbrella fruit is a sour fruit, grown in tropical regions all over the world – especially in Asia and Africa. It is green and yellow in color, crisp in texture, and mildly acidic — with hints of pineapple and mango.
2. Urfa Biber
This condiment comes from the Urfa region of Turkey, and are also called urfa pepper flakes. They come from a Turkish chili pepper that’s about the size of a bell pepper, and have a dark burgundy color. They have a sweet, smoky and salty flavor – and have a deeper heat than a “spicy” heat.
You can use it on almost anything – 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.
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.
4. 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. It is mainly grown in Brown’s Town, Jamaica.
The flesh of ugli fruit is very sweet and juicy. It is slightly larger than grapefruit and doesn’t have a lot of seeds. It is rich in vitamin C and low in calories. It also contains anti-inflammatory antioxidants called flavonoids.
A Japanese delicacy, umeboshi is made from pickled, dried ume fruit. The name translates to ‘salted Japanese plums’ in English. Ume is a Japanese plum that grows on a flowering plum tree.
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. Umeboshi is actually one of the first foods that start with U that I ever ate! I used to have it with broccoli when I was a kid.
Umeboshi is believed to fight fatigue, aid digestion and prevent nausea. It is also a great cure for hangovers and has anti-aging properties.
6. 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.
There are immense health benefits of urad dal. It improves digestion, protects the heart and brain, boosts energy, improves bone health, and manages diabetes.
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.
Umibudo 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.
In addition to being tasty, umibudo has a long list of health benefits. It’s packed with minerals, is low in calories (4 calories per 100 grams), and contains hyaluronic acid, which makes it great for the skin.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
The fruit 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.
11. 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 and pleasant taste, it’s great for milkshakes, smoothies, jams, and juices, or just eaten fresh!
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, ulluco 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.
Ube is probably one of the most well known foods that start with U. It is a bright purple yam from the Philippines, a cousin to other sweet potatoes. It’s a brilliantly purple sweet potato with a mellow taste and sweet flavor, and it commonly used in desserts.
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!
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, nutty, vanilla-like flavor.
Ube has the same nutritional value as sweet potato; it is high in fiber, vitamins, carbs, and antioxidants. Finally, a healthy dessert option that can replace your usual sweet treats with no guilty calorie counting!
14. 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. You can use upland cress just like you’d use watercress – in salads, sandwiches, soups, or cooked down and served like spinach.
Savory Dishes that Start with a “U”
Originating from Japan, udon is considered comfort food for many. This is a thick wheat flour noodle. 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.
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. The most common include — kakiage: mixed tempura fritter, prawn tempura, abura-age: deep-fried sweet tofu, kamaboko: sliced fish cake, and shichimi seasoning.
Udon is made from fresh ingredients and, when made from whole wheat flour, is considered a healthier option than ramen. Whole wheat udon is high in fiber and contains complex carbs which aid in digestion and heart health. But like all starchy food, be sure to consume it in moderation!
16. 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.
Urchins are high in protein. A good source of fiber, vitamin A and E, calcium, and iodine. They also contain very little fat.
This is a classic Russian fish soup. It originated around the 12th century and the recipe has 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.
Ukha contains many essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality proteins.
Uthappam originated from Southern India and is a breakfast dosa. Each South Indian state has its own version with different names. Uthappam is different from a typical dosa; it’s not crispy and crepe-like but more like a pancake with toppings.
It is made from urad beans (a type of lentil) and rice. The choice for toppings is vast: tomatoes, onions, chilies, bell peppers, coriander, coconut grated carrots, and beets, you name it. Uthappams are usually served with sambar or chutney.
Each uthappam might contain around 100 calories. When made with brown rice, it’s a healthy high fiber option for a meal or a snack!
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.
There are a lot of variations in cooking upma; you can use sooji, whole wheat, oats, quinoa, rice, corn, Kesari, vermicelli—you name the ingredient and probably you can make an upma out of it!
Upma is high in fiber, vitamins, and ‘good’ fats. It is low in calories and cholesterol, and if you prepare it with semolina, you get an extra dose of iron.
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.
