If you’ve ever wanted to expand your knowledge of the different types of food grown and cultivated around the world, this list of 99 foods that start with B will give you a good start.
99 Foods That Start With The Letter B
Babaco is a tropical fruit that grows up to a foot long and has a unique 5-sided shape that rounds at both ends. The edible skin ripens to a rich yellow and the fruit is very juicy, though not overly sweet. It’s often described as a combination between strawberry, pineapple and papaya.
The Brazillian bacuri fruit has a very thick, mottled yellow-brown rind that gives way to a thick, sticky white pulp with 3 – 5 seeds. The pulp is both sweet and sour and often used to make ice cream, jam or jelly.
The unripe bael fruit as well as the leaf, branches and root of the plant are all used to make traditional medications, mainly to ease fevers, relieve digestive discomfort, and even occasionally to treat malaria or snakebite. Some Asian countries enjoy the hard-shelled ripe fruit with sugar and milk.
4. Bailan Melon
The Bailon melon is a close relative of the honeydew melon that grows in China. It has white skin and very pale green, almost white flesh. It’s dense and heavy and, like it’s relative, rich in Vitamin C, protein and minerals.
5. Baker’s Yeast
Baker’s yeast is the specific strain of bacteria most commonly used in baking bread and other pastries that rise. Baker’s yeast is a single-celled organism that essentially eats fermentable sugars and releases carbon dioxide and ethanol, creating small bubbles of gas that allow dough to rise.
The bambangan fruit grows only in Borneo. It looks like a large hairless kiwifruit, though it has a firm, inedible rind like a citrus fruit. The flesh is light yellow with a slightly bitter, sour flavor similar to an unripe mango. It’s usually pickled or cooked with sugar.
7. Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots as well as bamboo sprouts are the edible portion of bamboo plant, most commonly sliced and used in Asian stir-fry dishes or soups. Bamboo must be cooked to remove natural toxins, so in most grocery stores you’ll find them in the canned goods section.
Bananas are an elongated fruit with a yellow peeling that opens to reveal sweet, dense white flesh. Botanically, bananas are actually berries. If the fruit is grown to be larger, starchier, and used in cooking, it is called a plantain, though it is the same species as the more dessert-like banana.
The barberry shrub grows small, tart red berries that are most commonly used in traditional medicine to treat digestive issues, skin conditions and occasionally infections. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals, thought they’re not usually eaten as berries, but rather in supplement or extract form.
Barley is type of cereal grain that is often used in cooking. It is a whole grain that looks similar to rice, though it has an earthier flavor and a meatier texture. Barley is particularly popular for slow-cooked recipes like soup and stew.
Basil is a bright green, flavor-packed culinary herb in the mint family. Its used as a seasoning in a wide variety of savory and sweet foods, as well as in beverages like tea or even cocktails. Aside from tasting delicious, basil is used in many traditional or alternative medicine remedies.
12. Basmati Rice
Basmati rice is commonly used in Indian and South Asian cuisine and is appreciated for the nutty, earthy flavor and sweet fragrance. It’s a long-grain rice that can be found in both white and brown varieties. Nutritionally, it’s similar to other types of rice, but it does tend to be lower in arsenic.
13. Batuan Fruit
Batuan is a hard, green, acidic fruit that grows in the Phillipines. Before it ripens, it’s commonly used to make sour soups. Once ripe, it’s most often pickled, made into jam or dried rather than eaten raw.
14. Bay Bolete
The Bay Bolete mushroom is very similar in appearance, though much more common, than the exclusive Penny Bun. They have large, dark brown velvety caps and pale yellow or white flesh. They can be eaten fresh with their pores removed, but they’re more enjoyable after they’ve been dried.
15. Bay Leaf
Bay leaves are aromatic culinary herbs that are mostly used for flavoring, rather than for eating. They’re most commonly purchased dried, as a whole leaf. Recipes that call for bay leaves are usually slow-cooked, such as soups, stews or sauces, and the leaf is removed before the dish is served.
