Food is one of the most exciting topics of conversation a group can enter into, so the more you know about food, the more you will have to contribute.
In this article, you’ll find 59 foods that start with T, making you the resident food expert and, hopefully, expanding your culinary horizons.
59 Foods That Start With The Letter T
Tahini is a paste made by grinding sesame seeds. Most tahini is made using raw sesame seeds, which creates a creamy texture and mild, sweetly nutty flavor. Sesame paste is very similar, though usually made with toasted sesame seeds, for a stronger, smokier flavor.
2. Tahitian Squash
Tahitian squash looks similar to butternut squash with long, curving necks and vertical ridges. They can grow up to 30 pounds with smooth, tan skin and creamy yellow flesh. They have a seed cavity in the bulbous end, as expected of a squash. The flavor is sweet and mildly nutty.
3. Tahiti Limes
Tahiti limes, sometimes called Persian limes, are a cross between key limes and lemons and is the most commercially cultivated and popular lime across the globe. The trees are thornless, which makes them popular with growers, and the fruits have a long shelf life. Most importantly, Tahitian limes aren’t as bitter or acidic as most other limes.
Tamarillos are tree tomatoes, about the size of grape tomatoes and slightly pointed on the bottom. They can be either red or yellow, with orange flesh and black seeds. The center of the fruit is pulpy and aqueous, as you would expect of a tomato. The skin is bitter and often removed. The flesh is strongly flavored, with a hint of sweetness.
Tamarind is a tropical fruit in the legume family that grows mainly in Africa and across South Asia. The brown pods grow seeds surrounded by juicy paste or pulp, which is the most commonly eaten part of the plant. The pulp is both sweet and sour, often used in chutney, marinade, or desserts.
6. Tampoi Fruit
Tampoi fruits are hard, round, and brown, approximately the size of a baseball but flat on each end. Underneath the skin is a thick pith protecting translucent white, segmented flesh, similar to mangosteen. The fruit is juicy and sweet-sour.
Tangelos are hybrid fruits, combining a small citrus variety, such as a mandarin or tangerine, with large citrus fruit, such as a pomelo or grapefruit. They have loose, easy-to-peel skin and juicy, sweet segments with a tart finish.
Tangerines are small citrus fruits with flat tops and bottoms and loose skin that is easy to peel. They’re juicy and surprisingly sweet for citrus. They’re also quite low in acidity, comparatively.
Tapioca is a type of starch that is extracted from cassava roots, which are a staple throughout South America. The starch is frequently used as a thickening agent, similar to cornstarch. It’s also the base for the popular dessert, tapioca pudding.
Tareh is an herb, sometimes called Persian leek due to the wide, flat leaves and very similar flavor. Also similar to leeks, only the leaves are used, not the bulbs. It is usually chopped and cooked into stew or egg dishes.
Taranome are primarily cultivated in Japan and used in Japanese cuisine. They are the buds of the Angelica tree, harvested young when they’re about 2-3 inches long. They’re acidic and bitter, which is a popular flavor profile in Japanese culture, and often prepared as tempura or boiled and added to rice dishes.
12. Taro Root
Taro root originates from Asia, though it’s now fairly common worldwide and a staple food in many countries. It’s a starchy root vegetable with brown skin and white flesh striped or speckled with purple. The texture is very similar to potatoes but the flavor is sweeter, though not as sweet as sweet potatoes.
Tarragon is an aromatic herb in the same family as sunflowers. It has a very subtle flavor, making it ideal for flavoring delicate dishes like eggs, fish, or cream sauces. It grows thin, long, feathery green leaves on tall stalks.
14. Tatsoi Lettuce
Tatsoi lettuce is often called either spoon mustard or spinach mustard. They have short stems with spoon-shaped leaves that range from light to dark green. It’s a member of the brassica family, along with mustard and broccoli. It will grow tiny florets similar to broccoli rabe if given the chance. The leaves are buttery and faintly sweet.
