We love learning about new foods here at FoodsGuy.com and one of the easiest ways to research edible items without playing favorites is by going in alphabetical order.
In this article, we’ve found 59 foods that start with L and provided a simple yet hopefully tantalizing description of each.
59 Foods That Start With The Letter L
1. Lady Apple
Lady apples are usually considered decorative because they’re tiny, only about the size of a small crab apple. They are edible though and quite tasty, with a sweet-sour flavor and tender, juicy flesh. The pale green, shiny skin of this apple will be layered with a ruby red.
Ladyfish are coastal fish found in tropical or subtropical waters. They’re a very boney fish, and often considered more work than they’re worth. They also have a soft, fine-grained texture that is quite oily. It’s commonly used as baitfish but, if you choose to try it yourself, they’re best made into fish cakes.
Lamb is a young sheep and is considered a red meat delicacy. Compared to beef, lamb is considered only lightly process, most often being cooked as lambchops, on the bone. It is high in protein, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. It has a signature flavor, somewhat gamey, that most people either love or hate.
4. Lambkin Melon
Lambkin melons are oblong mottled green melons that grow up to 4 pounds on average. They have a thin, smooth rind and juicy pale green flesh. They’re very juicy and refreshing, similar to a sweet cucumber.
5. Lamb’s Lettuce
Lamb’s lettuce, sometimes called Corn Salad, has dark green tongue-shaped leaves similar to spinach. It can be eaten either raw or cooked and has a noticeably tangy flavor with nutty undertones. It’s grown as a winter green vegetable in Europe, North Africa, and western Asia.
Lambsquarters, or goosefoot, is an herb that grows wild as a weed across North America and Mexico. It can be eaten as a leaf-vegetable, including its florets, which resemble tiny heads of broccoli. The flavor is best when young, though it varies depending on the soil nutrition from where it’s harvested.
7. Land Snails
If you’ve ventured to try escargot, there’s no reason not to start harvesting the land snails from your garden, provided they’re large enough to validate your efforts. Marine snails can be highly toxic, but most land snails are generally safe to eat, provided they’re properly prepared to rid them of any potential parasites.
8. Lantana Berries
Lantana berries grow in clusters, similar to grapes but closer to the size of peppercorns. When ripe, they’re such a dark blue that they look metallic black. They taste similar to currants, with sweet-tart cherry notes and chocolate undertones. When still green, these berries can be toxic.
9. Last Chance Peaches
Last Chance peaches are a late harvest freestone peach popular in California. They’re large with yellow skin that blushes to a peach-red as they ripen and firm light, yellow-peach flesh. They’re sweet, well balanced, and not overly juicy, making them just as desirable for eating raw and cooked.
Lavender is most well known for its signature bluish-purple color and relaxing fragrance, which is equal parts sweet, citrus and floral. The flowers from the shrub can be used as a spice or a garnish, embuing sauces, creams, cheeses, and desserts with a subtle floral element and added nutritional value. You can also find lavender extract to add to coffee and baked goods.
11. Lawyer’s Wig Mushroom
Lawyer’s Wig, or shaggy mane, mushrooms have long, white cylindrical caps covered in scales. The gills underneath are a pale pink-light brown color that turns black quickly and dissolve into an inky, black mush once disturbed. They’re mild-tasting and high in water content.
Leeks are closely related to both onions and garlic and have a similar flavor to mild onions. They grow like a large shallot or green onion, with cylindrical overlapping leaves that form a dense stalk. They are dark green near the edges of their leaves and nearly white towards the root, which is blunt at the bottom and covered in hair-like roots.
Legume is a very general term used to describe edible seeds that are produced inside a pod. The most common example is beans, but lentils, peas, soybeans, and peanuts are all also legumes. Legumes can vary widely in nutritional value though they tend to have at least 2 things in common: high protein and fiber. Beyond that, there is a myriad of flavors, usages, and vitamins that can be found in this very extensive family of edible foods.