Bayberries, also known as yumberries, are juicy red Chinese fruits. If you find them outside of China, they’ll likely be canned, dried or frozen because they’re very delicate and don’t travel well.
17. Beach Plum
Along the East Coast of the USA grow wild plums called Beach plums. They’re about the size and shape of a cherry, but with a rich, blue to black color. Like most plums, they’re sweet and commonly used for jams and jellies.
18. Beans (Green)
Beans, as in green beans, string beans or snap beans, are a staple in kitchens around the world. They’re enjoyed fresh seasonally, and frozen or canned throughout the rest of they year. They can be cooked in a variety of ways – steamed, sauted, baked or broiled.
Bear is a type of wild game meat that is popular, though controversial in many countries. Bears are omnivores, and because they eat some meat they can carry a parasite that causes trichinosis. As long as the meat is carefully cooked and prepared, many game lover’s find it comparable to really fatty beef.
Bearberries, also sometimes called lingonberries, are tiny red berries that grow in Scandinavian Europe. They’re similar to cranberries, though not quite as tart. They’ve recently been granted the label “superfood” because of their impressive antioxidant content, among other vitamins and minerals.
21. Bearss Lime
Bearss limes are mostly seedless citrus fruits first sourced in Indio, CA. They’re sometimes called Persian Limes or Tahitian limes because they’re likely originated from, and almost identical to, these more common varieties.
Beaver meat has a reputation for being a delicious wild meat, though it’s not legal to hunt everywhere. Traditionally, beaver tails especially were a delicacy, though the entire animal is a valuable source of fat for people who eat only game meat, which is usually very lean.
Beechnuts, the fruit of beech trees, are edible, though they are quite bitter and not extremely popular. They do have enough fat to be pressed for oil, though again it’s not overly popular. Even though the nuts aren’t popular, the wood itself is often used for smoking, fermenting and flavoring foods and beers.
Beef is one of the most common red meats consumed around the world. The meat from cattle is incredibly versatile and a rich source of protein, iron, zinc and other vitamins and minerals. Over-consumption of red meat has been linked to cancer, heart disease and environmental impacts.
Beetroot, or simply beets, are typically deep purple root vegetables that have an earthy, sweet flavor. They can also be yellow, white, or pink, though they’re less common. Beets are most commonly cooked or pickled, though they can be eaten raw. The greens are also delicious and full of nutrition.
26. Belgian Endive
Begian endive, also known as escarole, is a bitter, leafy yellow-green in the chicory family. It can be used as a type of fancy salad green, but it’s versatile enough to also be enjoyed grilled, baked or roasted.
27. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are sweet, crispy fruits closely related to both hot chili peppers and tomatoes. They’re a member of the nightshade family so some people do have sensititivities to them. Bell peppers are used as a culinary vegetable, equally popular eaten raw and cooked.
28. Bengal Currant
Bengal currants are common in Asia, Europe and Australia but are not often found in the Americas. It’s a tiny, red sour berry that grows on a lush thorny bush. It’s nutritionally very dense and is often used in natural remedies for everything from blood pressure regulation to relief of digestive distress.
Bergamot is a tropical citrus fruit common in the Mediterranean. It is the color of a lime though it’s closer in size and shape to an orange. It is a bitter citrus, though not sharply sour. The oil extracted from the rind is used to flavor the popular tea, Earl Grey.
30. Bigfin Reef Squid
Bigfin reef squid are one of the most common types of squid fished for human consumption. They can be fished through trawling, net traps, jigging, spear guns and squid pots year round. Even though they’re jokingly referred to as the “weeds of the sea,” overfishing is still a concern.
31. Bighorn Sheep
Bighorn sheep are a very limited source of game meat for extremely devoted hunters. The licenses are few and difficult to get, and the sheep live in dangerous, rugged landscapes making them difficult to hunt in more ways than one. They’re a wild red meat.
