37 Foods That Start With W
Many delicious foods start with W, some of them rare and weird and others so common they’re enjoyed in nearly every country of the world.
In this list of 37 foods that start with W, you’ll learn about the underrated and overrated, expanding your knowledge of foods enough to make you a favorite on any trivia team.
37 Foods That Start With The Letter W
1. Wahoo Fish
Wahoo (Ono) means good to eat in Hawaiian, and these pretty tropical fish live up to their name. Also sometimes called the Pacific kingfish, they actually live in warm ocean waters of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans.
Wahoo fish have firm, flaky, opaque white flesh that has a very delicate flavor with a hint of sweetness. They’re ideal for grilling, but they can also be served fried, baked, steamed, or even prepared raw.
Wakame is one of the most popular forms of edible seaweed, particularly popular in Asian cuisine. It grows wild off the coasts of Australia and is commonly farmed in both Japan and Korea, where the majority of this sea vegetable is imported from.
Wakame can be dried and eaten as a snack, powdered to be used as a seasoning, or cooked to be served as an ingredient in salads or soups. When fresh wakame is cooked it resembles mustard greens, though it has a mild, salty flavor.
Walnuts are not a true botanical nut, as they’re actually edible seeds from drupe fruits, though they are considered tree nuts for those with common allergies.
Walnuts have bumpy, rounded hard shells that require a lot of force to break open, often requiring special nutcrackers, especially for the extremely hard-shelled black walnut variety. The meat inside is divided into halves, resembling a human brain with eery accuracy.
Walnuts can be eaten raw, roasted, made into butter or oil, or even pickled. They have a mildly sweet and nutty flavor that may have bitter or tangy notes, depending on the variety. They’re very oily nuts which means they’ll go rancid quicker than many other nuts.
4. Walla Walla Onions
Walla Walla onions are prized for their very large size and sweet flavor. They’re mainly round with a slightly flattened bottom and a small peak at the top. The papery husk is a white or very pale yellow enchasing pure white, juicy, translucent layers of flesh.
Walla Wallas have high sugar and water content, creating a sweet and mild flavor that makes them ideal for eating raw. When cooked, the natural sugars will caramelize nicely, bringing out a deeper, warm, rich flavor.
5. Walleye Fish
Walleye, also sometimes called pickerel though it is not a true pickerel, is a freshwater ray-finned fish native to Northern USA and Canada. It’s commonly fished both recreationally and commercially.
Walleye has a subtle flavor without a lot of fishiness, and a firm, buttery texture. If you’re used to saltwater fish such as snapper or grouper, you’ll find walleye similar, yet blander without the saltiness of the sea.
6. Wampee Fruit
Wampee, or wampi, fruit grows from tropical evergreen trees across Southeast Asia. The fruits are small, grape-sized, and distantly related to citrus fruits. They’re green when immature, ripening to a light tan or beige color.
Inside each fruit are 2-5 seeds that are eaten along with the juicy pulp for a texture similar to a kumquat. The base flavor of wampee fruits is sweet and sour, with some varieties being notably sourer than others. Eating the skin with the fruit adds a spiced flavor to each bite through the older the fruit the more bitter and resinous the skin becomes.
Wasabi is a spicy green paste that is most well known for being served as a condiment for sushi. Though wasabi is made from a type of pepper, the heat is more comparable to horseradish than a jalapeno, mainly because wasabi has a strong scent that our noses feel more keenly than our tastebuds do.
The similarity to horseradish has lead to many manufacturers using this alternate plant to make “fake” wasabi, which is considerably more potent than the bright freshness of true wasabi, which is more expensive.
8. Water Chestnuts
Water chestnuts resemble chestnuts in shape and color but are actually aquatic tubers rather than nuts. When harvested, water chestnuts have brown papery skin which is peeled to reveal the crisp white flesh.
Popular in Asian cuisines, water chestnuts can be eaten raw or cooked and are most commonly purchased canned. They have very little flavor but add a lot of crisp, apple-like texture to anything from stirfry to dumplings, soup to stuffing.
Watercress grows across most of the Northern Hemisphere and is an aquatic member of the brassica family, along with mustard, cabbage, broccoli, and many others.
It is a delicate leafy green with a spicy, bitter, peppery flavor similar to mustard or arugula. The small green leaves have scalloped edges and grow in a cluster of thin stems.
This leafy green adds an intense burst of flavor to raw preparations such as salads or sandwiches, and a milder grassy flavor to cooked dishes.
