In this post, I list various kinds of food that begin with the letter A. See the whole food dictionary!
Abalone is a sea snail, a member of the molluscan class Gastropoda. It has an oval-shaped shell that contains a rich, salty, and buttery flavored meat that can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of meals.
Abalones can be found in cold waters of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Mexico, Japan, and South Africa, where they are often considered a delicacy. They can be bought fresh, frozen, or canned. They taste best when they are steamed, pan-fried, or shortly sautéed.
Adzuki beans, also called azuki or aduki, are a small bean grown throughout East Asia and the Himalayas. Though they come in a range of colors, red adzuki beans are the most well known.
Adzuki beans are linked to several health benefits, ranging from heart health and weight loss to improved digestion and a lower risk of diabetes. Plus, they are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes.
Yellowfin tuna – one of the species of tuna called “ahi tuna” – is one of the best and highest-quality tunas a cook can get their hands on. It’s notable for its beautiful pink color and prized for its deliciously mild flavor and creamy texture (when it’s cooked right).
Ahi tuna is most often cut into steaks or used in sushi rolls and can be enjoyed raw, cooked, or anywhere in between.
Almond is an edible seed of the almond tree grown in Western Asia, the Mediterranean, Northern Africa and California. Almond seeds are oval-shaped, pointed at one end and covered with a brown coat. They come in either sweet or bitter varieties. The sweet ones are edible and consumed as raw or toasted nuts. When ground, they are used for producing almond flour, milk, paste, marzipan and in numerous sweet and savory recipes.
Almond butter is a creamy nut spread made through a process of finely grinding roasted almonds. Similar to peanut butter, almond butter can be smooth or crunchy, but because it is higher in fiber and minerals, it is considered a healthier option. It can be a great addition to breakfast or brunch meals and desserts.
Almond milk is plant milk made from almonds blended with water. It has a rich nutty flavor and it is dairy-free, which makes it a good choice for vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
Almond paste is produced of equal amounts of ground almonds and sugar combined with eggs into a smooth sweet blend. It can contain corn or glucose syrup. It is used in bakery products mostly as a filling or for making a pastry crust. A popular type of almond paste is marzipan, which is much sweeter due to a higher ratio of sugar to almonds.
Anchovies are small, slender fish found in the Black Sea, Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean. However, when you see them in the supermarket they are more likely to be preserved than fresh.
Salt-cured anchovy fillets packed in sunflower or olive oil are the cheapest and most readily available. They are sold in tall, thin resealable jars which is good if you only plan to use a few. Horizontal ring-pull tins or cans are also available, but make sure you transfer what’s left over to a sealed container and the fillets are submerged in oil, as storage in an open can will contaminate the taste.
Amaranth flour is made by grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant into a fine powder. As a gluten free flour, amaranth can be used in a wide variety of different applications. It is particularly suitable for making unleavened flatbreads like tortillas in Mexican cuisine or chapatis in Indian cuisine. When using it for leavened or yeast-risen breads, it is best used in combination with other flours.
Italian almond biscuit, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. This traditional Italian macaroon cookie has a bitter-sweet flavor, hence the name (’amaro’’ means ‘’bitter’’ in Italian).
Italian almond-flavored liqueur with a sweet, nutty taste. It is produced of oil extracted from apricot kernels that provide a slightly bitter taste.
Amaretto can be mixed in cocktails, added to coffee, or simply consumed as a dessert drink. In baking, it is added mostly to desserts to refine their flavor.
These purple and white, kidney-shaped beans come from the family of pinto beans. Once cooked, they turn pale pink and taste slightly sweet. They were first cultivated by the ancient Ancestral Puebloans, Native Americans called ‘’Anasazi’’ (a Navajo word translated as ‘’the ancient ones’’).
Today Anasazi beans are used in chilies, burritos, rice meals, and stews in Southwestern, Mexican and Latin cuisines.
Anchovies are small silver oily fish, usually sold as salted fillets packed in salt or oil. These saltwater fish, only 3-4 inches long, can be found in the Mediterranean as well as the Atlantic and Pacific areas.
Due to their intense briny taste, anchovies are used to enhance the flavor of different meals, from dressings and sauces to vegetables and pasta.