Bignay trees are native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia and they grow small berries, similar to cranberries. The fruit ripens unevenly, ranging in color from unripe pale pink to ripe deep burgundy. The berries are sweet and tart when ripe and often used for making wine, tea or jam.
Bilberries are also sometimes called European blueberries and they’re closely related to but still different from the American blueberry. They look and taste much the same though their flesh is red or purple.
34. Bilberry Cactus
The bilberry cactus is fast growing and cultivated in Mexico for the fruit it produces. The dark purple berries resemble bilberries, hence the name.
The bilimbi is sometimes called a cucumber tree because the fruit it bears looks quite similar to a small cucumber. They grow to be about 4 inches long with a bumpy, waxy light-green skin. The fruit is very sour and isn’t usually eaten on its own, but rather as a flavoring agent in Indonesian cuisine.
Binjai fruit, or white mango, is very popular in many southeast Asian countries growing in marshy lowlands with plenty of rain. Each tree can produce thousands of fruits per season, which are enjoyed fresh, cooked or pickled.
37. Birch Bolete
There are two types of birch bolete, orange and brown. The mushrooms are best to eat fresh when they’re young and firm. As they age, they’re better dried because the stems become tough and more difficult to digest. They grow under birch trees exclusively, hence their name.
38. Bird’s Eye Chili
Bird’s Eye chili peppers grew enormously in popularity after they were named as a “sirtfood” in the trendy Sirtfood Diet that reportedly helped Adele and other celebrities lose a substantial amount of weight very quickly. They’re small and very hot, somewhere between jalapenos and habenaro peppers.
Biriba are delicate tropical South American fruits that taste surprisingly similar to the custard in a lemon meringue pie. It is a large, round fruit that turns from green to yellow as it ripens and is covered by spiny protrubances full of soft, sweet pulp.
Bison is a nutrient-dense red meat that, historically, has been second in popularity only to beef. It’s not considered wild meat, but it’s also not as commercially cultivated as cattle. It can easily be subsitituted for any red meat in a recipe but it’s leaner than beef and is easy to overcook.
41. Bitter Orange
Bitter orange is most commonly cultivated in Florida and the Bahamas and can’t be eaten raw. It is often cooked, most notably into marmalade. Essential oils extracted from the rind are popular flavoring and aromatic agents and it’s also used medicinally.
42. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon, also sometimes known as Balsam Apple Fruit, is roughly the size and shape of a cucumber, though it has very bumpy, rich green skin. It’s white flesh is very bitter, as the name suggests, and is usually cooked or used in medicine rather than eaten on it’s own.
43. Black Apple
Black apple trees grow in the rainforests of Australia and are eaten as most other apples, as raw fruit. They sweet and high in fiber and a favorite food and living space of maggots, so eat with caution.
44. Black Beans
Black beans are among the most common dried legume on the plant, especially popular in Mexican, Central and South American cuisine. Black beans and rice is a staple food in many Latin American countries, and the beans are thought to improve the glycemic response caused by the rice.
45. Black Cardamom
Black cardamom pods are used as a spice, similar to their green relatives, though they have a smokier flavor and fragrance from being dried over open fire. It can be used as a substitute for green cardamom, though it’s generally considered inferior and not as suitable for sweet dishes.
46. Black Cherries
Black cherry is the most common type of sweet cherry grown in North America. They’re sweet and juicy to eat ripe from the tree, but they’re most commonly juiced. Black cherry juice is often used to treat gout and is a popular flavor in many different beverages, from soda to cocktails.
47. Black Currant
The tiny, tart blackcurrent berries are highly popular in Europe and Asia, particularly in the UK where they’re not only the key ingredient in the extremely popular drink, Ribena, but they’re also a common ingredient in health drinks and foods.
48. Black Gram
Black gram is a relative the mung bean that is popular throughout South Asia, particularly in Indian cuisine. The whole bean is sometimes sold as black lentils, though they are not true lentils. The split bean, since it is white inside, is often called white lentils.
