From haddock fish to the herb hyssop, there are 41 interesting, unique, and edible foods for you to discover in this article.
They may not be all to your taste or preferences, but you’ll never know if you don’t learn more about them and this is the perfect opportunity to expand your food-related knowledge.
41 Foods That Start With The Letter H
Haddock is a popular cold-water whitefish and a relative to cod though it is sweeter to taste and has a fine texture. They are easily substituted for each other, however.
Haddock is high in protein and is considered a low-mercury fish, which many people search for. It’s a low-calorie option but it’s not as high in heart-healthy fats as many other, fattier fish.
Hake is a lean whitefish that is very low in fat. This is a benefit for those watching their calorie count but contributes very few omega-3 fatty acids, which is a primary reason many people add fish to their diet.
It is a very watery fish, with high protein. It is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins that are difficult to get enough of without supplementation.
3. Hakusai Cabbage
Hakusai is the Japanese name for the type of cabbage we call long Napa in the US or sometimes even Chinese cabbage. It is very commonly used in Japanese cuisine, starring in everything from hot-pots to gyozas and, of course, soup.
The long, flexible, and watery cabbage is also perfect for making cabbage rolls, Kimchi, or simply braising it to enjoy as a side dish.
Halibut is a very popular fish despite growing warnings about overfishing and heavy metal contamination issues. It’s a large fish, making it economical and mild in flavor. It has firm, rich flesh that isn’t overly fishy tasting.
Halibut often has high levels of mercury which can make it risky to consume frequently. It’s also a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals and a decent source of fatty acids.
Halloumi is a type of unripened, semi-hard cheese made from sheep’s and goat’s milk. It doesn’t melt easily so it’s often prepared fried or grilled and is a popular meat alternative in many vegetarian diets.
Halloumi is common in Greek and Mediterranean cuisines and is now most popular in the UK.
6. Hami Melon
Hami, or Hami-Gua, melons are similar in size to watermelons but they have a bright yellow skin that is netted and relatively hard for a melon. The flesh is a paler peach color and they have a large number of seeds in the center.
Hami melons are juicy, yet crisp and quite sweet. They also have a floral element to their flavor and aroma.
Hare is game meat very similar to rabbit, either wild or farmed. The flavor varies depending on where the animal lives and what it eats, as its flesh will take on some of the qualities of its diet. Most hares are primarily herbivores, but they have been known to eat meat as well.
Hare meat is most commonly prepared braised, as it is very lean and dries out easily. Stewing hare meat or even deep-frying certain parts of the animal are also very enjoyable.
8. Haricot Beans
Haricot beans are the most common beans eaten worldwide. The scientific name is Phaseolus vulgaris and it is the family of beans that we get both our dried beans and fresh green beans from.
If a recipe calls for haricot beans, they are probably referring to either Navy beans or Boston beans, or another type of white or cream dried bean with a soft creamy texture perfect for baking.
Haricot green beans, or Haricot verts, are immature, small, and thin young green beans of the same species. They are commonly eaten raw and prized for their delicate size and flavor.
9. Hass Avocados
Hass avocados are the primary type of avocado available in the US and Canada as it’s grown primarily in California. Avocados in general are prices for their high amount of plant-based healthy fats.
They grow up to 12 ounces and have a dark purple, nearly black, pebbly skin when they’re ripe. The flesh inside is pale yellow around the pit growing to a bright green as it gets closer to the skin. They have a very creamy, rich texture and a somewhat nutty, sweet flavor.
10. Hawaiian Mountain Apple
Hawaiian Mountain Apples are a tropical fruit that grows in Hawaii, as you might expect, but is actually native to Malaysia and is popular throughout the Pacific Islands.
They have a unique shape, similar to a pear but with more exaggeration between the long narrow upper end and the bulbous, flat-bottom. They’re bright red and glossy when ripe with a waxy texture to their skin. The flesh inside is crisp, juicy, and slightly fibrous, similar to a pear. The flavor is tart at first but mellows out to sweetness after the first bite.
11. Hawthorn Apples
Hawthorn apples are only the size of berries with thin skin and pulpy flesh. They can be a variety of colors, including red, green, yellow and even a purple so dark it seems black. They do have a center full of seeds, but they’re so densely packed that they appear to be more like a pit.
