No matter how cultural you think your tastes are, the sheer number of fruits, vegetables, edible fungi, and meaty protein options enjoyed around the world is impressive, to say the least.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to 95 foods that start with M, giving you just a taste to whet your appetite.
95 Foods That Start With The Letter M
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable native to Peru but, instead of eating the florets as you would with broccoli, for example, it’s the root that is primarily consumed. It’s thought to enhance energy and fertility, among other benefits.
2. Macadamia Nut
Macadamia nuts grow mainly in tropical climates and are prized for their rich, creamy texture and flavor. They’re also incredibly high in healthy, monounsaturated fats and many other vitamins and minerals. They’re usually eaten either raw or dry roasted.
Mackerel is a large, oily fish that many compare to tuna, though it has the added benefit of being much lower in mercury levels. They’re a great source of healthy Omega fatty acids and protein and they taste best either grilled or poached, paired with colorful vegetables.
Mad-Apple is what eggplants were originally called before being commonly cultivated. As part of the nightshade family, they were considered a poisonous fruit though there was little medical evidence for this reputation and eventually they were welcomed as a nutritious and interesting edible vegetable.
Madrono fruit is also sometimes called bumpy lemon because that’s exactly what they look like on the tree. The thick, bumpy yellow skin is peeled away to reveal translucent white pulpy flesh. It is a juicy, acidic fruit, with a sweet citrus flavor and fragrance.
6. Magic Molly Potato
Magic Molly potatoes are vibrant purple potatoes that are among the few purple vegetables that retain their color, even when cooked. They have a noticeable earthy flavor that is perfect for roasting. They can be harvested young, as new potatoes, or allowed to grow into fingerlings.
7. Maguey Leaves
Maguey leaves are responsible for the flavor of both tequila and mescal. They’re the large leaves of the agave succulent, which grows in Mexico. The leaves have a caramel flavor and can be grilled, baked, or roasted though they can be poisonous if eaten raw.
Mahimahi, also called dolphin fish, is often confused for ahi ahi, which is a type of tuna. Mahi is generally considered less flavorful, though they’re popular for their size, which can be more than 40 lbs. It has firm, white flesh and is best grilled or pan-seared.
9. Mahkota Dewa
Mahkota dewa fruit has bright pink-red, wrinkly yet smooth skin when ripe. Their flesh is white and fibrous and, though it can’t be eaten raw, it is a rich source of antioxidants when properly prepared. It’s usually used for medicinal purposes, the sweet flavor enjoyed as a flavoring for tea or coffee.
10. Mahonia Berries
Mahonia berries are part of the barberry family, growing wild throughout North America. They’re a deep blue when ripe, like blueberry-sized plums. They have a very tart flavor.
11. Maitake Mushroom
Maitake is a Japanese mushroom is an adaptogenic plant, helping the human body to adapt to and heal from damage. They have a strong, earthy flavor that tastes great butter-fried or added fresh to a salad. You can use it as a full-flavored substitute for mushrooms in any recipe, provided you like the taste.
Maize is a cereal grain thought to be modern-day corn’s ancestor. It is a staple food in Central and South America, though the rest of the world tends to use it mainly for animal feed and to make ethanol.
13. Malabar Chestnut
Malabar chestnuts can grow nearly a foot long and are shaped similar to a football. They have woody skin that develops from a forest green into a deep brown when ripe. Inside the hard shell are small edible seeds that taste similar to peanuts when raw that gets sweeter and richer when cooked.
14. Malabar Gourd
Malabar gourds are in the melon family and they look similar to a spotted watermelon. They’re popular in Latin America. When harvested young, they’re used as a squash-like vegetable though they sweeten as they mature, and can be used for dessert or beverages.
15. Malabar Spinach
Malabar spinach looks like spinach with rich green or purple stems, but it’s actually a vine that grows primarily in India and lowland tropics. It can be used just like spinach, though it retains its crispness better and doesn’t get slimy.
