Learning more about the food you eat, or the food you’ve seen other people eat around the world, is not only interesting, but it encourages you to be more adventurous when it comes to your own cooking.
After all, you’re much more likely to buy a new fruit or vegetable at the supermarket if you know what it is, what it tastes like, and how to use it ahead of time.
In this article, we’re going to focus on foods that start with D. We cover everything from dabberlocks to dwarf nasturtiums, expanding your knowledge of edible fruits, vegetables, fish, flowers, and even game meats.
43 Foods That Start With The Letter D
Also known as bladderlock, dabberlocks is a type of edible brown algae that is a traditional food staple in many countries within the North Atlantic, such as Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, and Ireland.
It’s also sometimes called wing kelp and the scientific name literally means “edible wings.”
It can grow up to 6 ½ feet in length and is eaten either raw or cooked. Many children enjoy foraging the coasts and eating it fresh from the ocean.
Daikon is a type of white radish grown throughout Asia but particularly popular in Japan. It has a much milder, sweeter flavor than it’s more peppery cousin the red radish.
Daikon are also long, almost carrot-shaped, rather than bulbous. They can be eaten cooked, raw, or pickled. It’s very fresh and crunchy and often used almost like a condiment or edible garnish.
3. Dall Sheep
Dall sheep, or thinhorn sheep, are wild sheep native to northwestern North America and they are a highly prized type of game meat because they are very difficult and dangerous to hunt.
It’s a very lean, gamey flavored meat, but they are large animals and all parts of the sheep can be eaten as long as it’s prepared carefully.
Damsons are plum-like fruits that grow across Europe and in Britain specifically. They are a subspecies of the common plum and taste quite similar, though with a slightly more astringent flavor and higher sugar content.
Some varieties are eaten straight from the tree but damsons are more popular in cooking, especially for making jams and other preserves.
5. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens were popular generations ago because of how easy they were to forage when food was scarce during the Great Depression, but it’s having a resurgence in popularity due to its claimed health benefits.
They’re high in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and also act as a diuretic, which is capitalized on by diet culture. They’re very bitter, but can be used as you would use most other leafy greens, such as arugula or spinach.
Darjeeling is one of the most popular types of fermented black tea named for the region in which it is grown, close to the city of Darjeeling in the Lesser Himalayas.
Specific timing in harvesting is what creates the signature spicy-sweet aroma and flavor this particular type of tea is known for.
7. Darwin’s Barberry
The Darwin’s Barberry was discovered by Darwin during one of his voyages to South America and named in his honor.
The berries were known to be commonly consumed by prehistoric indigenous peoples, but they’re very acidic and not commonly harvested for consumption now.
The bushes are more often used as a hedging shrub and the berries are edible, so it’s safe for homes with pets and children.
Dasheen, or taro, is a yam-like tropical plant with an edible root that is a staple in many cultures around the world, most notably Africa and South Asia.
The corm, or root, is usually baked, boiled, or roasted and eaten much like we would eat a potato. It can be toxic when raw, so it must be cooked or at least soaked overnight.
It is a very sweet, starchy, and slightly nutty vegetable. The greens are also edible.
Date-plums are native to southeast Europe and southwest Asia and are named for their flavor, which is a juicy combination of dates and plums.
The fruits themselves are small, round yellow berries less than 1 inch in diameter.
One of the most obvious signs that the fruits are ready to eat is the sweet, fruity aroma that wafts from the trees.
Dates are highly nutritious and very sweet which makes them a great candidate for sweetening food without the use of added sugar.
Some varieties of the fruit can be eaten raw, freshly picked from the tree, or prepared raw by pitting and stuffing them with various delicacies, ranging from almonds to cream cheese.
They’re commonly exported dried or made into a syrup and are extremely popular worldwide.
11. Davidson’s Plum
The fruit from the Davidson’s Plum tree in Australia resemble common plums but aren’t closely related.
Many of the trees are considered endangered in the wild but are cultivated for the fruit, which is rather sour and acidic but popularly used in wine, jam, and sauces.
It’s a good source of Vitamin C, but has a wide variety of other important vitamins and minerals a well, making it a very nutritious fruit to cook with.
Daylily is a type of edible flower that is not actually a lily at all, though the flowers are similar and quite beautiful for the bright yellow color.
The bulbs are toxic but the petals are used in gourmet cuisine, especially in China.
They are sold in markets as “yellow flower vegetables” and are added to dishes like hot and sour soup or Buddha’s Delight.
13. Dead Man’s Fingers
While the name of this fruit is not overly appetizing, the gelatinous fruit pulp is surprisingly sweet and delicate, compared to watermelon.
The blue bean-like fruits grow on small trees or shrubs in eastern Asia. They’re usually grown for decorative effect, though the fruit is very valuable for eating among certain indigenous groups of India.
Deeknut is occasionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine, usually only as a garnish. It grows only in very hot, very dry areas.
