There are so many types of food in the world, ranging from sweet to savory and plant to animal.
In this article, we’ll share with you 59 foods, including meat, seafood, herbs, vegetables, fruits, and fungus and they’ll all have at least one thing in common: they start with the letter R.
59 Foods That Start With The Letter R
Wild rabbit is popular around the world if hunted legally after the first frost of the year and safely prepared. The meat is lean, high in protein, and considered environmentally friendly because rabbits are known for their reproductive abilities. The flavor is compared to gamey chicken, and it’s generally prepared similar to chicken.
Radicchio looks like red cabbage, though it’s actually a type of chicory. It has a bitter, spicy flavor when raw though it mellows as it’s cooked. It’s most commonly used cooked in soup or pasta or eaten raw in a salad or slaw.
There are many different types of radish but the most conventional is the common red radish. It’s a root vegetable with tall leafy greens, which are also edible. Radishes are part of the brassica family, related to broccoli. They have a peppery flavor that varies in potency depending on the variety.
4. Rainbow Mango
Rainbow mangoes are elongated oblong fruit that flushes with multiple colors as they ripen, from green to yellow and finally pink, hence their name. Inside the fruit is golden yellow with the signature large, flat seed. These mangoes are very juicy with a sweet tropical flavor.
5. Rainbow Trout
Rainbow trout is a member of the salmon family, but it’s a low mercury fish considered to be sustainable, especially compared to its overfished relative. Trout is a protein-rich oily fish, containing plenty of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a lean fish with a mild flavor, enjoyed both hot and cold.
Raisins are dehydrated grapes. They may be yellow, purple, or nearly black-brown, depending on the type of grape. They also range in texture from chewy and fleshy to hard and dry. They’re often used in cereals, as a salad topper or to add sweetness to trail mix and other snacks.
7. Rambai Fruit
Rambai is a type of wild fruit that grows throughout Southeast Asia. The small round fruits have a light tan, leathery skin that is easy to peel, revealing 3 – 5 translucent brownish-yellow segments, similar to citrus fruit. They’re juicy and have a mild sweet and sour flavor.
Rambutan is a golf ball-sized tropical fruit that grows covered in hairlike spikes. In Malay, rambut is the word for hair. Underneath the spikes is red skin which needs to be peeled to reveal a lychee-like fruit, with translucent white flesh and a single seed in the center. Rambutan is sweet and creamy.
Rapini, also called broccoli rabe, is a broccoli relative that grows small, individual florets and large leaves on tall stalks. The flavor is similar to broccoli, though deeper and more bitter. Broiling or roasting rapini is the best way to temper the bitterness by drawing out a nutty, caramelized flavor.
Raspberries are delicate, small red berries of the raspberry bush. They grow wild and are cultivated nearly worldwide but Russia leads the commercial production. With a juicy, soft texture and sweet flavor that has hints of sour, raspberries are eaten fresh, cooked, pureed, frozen, dried, or juice.
11. Rat-tail Radish
Rat-tail radishes are unique because it’s not the root of this plant that you eat, but rather the seed pods. They look oddly like green rat-tails growing like bean or pea plants. They have a similar peppery potency to conventional radishes and are more commonly cooked than eaten raw. They’re also delicious pickled.
12. Ratalu (Yam)
Native to Indonesia, Ratulu yams are knarled, oddly shapen yams with rough, fibrous brown skin. Inside, however, they have vibrant purple and white flesh. These yams are starchy, similar to taro root, with a slightly nutty flavor enhanced by a subtle sweetness.
Rattlesnakes are incredibly venomous, even when dead, so they are not common game meat, but they are edible. Preparing rattlesnake is similar to preparing a long, bony fish, and can be fried very similar to a hearty white fish. It has a tough texture and surprisingly mild flavor, similar to a bland chicken.
14. Rau Dong
Rau Dong is a bitter leafy green herb that grows in the tropics. It’s often used to add flavor to hot pots and other liquidy recipes like soups and stews. It can also be sauteed or added to stir-fries or sauces. It’s usually added at the end of the cooking process.