Tayberries are a cross between blackberries and raspberries, named for the River Tay where they originally grew in Scotland. Though similar in heritage to loganberries, also a cross between blackberries and raspberries, tayberries are larger and much sweeter.
All true teas originate from the tea plant, Camelia sinensis. Black, green, white, and red teas are all made from the same leaves but differentiated based on the oxidation process which dramatically changes the flavor.
Teaberries, also called American wintergreen, grow across Northern North America on low-growing evergreen shrubs. The small berries are bell-shaped, ranging from frosted green to pink in color. They’re sweet with a burst of refreshing wintergreen.
18. Teasel Gourd
Teasel gourds are quite small members of the melon family, growing only about 3 inches long and half as wide, roughly avocado shaped. They have bright green to yellow bumpy skin and crisp, watery white flesh. The flavor is similar to bitter melon, but not quite as astringent. They’re usually roasted, baked, or fried.
Tejocote is a Mexican fruit that is a traditional offering for Day of the Dead celebrations throughout the country. The tiny oval fruits have yellow to rose-colored skin with soft, pithy yellow flesh surrounding a central cavity filled with large seeds. They have a sour, tangy flavor with tropical fruit undertones.
20. Tendral Melon
Tendrals are oval melons that come to a point where they grow from the plant. Their hard, dark green skins are covered with grooves that run from tip to tip. The flesh inside is light green, slightly darker as it gets close to the rind, and almost white near the central seed cavity. They have a subtle sweetness that is perfect for chutneys.
21. Terung Asam
Terung Asam is a sour eggplant that is round rather than oblong and yellow and green rather than deep purple. The flesh is light orange with a central cavity full of edible seeds. They smell surprisingly similar to tomatoes but the flavor is quite sour and acidic. It’s most commonly used in flavorful sauces like curries or soups.
22. Thai Basil
Thai basil is a type of sweet basil that has been carefully cultivated to emphasize the licorice or anise flavor of the plant, bringing out a spicier flavor than the conventional variety. It holds the flavor better when cooked. The leaves are small and narrow and the stems are purple, so it’s easy to identify.
23. Thelma Sanders Squash
Thelma Sanders squash looks very similar to a long acorn squash except they have yellow-orange skin rather than deep green. The flavor is closer to that of sweet potato than a squash.
Thimbleberries are only found wild across most of northern North America and are not commercially cultivated. The berries are very similar to short, squat, bright red raspberries. The fruits are incredibly soft and easily damaged, but worth foraging for their sweet-sour flavor.
Thyme is an herb in the mint family, also a close relative of oregano. There are many varieties, each with a slightly different flavor. Some popular examples are lemon thyme, caraway thyme, and winter thyme. Many varieties are used for culinary or medicinal purposes and wild thyme is an important source of nectar for honeybees.
26. Tiger Nuts
Tiger nuts aren’t actually nuts, but tiny tubers. They’re about the size of marbles, with brown skins covered in tiger stripes. They have a chewy texture and taste similar to almonds crossed with pecans.
Tilapia is a popular white-fleshed fish that is prized for its mild flavor that isn’t overly fishy. It’s a freshwater fish that is commonly farmed, making it readily available and inexpensive in comparison to many wild-caught varieties of fish. Unfortunately, farming practices are argued to be concerning and tilapia is often considered a highly polluted fish.
28. Ti Leaves
Ti leaves, not to be confused with tea leaves, are large, long, pointed dark green leaves that grow from a shrub in the asparagus family. They’re sturdy and glossy, often used as a wrapper for various cooked fillings. They have a mild grassy flavor.
Tilefish are pretty, multi-colored small fish found off the Atlantic coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. They have a firm yet tender, sweet flesh perfect for frying. Because these fish are bottom feeders, they are likely to have high mercury levels.