Unagi is high in protein, calcium, omega-3, and calcium. It can improve blood pressure, reduce the risk of diabetes and arthritis, and also lower cholesterol levels.
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 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. You can add it to a stew of vegetables, if you wish, such as peppers, sweet corn, and any other veggies you like.
Eat it as a main meal, or serve it as a great snack for potlucks, game nights, or parties.
22. 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.
Horse gram contains the highest protein content compared to any other lentil. It’s rich in iron and calcium and is a great energy booster.
Uszka or vushka are small dumplings that originated from Poland. It’s a traditional Christmas Eve dish in Poland. 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. You can pour drops of melted butter on top and sprinkle chives if you are out of dipping.
They are quite flavorful and can be eaten as a snack or added to a soup.
This is an authentic Gujrati curry made of fresh vegetables. The dish’s name 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.
It’s low in calories, high in fiber and packed with nutrients from the vegetables.
25. 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.
It 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. On the plus side, this dish is also full of minerals and nutrients such as vitamins A and K, fiber, and antioxidants.
26. 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 pasta is thick in consistency and therefore goes well with thick tomato sauce with mushrooms or an earthy truffle sauce. Make sure you serve in moderation as umbrecilli is notorious for filling you up quickly because of its thick texture.
27. Ukrainian Dinner Rolls
Quite similar to garlic bread, Ukrainian dinner 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, especially with borsch, a Ukrainian beet broth.
If you want to make pampushky, you need to be prepared to be patient as the rolls require proofing overnight.
28. Ukrainian Stuffed Cabbage
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 stuffed cabbage, 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.
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 herbs and spices are added to spring onion, 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.
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. Full of vitamins, minerals, and good carbohydrates, ugali is a very healthy and nourishing meal that’s also easy to make.
Snacks and Desserts that Start With a “U”
31. Utah Scone
Names can be deceiving. If you are looking for a scone that you can serve with high tea just like they do on the other side of the pond, this is not it. Scones are triangular-shaped baked biscuits served with clotted cream. However, Utah scones are deep-fried pieces of bread made from sweet yeast dough, buttermilk, and baking powder/soda. Hence, they look nothing like classic scones.
Utah scones 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. They are usually served with melted butter and drizzled with honey or maple syrup, but you can also add jam, marmalade, peanut butter, etc. And, if you want to make it a tiny bit more special, add powdered sugar on top.
32. 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 looks similar to the 3 Musketeers bar, but it has a higher fat per gram ratio. It looks like a snack bar but is really a dessert bar, since it contains 235 calories and 12 grams of sugar per bar!
33. 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.
34. 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. It is rich in minerals and quality protein. Urda cheese is great for baking cheesecakes. You can also enjoy it with salads.
35. 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.
36. 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. It is gluten-free and vegan. These delicious, sweet treats are definitely an indulgence as they’re high in sugar and refined carbs.
37. 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. Ugadi pachadi 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.
Ugadi pachadi is loaded with antioxidants such as selenium and zinc. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage and increase the immunity of the body. Ugadi Pachadi also detoxifies the liver by flushing out harmful toxins.
38. Upside down Cake
The name 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. Pineapple is the star fruit that’s most commonly used in this delicious cake. Add maraschino cherries on top of the slices of pineapple to make it look more appealing.
Easy to bake, it can be served any time of the year. It’s definitely an indulgent sweet treat and should be enjoyed just once in a while!
39. Ube Halaya
Ube halaya or purple yam jam is a simple yet delicious recipe for any 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 make ice cream with it!
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.
40. 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.
41. 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. The cakes are colorful, beautiful, and have social significance in the Mongolian culture.
42. 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. It 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!
43. Ugly Pie
The charming children’s book Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler introduced us to a 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 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.
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.
It’s 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.
45. 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.
I hope this list of foods helped you to expand your palate and discover new foods that start with the letter u! Looking for more eating guides? See all of my healthy eating guides here! For more healthy and easy recipes, check out these posts:
- 15 Pantry Meals You Can Make in 30 Minutes
- 55 Healthy Vegetarian Recipes
- 21 Delicious Vegan Lunch Ideas
- 50 Foods That Start With I
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