15. Red Amaranth
Red amaranth is a large, leafy plant with feathery red or purple leaves. Amaranth is generally prized for the plentiful seeds, which are eaten as a grain. The leaves are also edible though. When they’re young, they’re mildly flavored, similar to spinach. As they age the flavor deepens and is best cooked, similar to chard.
16. Red Anjou Pear
All Anjou pears have a unique egg shape, making them easy to identify. Red Anjou pears are typically quite dark red, almost maroon, when they’re ripe, though they have natural sun-streaks. They’re very juicy and have a smooth texture for a pear, along with a sweet, mild flavor.
17. Red Beets
Red beets or simply beets or even beetroot, are a popular root vegetable worldwide. They’re known for their purple-red hue that stains easily. They have a natural sweetness, but if not prepared properly, may have a dirty, earthy flavor. The greens are also edible, delicious, and highly nutritious.
18. Red Bopple Nut
The red bopple nut is a close relative of macadamia nuts and tastes like a macadamia nut crossed with a coconut. Once the tree is mature, the red fruit grows quickly in sub-tropical Australia, producing nuts slightly larger than macadamia nuts, but twice as heavy.
19. Red Cabbage
Much like the more conventional green cabbage, red cabbage is a ball of dense, waxy leaves tightly wound together. Red cabbage has violet purple leaves and a more peppery flavor than its green sibling. The leaves are also chewier, with less water to bring crisp. It’s most popular in European cuisine, both cooked and raw.
20. Red-capped Scaber Stalk Mushroom
Scaber stalks are a type of bolete mushroom, with a pale stem covered in black markings, or scabers. They typically have a large orange-red cap that turns burgundy when bruised, though it’ll quickly turn black. They need to be well-cooked to be safe to eat and will turn very dark when cooked.
21. Red Creamer Potatoes
Red creamer potatoes grow to about 2 inches around, with a vaguely oblong shape. They have smooth red skin and delicate cream-colored flesh. They should be firm and have a slightly waxy texture. They’re known for being very creamy when cooked, with a mildly earthy flavor.
22. Red Currant
Red currant is native to Europe where it grows wild and is cultivated as a highly popular berry. They’re a tart berry, with more flavor than their relative, the black currant. It is often made into jam or dessert filling, though it can also be made into a syrup for flavoring beverages.
23. Red Deer
Red deer are native to much of Eurasia, though they have been introduced to North and South America as well as Australia and New Zealand. In many areas they are a declining population so it may not be legal to hunt them, depending on where you live. As game meat, they are one of the largest species of deer with gamey, lean meat similar to other varieties of venison.
Redfish are best when caught small, less than 2 feet long. It’s particularly popular in the southeastern states of the USA, prepared in the popular cajun style. They are a mild fish in both flavor and texture, being somewhat flakey but not overly so. Larger fish have a stronger “fishy” flavor and tougher flesh.
25. Red Haven Peach
Red Haven peaches are large and nearly fuzzless, which makes them prizeworthy to many. They have firm yellow flesh that is delicious eaten fresh from the tree but also stands up to canning and freezing well. It’s a late-fruiting variety that is considered easy to grow and is self-pollinating.
26. Red Kitten Spinach
Red Kitten spinach is a variety of leafy green that has medium-sized leaves with rich red or maroon veins and stems. You can find small or large leaf varieties as well. Red Kitten spinach is heartier and chewier than conventional spinach and has an earthier flavor.
27. Red Kuri Squash
Red Kuri squash is a winter squash in the pumpkin family. It has a beet-like shape with deep, rich orange skin. The bright yellow flesh is smooth and sweet when cooked, similar to chestnut, and works well for pie, soup, and mashed as a side dish.
28. Red Onions
Red onions are most appreciated for their sweetness. They also have a sharp flavor and eye-watering aroma, stronger than most other types of onions. They’re commonly eaten raw on burgers and in salads, but they’re also perfect for pickling or grilling in large chunks or quarters.