Hawthorn apples have an astringent quality and very tart flavor so they’re rarely eaten out-of-hand straight from the tree. They’re more likely to be paired with sweeter fruits and berries and made into jam or pie filling.
Hazelnuts are the fruit of the Hazel tree, sometimes called filberts depending on where you live. They’re small nuts that naturally fall out of their husk when they’re ripe, making them easy to collect from the ground.
The seeds have a thin, papery skin which is usually removed before the nut is eaten. They can be eaten raw or roasted and are very popular to use as a flavoring agent for spreads such as the ever-popular Nutella.
13. Hedgehog Mushroom
Hedgehog mushrooms are a favorite of forager’s because they’re quite easy to identify by their yellow-orange cap and tooth covered underside. It has a fruity fragrant similar to chanterelle mushrooms but it is less commonly confused for any poisonous lookalikes.
There are large and small hedgehog varieties and they both have earthy, smoky flavors that enhance the natural apricot fruitness you would find in a chanterelle.
14. Heart (Organ Meat)
Organ meat may cause some squeamishness but can be an incredibly high source of certain vitamins and nutrients, though they also come with certain risks.
Heart meat is a good source of B vitamins, commonly associated with heart health. It is also a good source of folate, iron, zinc, selenium, and the antioxidant CoQ10, which is thought to be anti-aging and energizing.
15. Heartleaf Ice Plant
The heartleaf ice plant is a succulent whose leaves can be eaten, though they’re tastier when they’re young. Those who choose to consume them rather than simply appreciate them for their pretty red flowers will generally prepare them like spinach or other leafy greens.
16. Hearts of Palm
Hearts of Palm are cultivated in tropical climates that grow plenty of palm trees, particularly palmettos and coconut palm trees. They are harvested from the inner core of young trees which is controversial because, if not done properly, can kill the tree.
Heart of Palm is often canned so that they have a slightly pickled, fermented flavor. They’re commonly added to fresh meals, such as salads and salsa, as well as cooked dishes like pasta or soup. If you can find them whole, they can be sliced lengthwise and stuffed as an appetizer.
Most omnivores have eaten a variety of poultry, and a hen is simply the name for the female bird, whether you’re referring to chickens, turkeys, or even duck.
Some butcher’s or supermarkets will label certain birds as “spent hens.” This refers to egg-laying birds that have been retired and used for meat. They’re typically much thinner and have much smaller breasts than comparative conventional poultry.
18. Henbit Weed
Henbit is a herb in the mint family that grows year-long and worldwide in temperate climates. It’s referred to as a weed and can be found in lawns and alongside sidewalks, if you know what to look for.
Henbit has small scalloped leaves covered in minuscule hairs. They have tiny pink to purple tulip-shaped flowers that have little to no fragrance. The young greens are surprisingly sweet and tender with mild notes of mint. It can be eaten raw in fresh salads or lightly cooked.
19. Hen of the Woods Mushroom
Hen of the Woods is also called Maitake in Japanese. They have a delicate texture that is unlike the rubbery, sponginess of most mushrooms making them a favorite for those who don’t typically care for mushrooms.
They grow at the base of Oak trees in large feathery clusters with thick, tough bases that are usually removed before eating. They are sometimes harvested as large as 100 pounds.
Herring are forage fish, meaning they’re small and move in very large schools making it easy for predators, including humans, to harvest in bulk supply.
They’re very oily fish usually sold smoked, pickled, or salted. When freshly caught, they can also be eaten raw, ideally after being flash-frozen for safety.
21. Hickory Nuts
Hickory nuts are notoriously hard nuts to crack, but they’re sweet, rich and somewhat pecan-flavored, and worth the effort. Pecans and walnuts are both in the hickory family, along with many more varieties.
When they’re ripe, the nuts will fall from the tree and the husks will usually crack open, though you can use a vice or even a hammer if you need to crack them further.
22. Hinona Kabu
Hinoa Kabu are long, thin carrot-shaped turnips that have white bodies with bright purple shoulders and purple stems that lead to large green leaves with purple veins. They have a sweet flavor with a touch of radish-like pepper spice.