Lemons are small, oval yellow citrus fruits that are pointed on each end. Their tart, acidic flavor is prized for its flavor and is used across the world as one of the most common flavoring agents in sweet and savory recipes as well as beverages. You can even freeze lemons for various purposes.
15. Lemonade Berry
When mature and ready to eat, lemonade berries are red and fuzzy, shaped like a kernel of corn, and growing in clusters. They are tart and citrusy, hence their name, but the hairs and the sap of the plant can cause irritation, so they’re only ever eaten after being soaked and juiced.
16. Lemonade Fruit
Lemonade fruits are very similar to lemons in appearance and flavor, however, they have much lower acidity levels making them much more enjoyable to eat as raw fruit straight from the tree. They’re not overly common, especially outside of New Zealand and Australia where they’re grown.
17. Lemon Aspen
Lemon aspen has the tart, lemon flavor of the fruit they were named for, but they look like creamy, off-white berries about the size of cherries, growing in bunches. They have a succulent tropical note to the aroma and hints of eucalyptus in the flavor. They’re native to Australia.
18. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is commonly grown for its fragrance alone, which emits a bright lemon scent whenever the wind blows. The leaves can be harvested and used for tea or essential oils. Honey bees also appreciate lemon balm and, honey made from the nectar of this plant has notes of citrus and mint.
19. Lemon Basil
Lemon basil grows year-round, particularly popular in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. Though it has some of the conventional basil flavor and aroma, the overwhelming fragrance and taste are of lemon. It’s used raw, cooked, and dry, depending on the recipe and the style of cooking.
20. Lemon Cucumber
Lemon cucumbers taste like cucumbers but grow into small, pale yellow-green spheres about the size of golf balls. Inside, their flesh is very pale green with white edible seeds and a crisp, juicy texture. Unlike most fruits named after lemons, these don’t have any citrus flavor.
21. Lemon Drop Melon
Lemon Drop melons have golden yellow ridged skin and a slightly oblong shape. Inside, the flesh is firm, dense, and a pale green color similar to honeydew melons. It tastes like a combination of honeydew and watermelon, with the unmistakable tartness of lemon shining through.
22. Lemon Drop Pepper
Lemon Drop peppers are small, bright yellow hot chili peppers with noticeable lemon notes. They’re native to Peru, where they’re commonly used in sauces and as snacks. Their heat is tempered by the citrus flavor and hint of sweetness, making them ideal for full-flavored salsa and hot sauce, stronger than jalapeno but not as hot as cayenne or tabasco.
Lemongrass looks like a large green onion or a small leek, but it has a tropical citrus aroma and flavor that reflects its namesake clearly. Younger lemongrass is more tender and fragrant, and it becomes more fibrous and less flavorful as it ages. If you have some that you want to keep tender, it’s best to freeze lemongrass.
24. Lemon Plum
Lemon plums are named for their yellow skin color and lemon shape, though they retain the crisp texture and sweet flavor expected of a plum. As the fruit ripens the color deepens to a rosy red color. They’re best when eaten fresh from the tree, but if you want to bake with them, try to pick them when they’re still young and yellow, as they’ll have firmer flesh and more acidic flavor, great for baking with.
25. Lemon Verbena
Lemon verbena is a popular herb because it produces a stronger lemon flavor than many other similar herbs, though it can be sour when eaten fresh and raw. The leaves have a strong lemon aroma with hints of spiced ginger. It works well in both sweet and savory recipes and, though it’s native to Argentina and Chile, it’s particularly popular in France and Spain.
Lentils are packed with plant-based protein and they cook much more quickly than many other seeds in the legume family. They also have a soft, mushy texture when cooked that makes them very useful for turning into patties, such as vegetable-based burger patties or protein bites. Depending on the color of lentil, they generally have an earthy, mild bean-like flavor.
Though it may surprise you, lettuce is part of the daisy family. There are a vast number of types of lettuce, but they are all edible leaves, most commonly for salads.
