Skip to Content

Unique Foods That Start With U: 23 Varieties

Can you name any food that starts with the letter U?

Perhaps you can think of one or two things, but this list of foods may surprise you as to how many of them there are out there.

You can trot them out for trivia night or create a meal with these foods that start with U.

1. Ugli Fruit

Also known as the Jamaican tangelo, ugli fruit is a unique blend of orange and tangerine with just a touch of grapefruit flavor thrown in for good measure. And interestingly, this unique fruit has yet another name for it, too, uniq fruit. 

On the outside, you might judge it harshly for it’s a bit bumpy-looking.

Honestly, it doesn’t look like something you’d want to eat, but give it a try for this food that begins with the letter U is full of sweet citrus flavors that will make you wonder where it’s been your whole life.

Udon noodles

2. Udon Noodles

In Japanese cuisine, udon noodles are incredibly popular. They’re made of wheat flour and very thick, giving them a nice, chewy texture.

The most common way to enjoy them is while they’re hot. Often, you’ll see them in soups riddled with shredded vegetables, scallions, and soy sauce.

They’d probably taste great with just about anything, though.

3. Umbrella Fruit

Umbrella fruit is next on our list of foods that start with the letter U. It’s a small, green fruit commonly found growing in tropical regions.

You won’t want to eat it while it’s green, though. When it ripens and turns yellow, that’s the time to give it a taste. It has a bright yellow flesh, and it tastes like mango and pineapple swirled into one. 

They say the umbrella fruit has a bounty of health benefits that may make it ideal for good heart health and vision. It also has loads of fiber and very few calories, making it a nice choice for something to satisfy your sweet cravings while sticking to a healthy diet.

Foods with fiber make you feel fuller for longer, and with a taste this sweet, it’s the perfect natural dessert. 

4. Ugali Pap

If you ever have the chance to visit Africa, you may be served ugali pap. Sometimes called ugali, this porridge of maize flour is a common side dish. If you’ve had polenta, it’s remarkably similar. 

Utah scones, or fry bread in a skillet cooking in oil.

5. Utah Scones

While the U.K. is known for scones, so is Utah. But Utah scones are a bit different, looking far more like a donut than any scone you’ve ever seen. They’re puffy and deep-fried treats covered with powdered sugar

Like donuts, Utah scones come in a variety of flavors, such as butter, honey, and buttermilk. You may see them with fruit fillings too. They’re a common breakfast in the Salt Lake State, so feel free to enjoy them for dessert any time. 

6. Ube

In Japanese cuisine as well as throughout Asia, the bright purple yam known as ube is incredibly popular.

You’ll see it in everything from meals to bubble teas and ice cream. The health benefits of these tasty sweet potato-like root veggies include the potential to improve gut health.

With plenty of antioxidants, it’s a deliciously healthy choice for any meal. 

7. Ugni Fruit

In New Zealand, the Chilean guava, as it is sometimes called, is a popular fruit.

Ugni fruit also goes by tazziberry or strawberry myrtle, as it looks like little red berries. You’ll find them growing on the bushes there, and the taste is something akin to cotton candy with a pear-like texture. 

A popular use for ugni fruit is to turn it into strawberry flavoring because of its color and similar taste. The ugni fruit also has lots of antioxidants and is a healthy choice if you can get your hands on it!

Homemade pineapple upside down cake is a fun and easy dessert to make. The pineapple bakes up soft and is sweet in flavor.

8. Upside Down Cake

Another one of the foods that begin with the letter U is the upside-down cake. This famed dessert in the U.S. and U.K. is made by placing fruit at the bottom of a cake pan.

The cake batter is then poured on top. After baking, the cake is flipped upside down to serve it, presenting the caramelized fruit as the topping

Pineapple is the most common type of upside-down cake; however, it can be made with berries and bananas too.

You can use any fruit that bakes well to make an upside-down cake. The sweetness of the fruits really shines and make this a great dessert for a potluck or party

9. Uni

Next on our list of foods with U, uni, or sea urchin, is a big part of Japanese cuisine. There are hundreds of sea urchins out there in the waters of the Earth, but just a few of them are used for food sources.

Uni gets a thick and creamy texture when cooked and tastes almost buttery. It’s a delicacy that you’ll either love or hate. 

10. Umi

The Japanese plum, Chinese plum, or plum blossom from the plum and prune family that starts with U is ume.

This fruit is green and firm, usually used to make fermented beverages like wine. No one really eats it raw, as it has a bitter taste.