Hinona kabu turnips are used primarily in Japanese cuisine, which makes sense because that is where they originate from. They’re commonly pickled but they can also be eaten raw or cooked.
23. Hog Plum
There are a few edible plants referred to as hog plums, but the most common is also known as yellow mombin and it’s a tropical tree that grows in the Americas as well as the West Indes.
The fruit and leaves are edible though the trees are part of the same family as poison ivy and the sap from the tree can cause a similar reaction. The fruits are small, yellow-green ovals with leathery skin. The flesh is acidic and sharp-tasting and is usually made into jam or desserts with plenty of sweeteners.
24. Hoja Santa
This “sacred leaf” herb is sometimes called Root Beer Plant because it has a sweet sassafras fragrance and complex flavor with notes of licorice and anise alongside mint, eucalyptus, and nutmeg.
The Hoja Santa plant grows very large, up to 6 feet tall, primarily in Mexico. The leaves are the size of heart-shaped dinner plates and it grows finger-shaped white flowers. The leaves are used whole as wraps or chopped up to add flavor to salads, salsa, sauce, or soup.
25. Holland Peppers
Holland peppers are a variety of sweet pepper very similar to bell peppers, but native Holland as you might expect. They come in a range of colors including red, yellow, and orange as well as white, purple, and brown, and even striped.
Holland peppers can be substituted exactly for bell peppers of the same color in any recipe and you wouldn’t notice a difference in taste or texture.
26. Holy Basil
Holy basil is from the same family as the sweet basil or even Thai basil that you may be familiar with, but it is quite different in flavor and nutritional value. This herb is native to India and revered for its medicinal use, being used to treat conditions of body, mind, and soul.
The leaves are a rich green that can deepen to purple and have a potent, licorice-mint scent. The flavor is known to be spicier and more peppery than conventional basil, with undertones of mint and licorice.
Honey is the sweet, liquid gold nectar syrup that is the product of honey bees. It’s found in hives, both wild and farmed, and is one of the most popular natural sweeteners worldwide. There are many different varieties of honey which each have unique flavors and nutritional properties that depend on the type of flower the bees harvest their nectar from.
28. Honeycrisp Apples
Honeycrisp apples are a bright yellow-green apple that blushes as it ripens. It’s a crisp apple with a perfectly balanced sweet-sour flavor that continues to sweeten as it matures.
Their sweetness makes Honeycrisp apples perfect for baking while the crisp bite makes them equally popular for raw recipes like slaws or salads.
29. Honeydew Melon
Honeydew melons are very popular in North America though they’re primarily cultivated in France. They’re easily identified by their smooth, icy green outside skin. They can grow up to 8 pounds.
The flesh is light green near the center, which is packed with seeds, and a richer green as it gets closer to the skin. Honeydew is firm, though it softens as it matures, and nicely juicy and sweet. Though they are quite sweet, the flavor is light and refreshing, similar to cucumbers.
30. Honey Kiss Melon
Honey kiss melons are a variety of Hami melons, with a similar shape, size, and golden yellow skin, though this variety is more heavily netted. The flesh is peach-colored, crisp, and juicy. This variety is quite sweet, with a rich honey fragrance.
Honey kiss melons are almost always eaten raw and they pair well with contrasting flavors, such as the saltiness of cured meat, the tartness of berries, or the bitterness of certain herbs such as cilantro.
31. Honeynut Squash
Honeynut squash is a cross between butternut and buttercup varieties with an hour-glass figure. The thin rind is a deep orange when it’s fully ripe though it may have streaks of dark green. The flesh is also orange.
It’s a very firm squash though when it’s cooked it becomes tender and creamy. Similar to butternut squash the flavor is sweet and nutty with hints of caramel.
32. Horn Melon
Horn melons are pear-sized oblong melons covered in yellow-orange spiky skin, hence the name. The flesh inside is green and jelly-like, filled with soft white seeds, similar to a cucumber or zucchini. The flavor is a combination of lime and bananas for a nice balance of sweet and tart.
Horn melons are often juiced or at least pressed to remove the seeds and used for desserts, dressings, sauces and as a flavoring for beverages.