30. Timun Suri
Timun Suri are large, oval melons with bright yellow rind, striped or spotted with white. The flesh is soft, dense, and juicy with a light, sweet flavor not unlike cucumbers.
Tindas are small round fruits that grow to about 3 inches around and tend to be a little lopsided. The skin can be yellow, green, or brown and it thickens dramatically as it matures. The flesh inside is bright white and spongey with soft, edible seeds. They taste similar to cucumbers.
Tindora fruits grow throughout Africa and Asia and are hugely popular for both human and animal food crops. They are small, oblong fruits shaped similar to zucchini. They have smooth light to dark green skin and translucent white flesh filled with pink or red seeds, all of which are edible and add to the texture experience. They’re juicy with a sweet, bitter flavor.
Tofu is a soy product made by curdling soy milk and pressing those curdles into a solid block. The blocks can be varying textures, from silken to extra-firm with 3 or 4 levels in between. Tofu is a popular plant-based protein source because it’s considered complete, containing all 9 essential amino acids.
34. Toki Apple
Toki apples are native to Japan and are mainly sold within the country. They have very pale yellow-green skin with a sweet, rosy blush. The flesh is juicy, crisp, and delightfully aromatic. They have a very sweet flavor with a mild tart and acidic finish.
Tomatillos, or husk tomatoes, are small green or purple fruits in the nightshade family that grow protected by a papery husk. They’re eaten both raw or cooked and, when ripe, taste almost exactly like conventional tomatoes. When they’re green, they’re tart and used as a key ingredient in salsa verde.
Tomatoes are actually edible berries, though they’re generally prepared and eaten like vegetables. There are many varieties, the most popular being round, red fruits with pulpy flesh and large, aqueous central seed cavities. All parts of the fruit are edible, just as delicious raw as cooked.
37. Tommy Atkins Mango
Tommy Atkins mangoes are a mouthful, in more than just their name. They’re large fruit that can grow up to 2 pounds each with a bright pink blush over smooth yellow skin when they’re ripe. The fibrous flesh is sweet, but not as powerfully flavored as some other varieties.
38. Tonka Bean
Tonka beans are black, wrinkly legumes that look similar to large raisins. They are highly aromatic, smelling like vanilla, cinnamon, and cherry all at once. The flavor is similar to smoky, caramel vanilla. They are illegal in the US because of a compound that can be toxic in very high quantities.
39. Toon Leaves
Toon leaves are native to China and can be found in specialty shops across Eurasia. The leaves grow on long branches, ranging from dark green to crimson. They have a signature umami flavor, crisp and crunchy with onion tones when raw and more pungent, like garlic or mustard greens when cooked.
40. Topaz Apple
Topaz apples are particularly popular throughout Europe. They have yellow skin that is covered almost entirely by a red blush when they’re fully ripe. The white flesh is firm and crisp and not overly aqueous, making them useful for dips and appetizers. They have a sweet flavor with a tart edge.
41. Torpedo Onions
Torpedo onions are named for their unique shape. Each small plant has a red, torpedo-shaped bulb. Similar to a traditional red onion, torpedo onions are sweet however they don’t have the same heat which makes them perfect for salads or other raw applications.
Tortillas are very thin, circular flatbreads made very simply using flour and water. Traditionally, tortillas were made with masa harina, a special type of light corn flour. Many Latin American households still press their own tortillas this way. In North America, we’re more likely to buy wheat flour tortillas from the supermarket.
43. Tree Nuts
Tree nuts are an entire family of nuts that grow on trees. They’re one of the most common allergies around the world, but also confusing because not all “nuts” are nuts. Some, like peanuts, are legumes, and others, like coconuts, are seeds. Some of the most common tree nuts are almonds, cashews, and pecans, among many others.
44. Tremella Mushrooms
Tremella mushrooms are one of the prettiest mushrooms in the world. They’re sometimes called snow fungus because they’re snow white and almost look like a bath loofah growing out of the earth. They have a mild, sweet flavor and a gelatinous texture.