49. Black Locust
Black locust is an edible flower that is used in jams and perfume in some countries. In India, it’s often used in traditional medicine. The seeds of the plant are also edible, though the bark and leaves are toxic.
50. Black Mulberry
Black mulberries grow on trees and look very similar to blackberries, though considerably longer. They’re very juicy when fresh but most commonly sold as dried fruit, similar to raisins.
51. Black Pepper
Black pepper is one of the most common spices around the world, served as seasoning alongside salt. It’s made by grinding black peppercorns and has a spicy, earthy flavor. A compound called peperine in black pepper thought to reduce risk of all chronic diseases.
52. Black Raspberry
Black raspberries are less common than their red relatives, though similar in many other ways. They have a hollow center and sweet, very juicy pulpy flesh. Many people find them sweeter than red raspberries and, because of their deep hue they have a powerful collection of healthy antioxidants.
53. Black Rice
Black rice has a royal history, being so uniquely nutritious and flavorful that it was exclusively consumed by Chinese royalty. These days it’s widely available around the world. The short grains are chewy and have a nuttier flavor that basic white rice as well as a more diverse nutritional profile.
54. Black Sapote
Black sapote is named for it’s inner black flesh, though the outside skin is a deep forest green. This fruit is closely related to persimmons, and the dark brown, custard-like pulp is nature’s version of chocolate pudding.
Blackberries are very similar to black raspberries, but with a few key differences. Blackberries have a longer growing season and are more tart than raspberries, with less sweetness. They’re also glossier, juicier and less pulpy than raspberries and they don’t squish or bruise as easily.
56. Black-eyed Peas
Black-eyed peas are a very common legume that are mostly a pale cream color but feature a prominent black spot, or eye. They’re richly flavored and popular in both Indian and South American cuisine.
57. Blood Lime
Blood limes are a hybrid of red finger limes and sweet oranges, cultivated specifically to be salt-resistent. The fruit are smaller than standard limes, though much sweeter in flavor. The rind is a burgundy color, opening to orange-red flesh inside. Unlike most citrus, the skin is edible.
58. Blood Orange
Blood oranges are a close relative to the standard orange citrus fruit, but the flesh inside is a crimson, blood-red color, thanks to unique polyphenols. The skin is often tougher and thicker than on standard oranges and the flesh inside has a sweetness sometimes compared to raspberries.
59. Blue Guarri
The Blue Guarri tree grows into a bushy, dense tree in tropical South Africa, producing tiny pea-sized berries. The berries are edible only when they’re fully ripe and have transitioned from their hairy green youth to an almost black color. The fruit is more popular with animals than humans.
60. Blue Tongue
The Blue Tongue shrub grows in Southeast Asia and Australia. Though the shrub does produce edible purple berries, all parts of the plant can be used. Grass jelly is popular in Indonesia and the sap as well as an extract made from the leaves is used to make traditional herbal remedies.
Blueberries are often picked wild through their commercially cultivated across North America and Europe. They’re closely related to cranberries and bilberries, and are thought of as a superfood because of their rich antioxidants. They’re tiny and blue with a mild, sweet pulpy fleshy.
Boar meat is typically wild and is very similar to pork, though it’s leaner and has a more rich, red coloring. The flavor is stronger than conventionally raised pork because of the animal’s diet: mainly grass, nuts and other foraging. The flavor is sweet and slightly nutty.
Bobcat is a wild game meat that is often compared to pork or wild boar in terms of flavor and texture. It’s a lean meat that is tender and quite mild in flavor. Because they’re carnivores, it’s very important to make sure bobcat meat is properly cooked to be safe from parasites.
64. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable that is usually considered Chinese cabbage. It’s very popular in Asian stirfries and soups. You can find full-sized heads that can grow up to 2 feet long, or baby bok choy, that are only 4 – 6 inches long.
Boldo trees are indigenous to central Chile and are rarely seen outside of their native country. The fruits are small, round, and green, with a lemon-camphor aroma and flavor. The leaves are used in a variety of herbal remedies though it can be toxic in high doses.
