So the X part of our Alphabet Foods List is finally here!
We didn’t know eXactly how many we could possibly find in the world, but the majority of them are, indeed, from other parts of the world than the US of A!
So take a trip with us around the globe and learn about all the amazing foods and dishes that start with X!
From the Mexican salsa Xnipec (SHNEE-PEK) to the Chinese watermelon Xigua (ZIG-WAH), we have a few fun facts about 17 eXemplary foods that start with the letter X!
Even friend Xavier is listed a couple of times here in our list: Xavier Soup and Xavier Steak
Ah, the goodness that comes from the smell of steamed glutinous rice!
If you happen to wander around the streets of Vietnam before and caught some travellers gathering at a corner with food on a banana leaf, chances are they were circling in on Xôi- one of the country’s most popular fast foods.
Also called glutinous rice, Xôi is often soaked for around four hours until its grains have absorbed just enough water. The rice is then drained and steamed dry so the grains can remain intact.
Soft but not mushy, Xôi can be eaten any time of the day!
Touted as the world’s most magnificent soup dumplings, Xiaolongbao, or the broth-filled Shanghainese steamed pork dumplings, literally translates to “small basket buns.”
Xiaolongbao refers to a type of steamed bun or baozi, originating from the Jiangnan region of China.
It is typically steamed in small bamboo baskets, as you may have gleaned from its name’s etymology.
If you’re frequenting Spain by cruise, a local or two might have already introduced you to Xouba, a sardine-like fish commonly seen or found near the culinary-rich country.
One of the most noted dishes of Galicia, especially during the summer, is xoubas, or grilled sardines.
They get roasted on an iron griddle over the embers; note, however, that you should perform this outside as the food can get incredibly smelly.
Seriously, Mexico should be in the Guinness World Records for being the country with the most delectable salsas!
Take into consideration this wondrous Xnipec.
Known as the traditional Yucatecan salsa served in homes, cafeterias, and taquerias in the said region, this food entry is a unique alternative to conventional mild tomato salsas.
It’s also an ideal pairing for crunchy tortilla chips—all mainly due to its moderate-to-hot heat level, with fresh and slightly fruity offerings.
Xnipec salsa is truly a gastronomic delight.
Now, let’s dabble a bit on watermelons. Or melons. Did you know that there’s one that starts with X?
Xigua, which is watermelon in Chinese, is a watermelon type found in Africa.
It features a hard rind that boasts a yellowish-green hue. Inside, it has soft flesh that’s also pink and edible.
Xigua, as you might come to expect, is closely associated with cantaloupe, pumpkin, and cucumbers.
Here’s another fun fact: Did you know that China is the world’s largest producer of watermelon?
From the notorious land of the spicy, Xacuti is a curry prepared in Goa, India. It has this complex spicing that consists of white poppy seeds, sliced or grated coconut, and large dried red chillies.
Xacutis are typically prepared with chicken, lamb, or beef. In Portugal, it’s called chacuti.
All right, let’s get science into the equation!
A known sugar substitute, xylitol, is extracted from plant fibers like birch bark, berries, and corn husks.
Categorized as a sugar alcohol, xylitol is natural. This is true as it’s found in small amounts in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Meanwhile, xylitol is produced by humans in small quantities through normal metabolism.
8. Xinomavro grapes
Were you already caught by the seductive wonder of wine-making?
If so, make sure to include xinomavro grapes in your list!
Found in Macedonia, xinomavro grapes are considered the noblest, most indigenous, red grape variety from the vineyards of Northern Greece.
Now, how about its marvelous description? Its name comes from the words sour (Xino – ksino-) and black (mavro).
Xinomavro grapes are also noted for being a multi-dynamic variety.
This means it offers a full range of styles of wines, from red, white, dry, semi-sweet, to fresh and matured.
9. Xavier steak
Could there be any dish more palatable in this list than this combination of cheese and steak – the Xavier steak?
This meal-slash-recipe I’ve stumbled upon features three main components: Swiss cheese, cooked or canned asparagus, and a steak!
All of which culminate in a divine-looking, tasty experience of a lifetime.
Here’s the recipe.
10. Xanthan gum
Despite its obvious name, xanthan gum isn’t chewing gum!
Now that that’s already off the table, xanthan gum is actually a popular food additive added to foods as a thickener or stabilizer.
Okay, so for the science whizzes out there, xanthan gum is created when sugar gets fermented by a bacteria known as Xanthomonas campestris.
When this is fermented, it produces a broth or a goo-like substance made solid by alcohol.
These common foods contain xanthan gum: salad dressings, fruit juices, soups, low-fat foods, and gluten-free products.
Cocktail aficionados, unite!
Xanthia is a cocktail type concocted with yellow chartreuse, cherry brandy, gin, and ice cubes.
Here’s a favorite of mine, one with a Luxardo maraschino cherry garnish.
12. Xalapa punch
While we’re feasting on beverages, how about some nice punch in our compilation?
Folks, meet the Xalapa punch!
Xalapa punch is a mixture of brandy, rum, and red wine, infused with heated orange rinds and black tea.
Are you there yet? I know I am!
No, you’re not misreading this. Xocolatl really happened!
Another one of the more exciting X foods in this list is Xocolatl. As you may have probably already guessed, the word is inspired by the word chocolate. Or vice versa.
Joking aside, xocolatl refers to the fermented, roasted, shelled, and ground cacao seeds often combined with a sweetener or a flavoring agent.
Xocolatl is a Mayan word, which translates to bitter water.
14. Xi Gua Lao
The Chinese have seriously come for the throne in this list.
After Xialongbao, China also introduced into the world the Xi Gua Lao, a watermelon-based jelly dessert.
A traditional dish of Beijing cuisine, it’s prepared with watermelon, cherries, sugar, agar, and vanilla powder.
Another Chinese culinary wonder is Xidoufen.
A famous soup in the Yunnan province, it is made from veggies that include garlic, peas, ginger, coriander, and Sichuan pepper oil.
It also comes with dry chili flakes and spring onion.
Xidoufen is often consumed with deep-fried youtiao (which we’ll be dealing with the foods that start with Y soon!), particularly cong you bing!
16. Xingren Donfu
Any logophiles in here? Raise your hands, please!
This almost mouthful of a dish from China means “rice shrimp.” One of the potent flavors that emanate from this food is the anise taste.
As Xingren Donfu is deemed a popular delicacy, most restaurants in China prepare it with a combination of many ingredients – all of which are combined to create a mixture of sweet and sour.
17. Xavier soup
Okay, so listen up: Xavier has chosen to introduce a soup of his own as well!
Not to be associated with Xavier steak, Xavier soup is named for Saint Francis Xavier.
Like the wandering missionary, this soup features no intricate ingredients, well, except maybe when making dumplings.
Shamelessly simple but determinedly savory, this dish’s main attraction is boxed chicken stock, which simplifies the soup.
The bottom line
Did you enjoy this gastronomic trip around the world learning things about foods that start with X?
Don’t eXit too soon, or you’ll miss all the fun foods that start with the letter X right here!
We hope X marks the spot and that you’ll come back to Cooking Chew soon to read all of our foods that start with every letter of the alphabet.
- Xinomavro grapes
- Xavier steak
- Xanthan gum
- Xalapa punch
- Xi Gua Lao
- Xingren Donfu
- Xavier soup
- Pick one or two foods to try
- Give them a try