Lettuce may come in tightly packed heads or loose, wavy leaves. Even the flavor of lettuce varies widely. Some lettuce is mostly water with very little flavor, while others are very bitter or have a peppery edge to them.
28. Licorice Root
Licorice roots look like twigs with medium to dark brown bark, usually harvested when they’re about 1 inch in diameter. Historically it has been used as a medicinal herb but it’s more commonly known today for the flavor, which black licorice candies are named for.
29. Li Jujube
Li jujubes are ancient Chinese fruits that look similar to small, pale green apples that have gone brown. The flesh is crispy and juicy, also similar to an apple, but it has a single pit in the center of the fruit. The fruit is very sweet with just a hint of tang. They can be eaten fresh and raw, juiced, used for desserts or savory dishes, and even made into wine.
Likok is a type of small, round and bitter eggplant. They have smooth, shiny skin that is yellow-green with off-white flesh that has the signature spongey texture of eggplant. Because it’s quite bitter, likok is usually used in chutneys or curries, recipes that have plenty of spices to offset the flavor.
31. Lilly Pilly
Lilly pilly fruit grows in clusters and are about the size of cherries. They have pink-red skin and crispy yet airy, juicy white flesh. They have a somewhat metallic flavor with a tart spiciness that is overwhelming when raw, so they’re usually sweetened and used in jams, syrups, or chutneys.
32. Lima Beans
Lima beans, or butter beans, are a type of legume that can be eaten fresh, removed from the pod, or dried. They’re one of the largest types of bean, usually either green or white though there are some varieties with pretty stripes and colors, such as red or purple. They have a buttery flavor and texture.
Limau is a type of lime-green citrus fruit that grows primarily in Asia and can range from very small varieties, like the Kasturi which are only about 2 inches in diameter, to very large. The Bali Limau can grow to more than 10 inches in diameter. They have a citrus acidity and aroma with varying levels of sweetness, depending on the type.
Limes are small, oblong citrus fruits that are known for their signature color – lime green. They have a thin, oily rind and pale green segmented flesh. Limes have a floral citrus fragrance and a tangy, bright flavor high in acidity. Some varieties, such as Key limes, are sweeter.
35. Lime Mint
Lime mint is a type of mint that has distinctive citrus notes to both the fragrance and flavor. The taste develops more strongly when the herb is crushed to release the oils.
Limequats are tiny yellow citrus fruits with pale green flesh. They look like very small lemons with a bitter-sweet tart flavor that is great for garnishing with or using in dressings or syrups.
37. Limestone Lettuce
Limestone lettuce is a type of butter lettuce that is relatively small and compact, though the leaves are loose. The leaves broaden as they grow, and develop into a dark, waxy green. It is sweet flavored lettuce with a buttery texture.
Limpets are a type of aquatic snails that are edible and, unlike many marine snails, safe to harvest. Some people eat them straight from the shell but they can also be cooked, canned, or eaten raw with butter.
Lingcod is a fish that swims along the Pacific coast from the Gulf of Alaska down to Baja California, Mexico. They’re not related to either Ling or Cod, but they’re named for their resemblance to both of those fish. They’re a popular eating fish, especially delicious for making English-style fish and chips.
40. Lipstick Pepper
Lipstick peppers are short, stocky, tapered red peppers with waxy skin. They grow up to 4 inches long with juicy, crisp flesh that, despite being a chile pepper, is sweet and fruity, not hot.
Lionfish are a very decorative, striped fish native to the South Pacific and Indian oceans, and are now considered an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean. They are venomous, so catching and preparing them needs to be done carefully, but they’re safe to eat and have buttery, flaky flesh.
42. Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s Mane mushrooms have recently become a poster-superfood for mental clarity and brain health. They’ve been used in traditional medicine for centuries, particularly in China and Japan. These large, off-white mushrooms grow wild around the world in temperate climates and have a mild, seafood-like flavor.