A paste of mashed anchovies combined with salt and oil. It can be added to soups, stews, sauces, or spreads to enrich the taste and add a salty kick.
French smoked pork sausage with a strong and spicy taste. It is made of chopped pig intestine, mixed with onions and seasoning. In the United States, andouille sausage is popular in Louisiana Cajun cuisine, where it is double smoked and much spicier.
Angel Food Cake
Angel Food Cake, or Angel Cake, is a sponge cake originated in the United States in the 19th century. It has a light and airy texture that comes from the whipped egg whites combined with sugar and flour and traditionally baked in a tall, round tube pan.
Apple is a pome fruit with more than 7,500 cultivars grown worldwide. Apples are crisp and juicy with a wide range of flavors, from very sweet to acidic. They vary in shape and size and they have thin skin that can be red, green, or yellow.
Being high in fiber and vitamin C and containing 86 % water, apples are considered to be one of the healthiest and most nutritious fruits. They can be consumed raw, as juice or cider, pureed, or cooked in desserts.
Double-crusted pie with apple filling in between the crusts. The filling can be made from raw or canned apples mixed with sugar and cinnamon or other spices. It is typically served topped with ice cream or whipped heavy cream.
The first apple pie recipe was created in the 14th century in England. Its popularity in the US started in the 17th century when it was brought over by European immigrants. In the following centuries, it became one of the most symbolic American dishes (‘’as American as apple pie’’).
Apricot is a stone fruit of the family Rosaceae, cultivated in warm and sunny regions like Mediterranean and Western Asia. Apricots are similar in shape to peaches, but they are not as big or juicy. Their color ranges from yellow to orange.
Fresh apricots taste sweet and slightly tart. They can be used fresh or dried for making apricot pies, tarts, liqueurs or jams.
Italian short-grain white rice, traditionally used in risotto because of its ability to absorb large amounts of liquid and flavor through the cooking process. It provided a creamy and chewy texture and a mild taste.
Unlike other rice types, it is best used without rinsing before cooking, which helps to preserve its starchy coating.
Edible flowerhead of the artichoke plant that originates from the Mediterranean and belongs within the group of thistles. Large green petal-shaped artichoke leaves hide an edible tender center (heart) inside. Boiled or cooked artichokes contain more than 80 % water.
They are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Their texture is crunchy and the flavor is mild, earthy, and slightly sweet.
Arugula, also known as rocket, rucola or roquette, is a leafy green vegetable, originally from the Mediterranean area. Like other greens from its family of Brassicaceae (kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and others), arugula is very low in calories and high in healthy and beneficial nutrients.
Due to its slightly spicy, peppery taste, it is a great choice to turn up the flavor in mixed salads, sauces, pasta or pizza.
Mild and chewy white cheese, originally developed in Northern Mexico. Asadero is excellent for melting and, because of its soft and creamy texture, similar to string cheese, it is traditionally used as a filling for various Mexican dishes.
Swiss-type cow’s milk cheese, originally from Italy, produced in wheels with a thin pale yellow rind. Based on its aging, it can vary in flavor. Fresh Asiago cheese (called Asiago Pressato) is semi-firm and has a soft, creamy, and buttery taste. It is good for melting.
Aged Asiago (Asiago D’Allevo) has a more intense, bitter flavor and it can be grated and added to different meals. It is known as one of the best substitutes for Parmesan cheese.
A vegetable with long, firm green stalks with purple tips and small triangular scale-like leaves all along the stalk. It is grown globally, but native to Europe and parts of Asia, where besides the recognizable green asparagus, white and purple varieties are also cultivated.
It can be consumed raw, but because of its tough, snappy texture, it is usually grilled, steamed, boiled, or roasted.
Tropical pear-shaped fruit with green or brown skin and light green creamy flesh inside that surrounds a large brown pit. They were originally cultivated in Mexico and South America. When fully ripe, avocados have dark green or brown skin with a bumpy texture. They can be eaten raw, spread on toasts, sliced in salads, or used in famous Mexican guacamole dip. Once cut, avocado is prone to quick browning, which can be prevented by spraying its flesh with lemon or lime juice.
Edible oil produced from the pressed avocado pulp. It can be consumed raw or used in salads and sauces, although its most common use is in cooking because of its high smoke point (about 500°F/250 °C) and a very mild flavor.
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