16. Malanga Root
Malanga root is a popular root vegetable, similar to potatoes, grown as a staple mainly in South American and Africa. It has more fiber and other nutrients than potatoes, and isn’t part of the nightshade family, making it more allergen-friendly. It can be eaten like potatoes or ground into flour.
Mallard is one of the most prized types of edible ducks because they tend to have quite large breasts. They have a gamey flavor and coarse texture that tastes best fried or grilled.
Malt is a cereal grain that is best known for its contribution to the beloved beverage, beer. It’s also used to make whisky, malt vinegar, and even malted milk, candy, and malt grain bread products.
Mamey is a popular tropical fruit that is sliced much like an avocado though it has rich, coral orange-pink flesh that looks more similar to papaya. It has a sweet, creamy flavor and a buttery texture when ripe. The outer skin looks similar to a golden kiwi, though they’re closer to the size of an avocado.
Mamoncillo are Spanish limes, and though they do have a sour acidity to them like limes, they’re also sweet, like a lime crossed with lychee fruit. On the outside, they look like limes, but the flesh inside is pulpy and gelatinous, often a light orange color.
21. Mandarin Orange
Mandarin oranges are small citrus fruits with thin skin that’s much easier to peel than the larger, more conventional orange. They are also much sweeter and have less acidity. Though they’re thought to have originated in Italy, they are now considered a Chinese fruit, which is where they got their name.
Mangga is the Indonesian word for mango, and many different varieties grow in the Pacific Islands. They’re usually eaten raw, though they can also be grilled, used for desserts, or added to beverages.
Mangos are large, heavy stone fruits that grow wild in many tropical countries around the world. There are hundreds of different types, ranging in size, shape, and color. The flesh is sweet and the flesh ranges from very firm to quite soft, depending on variety and when it’s harvested.
24. Mango Leaves
The fruit from mango trees aren’t the only edible part of the plant, the young leaves are also highly nutritious and tasty. They’re generally cooked and eaten like any other leafy green vegetable, though they’re also used for a variety of medicinal purposes.
Mangosteen is tropical fruits with a thick deep purple rind that opens up to segmented, pulpy white flesh. When fresh, the fruit is very juicy with a sweet, tropical flavor. It has a short growing season, however, and it’s more commonly found canned, juiced, or powdered.
26. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a signature Canadian specialty syrup made from the sap of maple trees that grow in cold climates. It’s very high in sugar, particularly sucrose, and is used as a flavoring condiment similar to honey or pancake syrup.
27. Marang Fruit
Marang fruit is closely related to and looks similar to breadfruit and, though it doesn’t grow nearly as large. The oblong fruit is a brownish color and covered in spines. The flesh is creamy, juicy, and sweet, similar to banana in flavor. It has a strong odor, similar to Durian fruit, though not as intense.
28. Marble Potatoes
Marble potatoes are small round potatoes, growing to approximately the size of ping pong balls. They can be many different varieties, including cream, red and purple though they’re always harvested early in the season so their flavor is buttery and sweet with lower starch content than more mature potatoes.
This leafy herb has delicate green leaves that look like they’re dusted with silver-blue or grey, giving them a feather-like appearance. They’re very fragrant, with a woody scent that has undertones of fruit and vanilla. It’s primarily used as an essential oil for flavoring in baked goods and drinks.
Marjoram is an herb that can be used both fresh and dried and is popular in Mediterranean and West Asian cuisine. It has a mild flavor, similar to oregano. It can be used to make tea or to flavor recipes like soup or savory meat dishes.
31. Marlin (Fish)
Marlin are very large fish with deadly, long bills very similar to those of swordfish and sailfish. There are 4 types of marlin and, though they are edible, they’re very gamey flavored, sometimes being compared to cat food. They’re also high in mercury levels since they’re at the top of the ocean food chain.
Marrow is the spongy tissue found inside the center of bones. It’s a favorite for making bone broth and can also spread on toast, vegetables, or meat. It has a smooth texture and a slightly sweet flavor. Most commonly, bone marrow will be sourced from cows, lambs, or game meat such as caribou or moose.