45. Treviso Chicory
Treviso is a type of chicory with a mild flavor, not as bitter as some other varieties. The leaves are deep purple with bright white ribs, tightly packed. When cooked, the flavor is earthy with a buttery texture.
Tripe is the stomach lining of any ruminant animal, such as cow, sheep, and goats. Though pigs aren’t ruminants, their stomach lining is also considered tripe. Tripe needs to be cooked for a very long time, but when well prepared it develops a silky texture and soaks up the flavors it is cooked with.
47. Tropical Apricot [Berries]
Tropical apricots are often called berries because of their small size, which is typically less than 1 inch around. They have a thin, velvety peach-colored skin very similar to the conventional variety, and a soft texture that melts in your mouth. The flavor is slightly sour and astringent buy undeniably apricots.
Trout is considered a very healthy, sustainable fish. It is a member of the salmon family, making it a rich source of fatty acids but it isn’t nearly as fishy tasting or high in mercury. Some call trout the chicken of fish. Freshly caught wild trout are known to have a fuller flavor than farmed fish.
Truffles are gourmet mushrooms, harvested for both their meat and for converting into truffle oil. There are multiple varieties of truffles, including white, black, and garlic. They’re prized for their earthy flavor and rich fragrance.
50. Trumpet Mushrooms
Trumpet mushrooms are part of the oyster mushroom family. They’re tall, thick mushrooms with smooth white stems and a shiny, flat light brown cap. They have a meaty texture often compared to seafood and a hearty, earthy flavor. They’re a favorite for use as a meat-alternative.
51. Tsugaru Apple
Tsugaru apples are native to Japan though they can be found in the US, mainly through Farmer’s Markets. They are small yellow-green apples with red stripes and crisp, juicy, satisfying flesh. The apples are incredibly sweet with a sour finish that is slightly acidic, perfect for eating out-of-hand.
Tubers are a type of vegetable that grows underground as the stems of the plant. They’re typically high starch vegetables. The most commonly consumed tubers worldwide are potatoes, but ginger, artichokes, and jicama are also tubers. What distinguishes a tuber from many other types of roots is its ability to grow new plants through “eyes” on its surface.
Tuna is one of the most commonly consumed types of fish worldwide. They’re very large fish, high in protein and healthy fats. Unfortunately, they’re high on the food chain which also makes them highly contaminated by mercury. It’s a mild, tender, and versatile fish.
54. Turban Squash
Turban squash is named for its unique shape, which is lopsided and irregularly shaped, with a cap in the center and bi- or tri-colored skin. They have a firm, fine texture and mildly sweet flavor that is perfect for roasting or steaming, though it can be difficult to cut because of the shape.
Turbot is a type of flatfish with bright white flesh and delicate flavor. They’re found mainly in the North Atlantic, large European seas, and they’re also farmed throughout Europe. They’re rarely found on menus within the Americas.
Turkeys are large, domesticated poultry birds raised for their meat, especially popular around Thanksgiving. They’re prepared similar to chicken, but with a richer, darker flavor and texture some compare more closely to pork. When properly prepared, they’re juicy and fatty with umami flavoring.
57. Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms are most commonly used medicinally, as opposed to for culinary purposes though it can be cooked and eaten like any other edible mushroom. Some people will also make fresh or dried mushrooms into hot tea. It’s called Turkey tail because it grows on trees in the shape and coloring of an opened turkey’s tail.
Turmeric is a gnarled root with papery, thin brown skin and vibrant yellow-orange flesh that stains very easily. It’s commonly dried and ground into a powder which is used most commonly in Indian cuisine. The flavor is warm and slightly peppery as well as earthy, often with bitter notes.
Turnips are a root vegetable member of the brassica family. They’re shaped like a very large, dense radish. The roots are white with purple shoulders and the greens are also edible. Turnips have a mild, sweet, earthy flavor with a slight peppery bite.