66. Bolivian Mountain Coconut
Closely related to similar coconut bearing palms, this Bolvian variety grows at the highest elevations of any palm tree but it also the only large plant to grow this high. The fruit is edible and comparable to standard coconuts.
Bolwarra fruit grow on shurbs or small trees in Australia. The fruit yellow as they ripen and have a sweet, edible jelly-like flesh inside. They’re usually used in jams, desserts and various beverages.
68. Bomba Rice
Bomba rice is a short grain Spanish rice that is popular for use in paella. It’s sometimes also called Valencia rice, though it is though to originate in India. When cooked, it absorbs 2 – 3 times its weight in water and retains its firm texture well.
Bombong is a type of cabbage with tough, bright green and sweet leaves that fall open as it matures, rather than staying tightly bound like a traditional Napa cabbage. Bomdong is popular in Korean cuisine.
70. Boquila Berries
Boquila berries are edible fruits that grow on a unique flowering vine native to Chile and Argentina. The plant wraps itself around a host plant and mimics the shape, style and color of the host’s leaves.
71. Bora Saul
Bora saul is a type of sticky, glutenous rice eaten exclusively in North-Eastern India. It’s often prepared with milk and sugar, though it can be simply boiled to make regular, though very sticky, rice dishes.
Borage is an herb with edible leaves that taste remarkably similar to cucumber. The leaves are best eaten young, because as they mature they develop tiny thorns that can irritate your mouth. They can be dried and used to make tea or herbal remedies. The bright blue or purple flowers are also edible.
Boysenberries are hybrid fruits, crossed between European rapsberries and blackberries, as well as American dewberries and loganberries. They were first grown in California, on Boysen’s farm. They’re very delicate, difficult to cultivate and have a short season.
74. Brazilian Cherry
Brazilian cherries are small, deeply purple fruits with yellow flesh. Their flavor is similar to sweet cherries with some plum notes. Unfortunately, the trees grow very slow and are considered endangered.
75. Brazil Nut
Brazil nuts, native to the Amazon rainforest, are large tree nuts famous for their high concentration of the mineral selenium. They’re smooth and buttery in texture with a mild, nutty flavor that is usually enjoyed raw or blanched.
76. Brazilian Guava
The Brazilian Guava plant ranges from Mexico to Argentina, despite it’s name. The fruit ranges in flavor from bitter to tart and slightly sweet. Some varieties are enjoyable fresh and raw but it’s more common to preserve the fruit into jam.
Breadfruit is a tropical fruit tree related to mulberries and jackfruit. The giant, spiny fruit is a staple food in many cultures. When cooked, it tastes similar to freshly baked bread or, to some, like potatoes.
The breadnut, similar to breadfruit, is a relative of figs and mulberries. They grow in tropical forests of Mexico, Central and Southern America as well as the Caribbean. The large seed is typically boiled and ground into a type of porridge or used to make flatbread.
79. Brewer’s Yeast
Brewer’s yeast is a naturally occurring species of bacteria that is popularly used for brewing fermented beverages, namely beer. The most common type of Brewer’s Yeast is also called Baker’s Yeast, a strain specifically used for breads and baked goods.
80. Broad Beans
Broad beans, or fava beans, are a type of green bean that are sold with their pods in tact, though the pod is not edible itself. The inner green beans have a sweet, earthy flavor and firm texture that makes them very versatile once cooked.
Broccoli is a type of cruciferous vegetable from the Brassica family. It’s related to cabbage and kale and is actually classified as an edible flower. It’s a very popular vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked and is particularly popular as a decent source of plant-based protein.
82. Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli rabe, also called rapini, is related to broccoli, though it is more stem and leaves than flower. The green leafy vegetable does not grow a large head, though each stalk does end in a small bud that resembles broccoli. It has a bitter flavor and is popular in Mediterranean dishes.