Masago is the roe, or eggs, of the capelin fish. Its commonly used in Asian cuisine, commonly chosen to decorate the outside of sushi rolls. Masago are naturally pale yellow, but they’re often dyed red or orange. They have a mild flavor and a popping texture when bitten.
Mashua is a tuber, similar to potatoes. There are a few different varieties, though they’re usually all an off-white or tan color. They have a soft texture when cooked and a flavor similar to cabbage. The leaves are also edible, with a peppery taste similar to mustard greens.
Mast is a type of tree or shrub that produces a wide range of edible fruits, berries, and seeds. The most common edible masts are hickories, black walnuts, and berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries among many others.
Mate is a type of caffeinated beverage popular in South America and becoming more common worldwide. It’s made by brewing the leaves of the Yerba mate plant, much like tea. It’s traditionally served using a bombilla, a metal straw that is designed to act as a sieve so you don’t drink the leaves.
37. Matoa Fruit
Matoa are small, oval fruits with hard skins that are green when young and develop into a mottled red as they ripen. The flesh inside is translucent white, like a lychee fruit, and very fragrant. It has a sweet tropical flavor similar to rambutan.
38. Matsutake Mushroom
Matsutakes grow along the west coast of North America, along the base of pine trees. They’re prized in Japan for their impressively strong aroma and spicy flavor. They’re quite pungent and have an intense taste sometimes compared to cinnamon.
39. Mayan Gold Potatoes
Mayan Gold potatoes are an heirloom variety native to Peru that was the first potato grown in the UK. The skin is a light tan color and the flesh is a light golden yellow. When cooked, they’re a light fluffy potato, very popular for making English-style chips for fish or potato skins.
40. McIntosh Apples
McIntosh apples are bright green with a red blush that develops over the apple as it ripens. McIntosh that are harvested early are mostly green with a tart flavor. The more mature and red they are when they’re picked the sweeter they will become. McIntosh are known for being very juicy and crisp.
41. Meadow Mushroom
Meadow mushrooms have a wide, white, or light grey cap with pinkish gills. They’re commonly found in lawns and meadows and are edible, though they look similar to deadly destroying angel mushrooms, so they must always be 100% identified by an expert.
Medlars begin as pretty golden-green fruits but they need to turn brown and soften before they’re edible. They’re about the size of a conventional tomato. They are sweet and citrusy with a soft, creamy texture that turns many people off. The perfect texture and color are similar to that of fruit gone rotten.
43. Melba Apple
Melba apple is a Canadian hybrid between a McIntosh and a Liveland Raspberry apple. They’re known for their very white, crispy, and juicy flesh. Their yellow-green skin turns nearly completely red when they’re ripe and they have a juicy, sweet flavor with just a hint of tartness.
44. Melinjo Seeds
Melinjo trees grow in tropical rainforests, producing small, cherry-sized oblong fruits that can be yellow, purple, or orange-red. The seeds are quite bitter and most commonly used to make emping, an Indonesian chip or cracker.
45. Melinjo Leaves
Melinjo leaves, as well as the berries, are edible and common to Indonesian and South Asian cuisine. They have a bitter flavor, though it mellows out when they’re cooked, developing into a milder, slightly nutty flavor with a touch of sweetness. They’re used similar to spinach.
There are many different fruits within the melon family. Melons are a type of berry, similar to a gourd, though they’re typically quite sweet. Melons grow worldwide, though they originated in Africa, and there are unique species and varieties in nearly every country, the most popular being cantaloupe.
47. Mellow Yellow Pumpkin
Mellow Yellows are a specialty variety of pumpkin cultivated for the consistent shape, size, and light yellow color. The flesh is a light yellow or ivory color. It’s a tender, sweet, and earthy flavored pumpkin used more often as a vegetable than an ingredient for sweet desserts.