Deer is one of the most popular wild hunted meats worldwide mainly because the animal lives in nearly every continent, with the exception of Antarctica and Australia.
The meat, commonly referred to as venison, is leaner and tougher than beef, but also higher in protein and amino acids and lower in cholesterol and overall calories.
The flavor of the meat will differ depending on the primary diet of the animal.
16. Desert King Fig
The Desert King Fig tree is an easy to grow fig tree popular in coastal and cool regions of the Northwest. The figs grow abundantly and have bright yellow-green exteriors that open up to rich pink flesh inside.
They produce surprisingly large fruit for this type of tree. This fig is very sweet and, though it’s named for the desert, it does very well in desserts too.
17. Desert Lime
The desert lime grows best in arid climates and is native to Australia. The fruit is one of the quickest citrus species worldwide to grow after flowering.
The fruits are the size, shape, and color of any common lime though the flavor is quite intense and sharp with a distinctive tang. They’re popularly used for flavoring drinks, but also enjoyed in preserves and jams as well.
18. Desert Quandong
Another fruit native to Australia, the desert Quandong is one of the most versatile and prolific bush foods in the outback, eaten fresh, dried, and even converted into essential oils.
The tiny red berries look similar to fresh cranberries but are sweet and tangy, more similar in flavor to a peach. Even the seeds are used for various medicinal purposes.
19. Desert Yam
The desert yam is also called a bush potato sacred to certain aboriginal peoples of Australia. They’re historically a staple food that could be harvested year-round but the plant is very rare and considered endangered now.
If found, the tubers are large, growing up to the size of a human head, and appreciated for both flavor and texture.
Detar, or sweet detar, is an extremely valuable tree grown in West Africa. With proper cultivation, it could provide food security and development opportunities for local economies.
The fruits are dark green and very fibrous with a single seed. They have a distinctive sweet and sour flavor. They have long shelf lives and high nutritional value, which lends to their importance.
Dewberries are similar to raspberries and blackberries, but the seeds are quite a bit tougher than either. They grow wild across most of North America, particularly in the east and south.
They ripen in the spring around April or May and are rich blue-purple when they’re ready to eat. The flavor is similar to blackberries, though more intense and full.
Dill is an herb that grows like a weed and is very popular for flavoring food. Fresh dill fronds are used in salads and cooking, and dill seed is commonly used to flavor pickled goods.
Dill is as fragrant as it is flavorful, though both are reduced dramatically by drying, though drying doesn’t impact the flavor of dill seed.
There are two species of dogfish that are commercially fished for consumption, spiny and smooth. They are very popular because they have no bones, which makes them easy and safe to prepare in mass quantities.
In Europe, the very popular fish and chips dish is primarily made with dogfish.
24. Dolichos Beans
The dolichos bean, also commonly called a hyacinth bean or lablab bean, is native to Africa and cultivated extensively for food. The pods are a vibrant hyacinth color that varies greatly in size, shape, and even color.
Each pod will have an average of 4 seeds. The seeds need to be boiled multiple times before eating to remove toxicity, but the greens are eaten much like spinach.
The consumption of dolphin meat is highly controversial around the world. In many coastal countries, it was a historical food staple, though the whaling industry has indiscriminately and unsustainably decimated many populations to the point of near extinction.
Few countries, namely Japan and Peru, still hunt dolphins for food. Dolphin meat is very dense and a very deep shade of red that almost appears black.
It is commonly consumed as sashimi or deep-fried. When cooked, the flavor has been compared to that of beef liver.
Dolphinfish are entirely unrelated to dolphins and are often called by the commercial name of mahi-mahi to prevent confusion. The fish are very large, growing to nearly 90 pounds and about the length and size of a small dolphin.
When freshly caught they are a very bright rainbow of colors ranging between yellow, green, and blue. The flesh is white and very light flavored, without a strong fishy taste or fragrance.
27. Domsiah Rice
Domsiah is a popular long-grain rice grown and consumed primarily in Iran. It has a signature black dot at the end of each grain.
It has a rich fragrance and cooks up to be fluffy and light. It’s usually used as a filler for stew or as a companion to a meat dish.
Dory fish is commercially fished because the flesh is very delicate and light in flavor. The most popular is called a John Dory.
The white-fleshed fish has a firm, flaky texture and can be cooked in a wide variety of ways, making it very versatile.
It’s quite a moist fish with fine flakes that seem to melt in your mouth like butter. The flavor that is almost sweet and doesn’t have an overpowering fishy taste or aroma.
29. Doub Palm Fruit
The doub palm tree is native to Southeast Asia and produces a unique fruit, sometimes called palmyra fruit.
It grows in clusters and each fruit is protected by a black outer husk. Inside there are jelly-like seed kernels that have a mild tropical flavor similar to lychee fruit.
The pulp of the fruit is also edible. It’s very dense, sweet, and full of nutrition. Even the sap from the tree can be enjoyed as a beverage called Toddy. It can also be fermented so it becomes alcohol.