But as wine, it’s sweet and delicious. You may not like the taste when you bite into the fruit, but when you pour yourself a glass of umi wine, you’ll discover a new favorite drink!

11. Urfa Biber

In Turkish cuisine, urfa biber is a commonly used chili pepper. It is first dried, then ground into urfa pepper flakes that give food a nice salty, smokey, and sweet taste all at once.

Urfa biber isn’t easy to find in the U.S., but if you have the chance to try it, you’ll find you love the flavors it adds to your dishes for that exotic flair. 

12. Urda Cheese

Originally hailing from Romania, urda cheese has spread in popularity throughout Hungary and Siberia. This super-soft cheese is made with whey.

If you like ricotta, you’re bound to enjoy urda cheese. It has a sweet and salty taste though the flavors will vary depending on which milk is used. Urda is made with cow, goat, or sheep milk.

Typically, urda cheese is used in cooking and baking, though you can also eat it fresh. If you find it, stuff it into ravioli and see how you like it!

13. Urad Dal

In Indian cuisine, these split black lentils are common in spicy curry dishes and soups. Sometimes called mung bean when in Indian foods, urad dal is something you’ll want to try the next time you whip up Indian cuisine for your family. 

14. Umble Pie

Umble pie is pretty much a nickname for something you may know as humble pie. This traditional mince meat pie dish started in France back in medieval times.

Today, it is still widely consumed for its savory flavors. It contains organ meats mixed with vegetables and other seasonings to enhance the taste. 

Sifting cocoa and flour in a sifter.

15. Unsweetened Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate is not what you’d typically reach for when you have a craving for something chocolaty.

As the name suggests, it has no sugar added to it. It only contains cocoa butter and solids, which by itself, has a bitter taste.

You’ll want to use unsweetened chocolate in some baking recipes as sugar is added separately, which balances out the flavors of your baked goodies.

But if you’re craving chocolate and the unsweetened kind is all you have, do yourself a favor and run to the store, as that bitter taste will stay with you for a long while!

16. Unagi

While clearly Ross thought unagi meant something else on the TV show Friends, it is freshwater eel, something very common in cuisine.

As eel is a popular food in Japan, it should be noted that they also consume saltwater eel or anago. 

If you like dining in Japanese restaurants, you can order unagi. You’ll find it baked, pan-fried, or rolled into sushi.

It’s buttery and salty, usually served with a savory sauce that brings out the flavors. 

17. U-No Bars

While now harder to find, the U-No Bars from the Annabelle Candy Company is a true treat.

They taste like truffles with chocolate surrounding more chocolate in the center. The center has a fluffy texture, making it a dream come true for chocolate lovers.

These candy bars came from the West coast all the way back in the 1920s.

Today, you can order them online. They used to make them in almond and mint, but the original chocolate flavor is still made today. 

18. Uszka

In Polish cuisine, uszka are delicious little dumplings that look like little ears, hence the name (which is what that word means in Polish).

These are usually filled with mushrooms and are served during the Christmas season. They take a long time to make, but this labor of love is worth it for a truly tasty meal!

19. Umbricelli Pasta

In Italy, umbricelli pasta is found everywhere. It is thick and long, similar to spaghetti, but even thicker.

Umbricelli pasta is made from wheat flour, and the noodles are rolled inward to hold the sauce better for a heartier meal. This is the kind of pasta you want to serve with a thick sauce to really have a noodle dish that gives your family full bellies.

A stick and a half of butter in a medium sized saucepan.

20. Unsalted Butter

Unsalted butter is used in all types of baking, from desserts to savory dishes.

Butter is one of the most popular foods and is used for spreading on bread, dipping with seasonings, and so much more.

Salted and unsalted butter is made the same way. However, salted butter has added salt.

21. Ukrainian Rolls

Ukrainian rolls are similar to Hawaiian rolls, are soft and fluffy, and a very popular dish.

Pampushki is another name for the delicious rolls with garlic flavoring. Be sure to try some, as they are a favorite in Ukraine.

22. Ububese Fruit

These green fruits are found in several different countries on the African continent, as well as Australia and South America.

The taste is a combination of pineapple and lemon for a sweet flavor in every bite.

Slow cooker beef stew in a bowl

23. Uziza Leaves

If you like to add spice to your foods, this is the one. The spice is similar to black pepper and is perfect for a stew of vegetables.

The West African spice is used for flavoring many different foods and is a favorite in many parts of the world.

All these foods with the letter U are great to try if you can find them. Put them on your food bucket list and see how many you can find.