48. Menteng Fruit
Menteng is a small round fruit that grows in clusters. When young, the skin is a light green which develops into a yellowish-brown as it ripens. The rind is thick, opening up to white segmented flesh, each segment surrounding large seeds. It is quite sour, though it has a sweet finish.
Methi, also known as fenugreek, is a leafy herb with a bitter, complex flavor that combines notes of celery, fennel, and some caramel sweetness. The plant also grows seeds that can be dried and used as spices which taste very similar to the fresh leaves.
50. Mexican Pinyon
Mexican pinyons are small, evergreen pine trees that grow in western North America and down into Mexico. The branches produce edible seeds, called pinyons, the most commonly used pine nut in Mexico.
51. Milkcap Mushroom
Milkcap mushrooms are a family of mushroom that produces a natural, milky form of latex. Some varieties are edible, though they aren’t naturally very appealing to everyone as they lactate rubber.
Millet is a cereal grain in the grass family. It’s a staple grain in many countries of Africa and Asia, growing in popularity around the world as a naturally gluten-free, high-fiber, and protein grain. There are multiple varieties, with pearl millet being the most commonly consumed.
53. Miner’s Lettuce
The leaves of Miner’s lettuce leaves are small, green, and disc-shaped, growing in rosettes with long, slender stalks. As they dry out in the hot summer, the leaves will turn red. This type of lettuce has a mild, earthy flavor and a satisfying crunch.
54. Mini White Pumpkins
Mini white pumpkins are often used purely for ornamental purposes but they are not only edible but delicious. They have a nutty flavor that cooks up tender and sweet, similar to acorn squash. The flesh may be white or orange, though the outer skin is an icy white.
Mint is a very popular herb worldwide, known for its potent aroma and flavor. There are many varieties, though they all have oval leaves that come to a point and have serrated edges. Mint contains a compound called menthol, which has a very distinct cooling effect.
Minutina is a grass-like Italian herb with long, slender green leaves. It prefers saline soil, which lends a salty flavor to the spinach-parsley taste. Minutina is enjoyed both cooked and raw, though best harvested when the leaves are young and haven’t yet turned bitter.
57. Miracle Berries
Miracle berries are named for their unique ability to turn sour flavors sweet, thanks to a compound called miraculin that attaches to tastebuds and can last up to half an hour. The berries are usually consumed as a novelty item, though they’re also promising as medical treatment and supplements.
Miso is a type of seasoning paste that is traditionally made in Japan by fermenting soybeans. Certain added elements create different types of miso, with slightly different flavors. It’s frequently used as a base for Asian soups, but it can also be used to flavor spreads, sauces, and even marinades.
59. Mississippi Sweet Potato
Mississippi is the 3rd largest sweet potato growing state in the US and the soil is thought to produce the best tasting sweet potato in the country. They aren’t a specific variety of sweet potato, but rather grown in a specific location, hence the name.
Mitsuba is often called Japanese parsley and, though it is in the same family as parsley with many similar characteristics, it is a unique herb. It is usually used as a fresh herb as cooking it will turn it slightly bitter. The seeds and roots are also edible.
61. Mizuna Greens
Mizuna greens are a staple in Asian cuisine, prized for their mild peppery flavor, more potent than arugula though not as strong as mustard greens. The delicate, feathery leaves look similar to arugula and are a shiny, lush green color.
62. Moi Fish
Moi, or the Pacific Threadfish, was traditionally prepared exclusively for royal Hawaiian males, and the punishment for any commoner breaking this rule was severe. It’s now a stocked fish, exported from Hawaii. The flesh is white, tender, mildly-flavored, and flaky.
Molasses is a thick, black syrup that is essentially a by-product of the sugarmaking industry. It’s available in light, dark, or blackstrap varieties. The darker the syrup, the more bitter and robust the flavor. Molasses is commonly used for baking, both sweet and savory recipes.
Molluscs, or mollusks, are invertebrates that primarily live in marine water, though some are found in freshwater or even on land. Most mollusks are shelled creatures, though some, such as squid, octopus, or sea slugs don’t have shells. Many, though not all, mollusks are edible.