33. Horse Mushroom
Horse mushrooms look very similar to large, white button mushrooms. They typically grow caps that are up to 7 inches in diameter that begin to yellow as they age. The cap is quite flat with thick, firm flesh and pale pink to brown gills, and a smooth, straight white stem.
They have a poisonous lookalike called the yellow stainer which can be identified by the bright yellow color developed wherever the mushroom is cut or bruised. Also, horse mushrooms have an anise fragrance whereas yellow stainers smell notably of iodine.
Horseradish is a root with a very pungent, hot, and mustard-like flavor. It is commonly crushed and sold as a condiment used in sauces or dressings, or as a pairing for roasted or grilled meat dishes.
The root is long and cylindrical, tapered at the tip. It is an off-white color with tan or light-brown bark-like markings. It looks similar in size and shape to a parsnip, though more gnarled. When fresh and raw the flavor is sweeter, with crisp and somewhat juicy flesh.
Huauzontle is an herb that grows weed-like throughout Mexico and South America. It grows tall in fields with delicate green, leafy stems and flower clusters that look a little like tiny broccoli florets. It has a very strong, herbaceous aroma.
Huauzontle tastes similar to a green leafy vegetable, with notes of spinach and broccoli combined with the more herb-like flavors of mint and pepper. The buds and seeds are enjoyable fresh and raw or cooked, though the stems are quite tough and better prepared cooked.
36. Hubbard Squash
Hubbard squashes have incredibly hard, bumpy skin that ranges in color from white to orange or even blue-green. Because of their appearance, many people assume they’re simply ornamental, but if you know how to prepare them, they can make a very nutritional and economical meal.
They’re easiest to cook with the skin intact and skinned after they’re cooked and tender. They have a dry, dense flesh that is useful for slow-cooked dishes like soup, stew, or casseroles. It can also be pureed and used in baking for pie filling.
Huckleberries are small blue, red, or blackberries that grow wild in North America. They’re quite tiny, only growing on average to about ¼” in diameter. They look very similar to blueberries and even taste nearly the same, but they have large noticeable seeds in the center of every berry which, though edible, are very bitter and usually spit out.
Huckleberries can be eaten raw, straight from the bush, but they’re more popular used in baking, cooking, and flavoring beverages.
Huitlacoche is a rare type of fungus that grows on organic sweet corn. The rarity makes it a gourmet, specialty food item. The fungus varies in size, depending on how long it has been growing, and is spongy and velvety, much like mushrooms. It looks like a black tumor covered in white or light grey velvet.
Huitlacoche is primarily found in Mexican cuisine, as that is where the majority of sweetcorn is grown. It can be eaten either raw or cooked and has a rich umami flavor, both sweet and savory, with an earthy, smoky quality. When cooked, they leak their black color into the entire dish.
39. Husk Tomatoes
Husk tomatoes are technically berries that grow throughout Europe and Asia. They’re tiny, red fruits encased in wrinkled, papery, orange-red oblong husks that taper to a point.
Husk tomatoes have glossy, firm skin and juicy, soft flesh with tiny seeds. They taste like a sweet tropical tomato, with hints of vanilla and pineapple. They can be enjoyed fresh and raw and are also often cooked, both in sweet and savory recipes.
40. Hyacinth Beans
Hyacinth beans can become poisonous as they age, so in many parts of the world, they’re grown only to be ornamental. However, in tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australia, the immature beans are enjoyed both raw and cooked, and the mature beans are cooked carefully to eliminate toxicity.
You will recognize young Hyacinth beans by their deep purple outer pods and bright green inner beans and pods. As they mature, the pods turn dark green and flatten out, similar to snap peas.
Hyssop is an herb in the mint family, native to southern Europe and Asia and now commonly cultivated across North America as well. It has a sweet fragrance and a bitter, herbaceous flavor. It’s often made into tea, sweetened with honey, but it can also be used to flavor stews or slow-cooked recipes.
The plant can grow up to 1.5 feet tall on thin green stalks covered with small, elliptical leaves. They grow small flowers that may be pink, red, violet, or white.
Up Next: Foods That Start With G