Broccolini is also called baby broccoli and is a hybrid of traditional broccoli and Chinese broccoli, or gai lan. It has a long, slim edible stem much like asparagus, but with a flowering sprouts at the top of each stem. They have a mild, sweet flavor similar to a combination of broccoli and asparagus.
84. Brown Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain form or white rice. It retains the bran layer and germ, though the inedible hull has been removed. Because it’s a whole grain, it takes considerably longer to cook than white rice, but in exchange has more minerals and fiber. Also, because it retains the hull, it has a higher concentration of arcenic than white rice.
85. Brush Cherry
Brush cherries are rainforest trees that grow in Australia. They produce bright red berries with white flesh and hard seeds inside. The cherries are quite sour and they’re used in a variety of cooked dishes as well as for jams and jellies.
86. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family, closely related to kale, cauliflower and cabbage. In fact, many people consider them mini cabbages because they look and taste exactly as you would expect of a baby cabbage.
Buckwheat is a seed that isn’t technically a cereal grain because it doesn’t grow from grass, though it’s eaten similar to other cereal grains. It is naturally gluten-free and a rich source of plant-based protein, along with other essential vitamins and minerals.
88. Buddha’s Hand
Buddha’s Hand is a very strange looking citrus fruit that appears to have multiple fingers, hence the name. It’s often used purely as decoration, but it’s lemon-like flavor is delicious in desserts, savory dishes and as a flavoring for beverages.
Buffalo live in Africa and Asia. African buffalos are hunted as trophy animals and rarely eaten for their meat. Asian water buffalos are domesticated and used for both dairy and meat, similar to cattle.
90. Bulgar Wheat
Bulgar is a type of cereal grain made from parboiling and cracking a variety of different species of wheat groats. It has a nutty flavor and can be found in a variety of grinds, from fine to coarse. It’s popular in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Burahol is a fruit grown exclusively in Java, Indonesia. They have a spicy, mango-like flavor. The fruits are small and oval, less than 2 inches long, and yellow-green when ripe. It’s believed to have contraceptive properties by the local Javanese.
92. Burdekin Plum
The Burdekin Plum tree grows in the Pacific Islands, Australia and Malaysia. The fruit is a dark purple in most cases. White fruit does exist, though rare. The flavor, shape and size is very similar to common plums.
93. Burdock Roots
Burdock is a root vegetable most popular in East Asian cuisine. The slender roots can grow up to 3 feet long and are used very similar to potatoes. The flavor is slightly sweet and pungent and, depending on how it’s prepared, may taste muddy.
94. Burmese Grape
Burmese grapes can be found all throughout Asia, though they’re most commonly cultivated in Burma. The fruits come in many colors, from yellow-green to bright red or purple. They are seeded fruits and can be eaten raw, cooked or made into wine.
95. Bush Butterfruit
The Bush Butter Tree is native to Africa and grows fruits with flesh that has the texture of butter when cooked. The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked in salt water or roasted. It has a very high fat concentration for a fruit, and is considered a rich souce of fatty acids.
96. Bush Tomato
Bush tomatoes are a nightshade vegetable closely related to eggplants. They grow in dry areas of Australia, particularly regions at are prone to wildfires. Some species can be highly toxic due to high concentrations of solanine. Even the edible varieties are quite bitter and usually roasted and dried before they’re eaten.
97. Buttercup Squash
Buttercup squash are heavy and dense domesticated squash that weight between 3 – 5 pounds when they’re fully mature. The dark green skin protects yellow-orange flesh that tastes very similar to pumpkin.
98. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a type of winter squash with a sweet flavor, similar to pumpkin though slightly nuttier. It is bell shaped, with light beige skin and bright orange flesh.
99. Button Mangosteen
Button mangosteen is a tropical fruit that grows primarily in Malaysia and Thailand and is a close relative to purple mangosteen. Compared to the purple variety, button mangosteen has paper-thin, orange skin and can be eaten easily out-of-hand. It has a flavor similar to tangerines. You can also find powdered mangosteen.