Mombin fruits grow on deciduous trees throughout the Americas. They have leathery skin that is green when they’re young and turns a deep red when they’re ripe. When ripe, the fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and, if it’s picked young, it is often pickled and used similar to olives.
Mongongo trees grow throughout Southern Africa and produce edible seeds or nuts, that are a staple of the local diet. The fruit is velvety and egg-shaped and there’s a thin layer of edible flesh, though the hard seed is the true prized, often roasted or pounded to use as an ingredient in other dishes.
67. Monkey-Puzzle Seeds
Monkey-puzzle trees are large evergreens in the Pine family that can live to be thousands of years old. The female trees produce cones that, when fertilized, produce seeds related to what we commonly know as pine nuts. They’re starchy and sweet with a flavor similar to sweet chestnuts.
Monkfish is a common edible fish, enjoyed for its lobster-like flavor. It has meaty, lean white flesh that is mild in flavor and can be cooked any way fish is usually prepared, though it tends to dry out if overcooked.
69. Monk Fruit
Monk fruit is a type of melon native to China. It can be processed to extract a liquid 200 times as sweet as refined sugar, yet has zero calories or carbs and has no noticeable effect on blood sugar. You’re unlikely to find the fruit itself, but it has become a very popular sugar-alternative sweetener.
Montsera, or the Swiss Cheese plant grows edible, pinecone shaped fruit. It is pine-cone shaped with flesh that looks like a banana crossed with a kiwi. Unripe fruit can be dangerous to eat but, when it’s perfectly ripe, the fruit tastes like a combination of nearly all tropical fruits.
Mooli is another name for Daikon radish, a winter radish common in Japanese and other Asian cuisines. It is a long, white taproot that looks similar to a white carrot with rich green tops. It has a mild, peppery flavor with a sweet finish and crisp texture.
Moose is very large game meat hunted in North America, particularly in the North. They require special licenses to be hunted and can provide enough meat for a family for an entire year. The flavor is often compared to a wild, tender beef.
Moqua is a unique fruit that looks similar to a cucumber or zucchini though it has a fine fuzzy skin texture. It’s typically harvested young when the flesh inside is crisp and white and has a mild sweet flavor. It can be used like either a cucumber and eaten raw, or cooked like zucchini.
74. Morello Cherries
Morello cherries are a very tart sour cherry variety with skin so dark red it appears brown. The flesh is also quite dark for a cherry. They can be eaten raw but, due to how sour they are, they’re more commonly used for baking pies and other desserts.
75. Morel Mushrooms
Morels are one of the most popular wild mushrooms with many different varieties, often classified by the type of tree it develops a relationship with. They can vary in size and shape but nearly all morels have a signature honeycomb appearance to their cap. They have a meaty texture and nutty flavor.
76. Moroheiya Leaves
Moroheiya is a dark leafy green that can be used as an herb for flavoring or a vegetable. It is slightly bitter and earthy, though with a mild flavor. When cooked, the leaves develop a slimy texture similar to that of cooked spinach or okra. They’re most common in African, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines.
77. Mosambi Fruits
Mosambi are sometimes called oranges, as they are a similar size and shape. They have a green rind, however, and the flavor is more similar to a sweet lemon than an orange. In India, it’s the most common citrus juice available and it’s also used in a variety of savory dishes.
78. Mountain Hare
Mountain hare are adapted to living in polar mountains and can be found across Eurasia. Depending on the location and the exact type of mountain hare in question, they may not be legal to eat, though they considered a delicacy among game meat with a strong flavor that isn’t overly gamey.
79. Mountain Lion
Mountain lion, or cougar, is often thought to be inedible because it’s a predator. It can be a difficult and dangerous animal to hunt but in blind taste tests, the meat is nearly indistinguishable from wild boar, which is highly enjoyable. It does need to be carefully cooked for safety though.