29. Red Palm Fruit/Oil
Originally from Africa, Red Palms now grow in most tropical countries. The fruits are small oblong orange to red fruits that grow by the hundreds in each tree. They are rich in oil, which is their primary commercial purpose. The oil is red, with a distinct smoky, floral flavor, and fragrance.
30. Red Pepper
Bell peppers are related to both chili peppers and tomatoes. Red bell peppers look like large chili peppers, but they’re sweet rather than hot. They have a crisp, juicy texture and are very versatile, being just a tasty raw as they are cooked.
31. Red Pineapple
Red pineapples thrive in monsoon conditions present in a rainforest, making them nearly impossible to grow outside of their native country of Brazil. They are similar to commercial yellow pineapples, though they’re considerably smaller, less juicy, and have bright red skin. Their flesh is white to pale pink.
32. Red Pine Mushroom
Red pine mushrooms are a member of the large milk-cap mushroom family that, as the name suggests, grows at the base of pine trees. They have a large, orange cap that grows in converse, shaped like a vase. It is sticky when damp and bruises a dark green color. They’re usually fried or grilled.
33. Red Shallots
Shallots are closely related to onions and many consider them simply small onions with a milder flavor. Red shallots are very similar to red onions, though they have a more subtle flavor and are much smaller than standard red onions.
Reindeer is illegal to hunt as game meat in many areas, due to their Christmas popularity as well as a significant drop in population, but they’re a delicacy in many Nordic countries. It’s very lean meat, rich in vitamins and healthy fats, and often compared to fish for its nutritional benefits.
At first glance, Reisetomate looks like a cluster of cherry tomatoes, growing together. Each individual lump, however, is a segment of the tomato whole. They each contain their own seed pockets and can be pulled away from the core, but it grows as a unit. They’re quite acidic and juicy, and taste like a sweet tomato.
36. Reishi Mushroom
Reishi mushrooms grow in hot, humid locations throughout Asia. The mushroom has been praised for its medicinal components and is often dried, powdered, and used as a supplement though it can also be eaten fresh. It’s said to boost immune system function, fight depression and potentially even cure or prevent cancer.
Rhubarb looks like a leafy green vegetable but it’s more commonly prepared as a dessert and the green leaves are poisonous. The red stalks are bitter and sour but pair well with plenty of sugar and strawberries, which is why strawberry rhubarb pie is the most common recipe featuring this odd plant.
Rice is a staple food for nearly all cultures around the world, though there are many different varieties. It’s universally considered a nutritious source of inexpensive starchy carbohydrates. Brown rice, or whole-grain rice, has a bran and germ layer wrapped around the grain, both of which are stripped away in white rice varieties.
39. Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked pheasant is the collective species of pheasant in North America but it can also refer to a specific type with a white ring around its neck. They’re common game birds and can also be domestically farmed, though they’re extremely flighty. The meat is lean, white, and slightly gamier than chicken.
Rockfish, also known as Rock cod, is an extremely common shore fish along the Pacific Northwest of Canada and the USA. There are multiple varieties, though they’re all firm-fleshed, lean white fish with a mild flavor. They can be prepared any way you enjoy your fish.
41. Rock Ptarmigan
Rock ptarmigan, or simply ptarmigan, can be found in many cold, northern regions of the world but as a game bird, it’s particularly popular in Nordic countries. It’s a medium-sized bird of the grouse family and, due to declining populations, can only be hunted on select days. It’s a traditional Christmas treat in Iceland.
42. Rock Shrimp
Rock shrimp are a type of deepwater Atlantic shrimp with rock hard shells. They should be shelled and de-veined before cooking, which can be boiled, grilled, fried, or steamed. They cook more quickly than conventional shrimp and have a texture similar to lobster. The flavor is similar to crab.
43. Rocky Mountain Oysters
Rocky mountain oysters, also known as mountain oysters, prairie oysters, or meat balls, are deep-fried, battered bull’s testicles. They’re named because the original recipe was created by cattle ranchers in the Rocky Mountains who didn’t want to waste any part of their beef.