43. Littleneck Clams
Littlenecks are small clams that grow along the Northeast coast of the US inside a particularly hard shell. They’re usually served raw or lightly steamed, seasoned with either butter or oil, and often enjoyed with a splash of hot sauce.
Liver is considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, but it has a very strong flavor that polarizes most people into either love it or hate it communities. It’s relatively inexpensive and can be found from most popular food animals, including pigs, cows, chicken, duck, and lamb.
Llama is often considered game meat though it is farmed as well. It’s lean red meat that is quite tender, though has a wild, gamey flavor. Eating llama is illegal in many countries, though it has been a staple meat in some cultures throughout history.
Lobster is considered a delicacy and is one of the most popular types of shellfish. The flavor is often compared to crab with a texture similar to shrimp, though it does vary depending on how it’s prepared and served. It’s very low fat with high protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
47. Lobster Mushroom
Lobster mushrooms are named for their appearance, which is gnarled, mottled, irregular, and orange-red with wavey edges that make them look suspiciously like coral. The flavor is woody and nutty, though subtle. They must be cooked and cannot be eaten safely raw.
48. Lodi Apples
Lodi apples are yellow-green fruits with white flesh that is rather soft for an apple. They have a tartness that works great in applesauce or apple pie and holds up surprisingly well to freezing.
Loganberries are a hybrid cross between blackberries and raspberries. They develop into a nearly black red when they’re ripe and have a mild flavor with some of the tartness of raspberries.
Longans are fruits similar to lychee or rambutan, with jelly-like, translucent sweet tropical flesh surrounding a single, hard seed. The skin of longans is a peachy-beige color with a rough, bark-like texture.
51. Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
The Long Island Cheese pumpkin is named for the shape, which resembles a wheel of cheese, not the flavor. They are small, squat, white-skinned pumpkins, with a sweet flavor that is particularly prized for its use in pumpkin pies.
52. Long Neck Avocados
Long Neck avocados are an elongated type of avocado that can grow over a foot in length, with a long, straight “neck.” Aside from the shape, they have the same buttery texture and creamy flavor of a conventional avocado.
53. Long Squash
Long squash, or opo squash, is highly variable. It can grow to be anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet long and may be either long and straight, curved, or even plump. The skin ranges between yellow and green but is always quite hard. The flesh is white, firm, and heavily seeded and gets more bitter as it ages.
Loquats are bright yellow oval or tear-drop shape fruits, about the size of an apricot. They can be either fuzzy or smooth-skinned, with soft flesh and multiple large seeds. The flavor is citrus tart to start and melts into a sweet, peach, or mango-like finish.
55. Lotus Root
Lotus root is the stem of the lotus flower plant, and it can grow up to 4 feet in length. It looks similar to a potato until it’s sliced. Inside the pale yellow flesh has holes that make it look intricately decorated. Lotus root is creamy and starchy, similar to taro root.
Lovage is incredibly common in England, though less so in America. It’s an aromatic herb with leaves that taste similar enough to celery to be used as an easy substitute in any recipe. Lovage can be used in soup and stew, but also as a flavor-aid for beverages, butter, and green salads.
57. Lulo Fruit
Lulo fruits are small round tropical fruits that look and taste like they would be part of the citrus family, but they’re more closely related to eggplants. They have a bright yellow-orange peel that is rarely eaten and green, pulpy flesh full of small seeds. They taste like a cross between oranges, kiwis, and pineapple.
Langsats are small fruits that grow in large clusters about the size of plums. They have a thick, tan rind that is prone to blemishes and the flesh inside is divided into segments, much like citrus fruit. They’re sour fruits that get sweeter as they mature, tasting like a cross between a grape and a grapefruit.
59. Lychee Fruit
Lychee fruits grow in clusters, about the size and shape of walnuts. They have leathery skin that is green when they’re young and brightens to a rosy red when they’re ripe. They’re also covered in dark spikes. Inside the fruit is jelly-like and very juicy with a tropical flavor, similar to a cross between a watery strawberry and pineapple.
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