80. Mountain Goat
Mountain goat is another game animal that is incredibly difficult to hunt, though prized meat as long as they are hunted at the appropriate time of year. It is tough meat, though it can be very versatile, made into jerky or sausage, or cooked as a roast or even steaks.
81. Mountain Oysters
Mountain oysters, or Rocky Mountain oysters, are not the shellfish you may expect. They’re the testicles of bulls, bison, sheep, or pigs. They’re often breaded and fried, but you may also find them broiled, sauteed, or poached. They have a gamey flavor, similar to venison rather than beef or oysters.
82. Mountain Rose Potato
Mountain Rose potatoes are a specially cultivated variety bred in Colorado that has beautiful rose-colored flesh and deep red skin. They have a light, moist texture perfect for frying or mashing.
Mozuku is a term used to refer to a family of edible brown algae found in Japan. It’s considered a superfood and is suspected to be one of the reasons for the impressive health and life spans of Okinawans. It’s often quick-pickled with vinegar or made into tempura.
Mulberry trees produce a berry that is very similar to a blackberry, though they’re longer and sweeter. They’re closely related to figs and Jackfruit, despite looking and tasting much more like bush berries. Mulberries were originally cultivated because the leaves are the favorite food of silkworms.
85. Mule Deer
Mule deer is a common type of game meat throughout North America though the flavor of the meat varies significantly based on where they are hunted and what their diet is. Whitetail deer are generally preferred for flavor, but Mule can be delicious prepared as sausage or marinated.
86. Mung Beans
Mung beans are small, green legumes particularly popular in Indian and Asian cuisine. They can be eaten fresh, sprouted, or as dried beans. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are even turned into pastes used in Asian desserts.
87. Munjal Fruit
Munjal is a type of palm fruit that grows to about 7 inches long, with an oval shape and hard brown shell similar to a coconut. Inside there are 3 translucent, jelly-like kernels similar in texture to lychee fruit but with a nuttier flavor. As the seeds mature, they toughen and become comparable to coconut meat.
88. Murasaki Sweet Potato
Murasaki sweet potatoes are a Japanese variety with rich, purple skin and white flesh. As it cooks, the skin retains its color and the flesh turns a golden brown. They have a creamy texture that is perfect for roasting, either whole or as fries. They are sweet, though they have an earthy flavor.
89. Muscat Squash
Muscat is a large squash with beige to brown rind when it’s ripe and deep orange flesh. They’re large, growing up to 20 lbs, and have a sweet, earthy flavor. They can either be roasted, baked, stuffed, or otherwise used as a vegetable, or shredded for use in sweet recipes like muffins or cakes.
Mushrooms are fungi that can be either edible or poisonous. Inedible varieties may cause anything from subtle discomfort to death, so extreme caution must be used when foraging for mushrooms. Edible mushrooms are commonly eaten raw, cooked, or dried.
Muskmelon is a sweet, fruity melon in the gourd family. The rind of most muskmelons is tan and ribbed with a sweet, musky fragrance. Cantaloupes are one of the most popular types of muskmelon, but honeydew and a few others are also part of this variety.
Mussels are types of edible shellfish classified as mollusks. They’re high in protein and healthy fat as well as many other vitamins and minerals. Mussels need to be carefully prepared because they are easily contaminated and can lead to food poisoning.
93. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are spicy, leafy greens in the cruciferous vegetable family. They can be cooked or eaten raw and are thought to be one of the healthiest foods, though underappreciated due to the intense flavor.
94. Mustard Seeds
There are many different types of mustard plants, and they each produce powerfully flavored seeds which are the 2nd most popular spice around the world, second only to peppercorns. The most common use for mustard seeds is making the condiment, mustard.
Mutton is the meat from a sheep that is more than 1 year old. Meat from younger animals is called lamb. Mutton is a very fatty, very red meat with a strong, gamey flavor that more appreciated across Europe and the Middle East than it is in the Americas.
Up Next: Mini Loaf Pans – Buyer’s Guide