While you may have never considered eating the vocal peace-symbol birds, doves are actually a very popular game bird.
They reproduce quickly, often compared to rabbits, and are considered relatively sustainable in hunting communities.
Depending on how it’s prepared, dove can have a gamey flavor, similar to that of duck but not nearly as greasy.
31. Dover Sole
Dover sole is species of sole sold for commercial consumption, however it’s quite expensive. It’s a thick-bodied, flat fish found in the Mediterranean sea and the northern Atlantic ocean.
It’s a gourmet fish mainly because it’s flesh has a texture that is closer to meat than other fish, and a sweet, mild flavor.
The bones are also useful because they’re harder than most other fish bones and make a flavorful fish sauce or broth.
32. Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is a beautiful tropical fruit easily identified by its bright pink-purple skin and green spikes. It is actually the fruit of a cactus.
The flesh inside looks very similar to kiwi fruit, only it’s generally white with tiny black seeds which are edible as well. You can also find dragon fruit with rice pink-purple flesh as well.
The flavor is quite sweet but mild and undeniably tropical. Dragon fruit is very juicy, so it’s commonly used in tropical juices and beverages, not just for flavor but for color as well.
33. Dragon Tongue Bean
Dragon tongue beans are an heirloom variety of wax bean. It is a bright yellow-green color covered with purple streaks. They can be eaten fresh like snap beans, or the seeds can be separated and dried to be used like dried beans.
When fresh, they’re juicier and a little sweeter than a common green bean, but otherwise very similar in taste.
34. Dredge Oyster
The Dredge oyster is native to both New Zealand and Chile and is considered a delicacy. They’re not a commonly consumed or cultivated species of oyster because they’re very susceptible to parasites and other pathogens.
Because of a severe decline in population, caused by disease, not overfishing, they’ve been protected as a species for many years, but are beginning to revive once more.
35. Drum Fish
Drum are freshwater fish that are caught easily during the summer months in North America when they begin to relocate to warm, shallow water to begin their spawning cycle.
They are both commercially fished and fished for sport, but the flavor, and therefore popularity, varies wildly depending on where the fish was caught and what it was easting.
It’s not a bony fish, though the flesh is firm. It’s usually prepared grilled and heavily seasoned or blackened.
The drumstick tree, also commonly known as moringa, is cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical environments for the seeds, leaves, and overall medicinal purposes.
It is a very fast-growing tree and is considered invasive in many areas. A mature tree can yield up to 1000 pods a season.
The fruits, called drumsticks, are prepared like a vegetable and taste like a cross between asparagus and green beans.
37. Dubraj Rice
Dubraj rice is a short-grain, aromatic rice common in Indian cuisine. It’s often compared to and used as a substitute for basmati rice because of the strong fragrance, but it is a shorter grain.
Ducks are often hunted for food and sport. It has a noticeably greasy texture and a very rich, meaty flavor that is closer to red meat than poultry like chicken or turkey. It’s high in fat and protein. It’s also a great source of iron.
Duck breast is usually prepared grilled like a steak, and even the internal organs, especially the liver, are considered delicacies.
Duck is a relatively common game meat in North America, but it’s even more popular in Chinese cuisine, with Pekin Duck being a very popular gourmet meal.
Dulse is a type of edible seaweed within the same family of algae as both nori and kelp. Fresh dulse tastes like you would imagine ocean-harvested leafy greens to taste like, salty and savory.
Most edible seaweed has a chewy, almost rubbery texture. When pan-fried, dulse becomes crispy and slightly smoky and makes a delicious toasted garnish to salads and meat dishes alike.
40. Durian Fruit
Durian fruit is most well known for it’s incredibly strong, unpleasant aroma. Some people compare the scent to moldy cheese and others think of gym socks.
It is so strongly scented that it is banned from being eaten in public places in certain parts of the world.
The taste is nothing like the fragrance, thankfully, though it’s still quite unusual. It incorporates a variety of flavors, including almonds, garlic, caramel, and even sometimes a hint of cheese.
41. Durum Wheat
Durum wheat is the most common type of wheat used in the pasta industry and, because of that, its one of the most commonly consumed wheat varietals worldwide, second only to whole wheat.
Durum wheat is primarily grown in hot, dry fields along the Mediterranean sea. It’s ground into semolina flour or used to make breakfast cereals, bulgar, or other types of course flour.
42. Dwarf Banana Tree
Most traditional bananas are grown in tropical countries, but it is possible to grow them in your own home and enjoy the fruit.
Dwarf banana trees can grow outdoors in year-long warm climates or in pots that can be moved indoors during the winter. A healthy tree will start to bear fruit in as little as two years.
43. Dwarf Nasturtium
Dwarf nasturtiums are flowers that are easy to grow indoors and make beautiful potted plants.
The leaves, flowers, and seed pods are all edible, highly nutritious, and make a delicious salad that looks like artwork. Hummingbirds are also very fond of this edible plant.