Roe are fish eggs that can be eaten either raw or cooked. Sturgeon row is the most commonly used base for caviar. Nearly every country in the world has a different specialty involving fish eggs, from use as a condiment for sandwiches to roe noodles and, of course, topping for sushi.
45. Roe Deer
Roe deer are small red-brown deer native throughout northern Eurasia, closely related to moose and reindeer. It’s a valuable game animal in Europe, particularly popular because the species continues to grow in population, rather than decline. It’s comparable to most other venison, darker and gamier than conventionally farmed red meat.
Rollinia is a South American fruit with yellow skin covered in conical spikes. As it matures, the color deepens to brown, with the spikes turning nearly black and the yellow only as a border around each diamond-shaped segment. The flesh is nearly translucent white with black inedible seeds. The fruit has a tart, sweet tropical flavor.
47. Romaine Lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a hearty, versatile leafy green. It has a mildly bitter flavor and crisp leaves that don’t wilt as quickly as many other types of lettuce. It can also handle heat well and is often grilled or sauteed as well as eaten raw in salads or sandwiches.
Romanesco is a unique Italian broccoli that is often considered a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. Each light neon green floret has a pointed, spiral shape. Inside the flesh fades to white. Though it has a slightly nutty flavor, Romanesco can be prepared like either broccoli or cauliflower.
49. Roma Tomatoes
Roma tomatoes are a type of small plum tomato, roughly egg-shaped. They’re particularly popular in cooking and canning because of how firm they are, as wells as their rich, sweet flavor and the minimal number of seeds. They’re often the type of tomato used in tomato paste.
Roses are most commonly known for their beauty and fragrance, but they’re also edible. They are a heavily sprayed flower, however, so if you’re going to taste their petals, look for an edible grade or choose your own home-grown, pesticide-free plants. Because scent is so closely tied to taste, roses taste exactly as they smell.
51. Rose Apple
Rose apples are not actually apples, but rather are pale yellow, white or pink, pear-shaped fruits that grow on small, evergreen trees in Southeast Asia and a few other tropical countries where they were introduced. The fruit has crisp, juicy, and mealy yellow flesh that is sweet and rose-flavored.
52. Rose Hips
Rose hips are the round, seed-filled berries that form underneath rose petals. They range in color, from bright red to yellow or black. The fruit is sweetest when picked after the first frost of the season. Rose hips are most commonly made into a tea or used to flavor dessert.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb related to mint. It’s native to the Mediterranean and is most commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, though it can be grown worldwide and used in a variety of dishes. It has a layered flavor, with notes of citrus, sage, mint, and pine.
Rue is a leafy herb used for medicinal purposes as well as culinary flavoring. It’s very bitter and should be used carefully, and is most commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine. It can be toxic in high concentrations and causes burns and blisters in some people when exposed to it topically too frequently.
55. Runner Bean
Runner beans are often grown purely for ornamental purposes though they’re edible when cooked. Young runner beans can be eaten with their pods, much like a standard green bean. If they’re allowed to mature, the lima bean-shaped seeds are black and speckled with red or purple.
56. Russet Potato
Russet potatoes are the most conventionally grown potato, with brown skin and white, crisp flesh. They’re ideal for baking because they typically have a fairly uniform oblong shape, thick skin, and dry flesh. This accounts for the crisp skin that holds its shape while supporting the fluffy, soft potato inside.
57. Russula Mushrooms
Russula are common mushrooms, easily recognizable for their large size and brightly colored caps. There are many different varieties, some of which are safe and edible and others of which are toxic. In North America, most varieties should be avoided, whereas European russula are mainly edible.
Rutabaga is a root vegetable, often compared to and confused with turnips. They can grow as large as your head, though they’re tastier when smaller. They have purple shoulders fading to yellow and grow tall green tops. The flesh is dense, sweet, and earthy.
Rye is a type of grass grown specifically for use as a grain. It does have gluten, as it’s related to wheat. It can be eaten similar to wheat berries or oats, used as fodder for animal crops, or turned into flour and used for various baking recipes.