Watermelon is one of the most popular melons worldwide, including all 1000 or more varieties.
Most watermelons are large, oval green fruits with a hard rind that is striped with alternating light and green sections. Inside the flesh is extremely aqueous, hence its name, and a bright pink or red color.
Watermelon may be seedless or seeded, depending on the variety. Thin white seeds can be eaten with the flesh but the more substantial black seeds should be removed before eating. It’s a very sweet fruit, with hints of cucumber.
11. Water Mimosa
Water mimosa is a popular water vegetable used primarily in stir-fries in Asian countries. The woody plants grow near the banks of rivers, so fast that it is considered an invasive weed in Australia.
The stems of the plant are woody and spongey, so it’s the feathery, crunchy, slippery leaves that are generally consumed. They have a full-bodied umami flavor, similar to mushrooms crossed with cabbage.
Wattleseeds come from the acacia plant, which has over 700 unique species. Most have highly toxic seeds but wattleseed is an exception.
When roasted, the small grains have a flavor comparable to coffee, hazelnut, and chocolate combined. It’s typically packaged either as a dry powder or a liquid extract and used for flavoring a variety of baked goods.
13. Water Spinach
Water spinach is a long, leafy green vegetable that vaguely resembles spinach but is in not botanically related to it.
As the name implies, it is an aquatic plant that grows in tropical waterways of Southeast Asia. There are two varieties, either green-stemmed or white-stemmed, which is really just a lighter green color, but both of them are hollow stemmed.
Both the stems and the leaves are edible but should be thoroughly washed and trimmed to remove sand and dirt. The most common preparation is to stirfry the vegetable, which creates a crunchy, slippery texture similar to fresh seaweed. The flavor is mildly grassy and nutty.
14. Wax Apples
Wax apples are actually berries, not apples, but were named for their smooth skin and bright coloring, which can range from red to green. They don’t particularly look like apples, being pear or bell-shaped. They have white, spongy flesh, rather than the crisp texture you might expect from an apple, and a central core housing a single large seed.
Wax apples can be eaten raw or cooked. Fresh from the tree they are juicy with a slight crunch and a flavor comparable to pears. When cooked they can be prepared for both sweet or savory dishes, tasting just as delicious overtop pancakes as they are sauteed with garlic and onions.
Wheat is a type of grass heavily cultivated for the seed, which we’ve come to know as the most popular grain across the globe. It is a very good source of carbohydrates and fiber, as well as the more controversial substance, gluten.
Some people have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten, the main protein in wheat that helps food baked with wheat to retain its shape and structure. Thanks to this gluten, wheat is commonly used for a wide variety of products, including bread, pasta, and cereal, to name just a few.
16. White Asparagus
White asparagus is the same plant as conventional green asparagus, however, it’s picked before it grows beyond the soil. It remains white because it has never been exposed to sunshine and therefore never developing the chlorophyll that turns the plant green.
White asparagus has a tough, fibrous skin that is typically peeled before cooking. The remaining vegetable is very tender and sweet though still featuring the conventional asparagus flavor.
17. Whitebark Raspberry
Whitebark raspberries are related to black raspberries but they grow encased by a thick, waxy coating, which is where their name comes from. Underneath the wax the berries are a striking deep blue or purple color, otherwise looking much like a conventional raspberry.
There is a great deal of debate over whether or not whitebark raspberries were the inspiration behind the candy and beverage blue raspberry flavoring. The flavor of fresh whitebark raspberries is similar to a tart, somewhat bland, black raspberry.
18. White Beech Mushroom
White beech mushrooms are a smooth, ivory-colored variety of mushroom that grows in clusters on Beech trees in East Asia. They have small, rounded caps and slender, slightly bulbous matching stems.
These mushrooms are never eaten raw, as they’re very bitter freshly picked. When they’re cooked, however, they have a firm, mildly crunchy texture and succulent buttery flavor. They’re best sauteed or braised, pairing well with strongly flavored herbs and spices such as garlic, ginger, and/or green onions.
19. White Button Mushroom
White button mushrooms are the most commonly cultivated and enjoyed mushroom in the world. Their caps are typically 1-2 inches in diameter, well rounded, and firm. The stems are short and stalky and they typically have brown hidden gills.
White button mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a crisp, spongey texture with a very mild flavor. Cooking develops the flavor more strongly, bringing out an umami earthiness and slightly slimy, chewy texture.
20. White Chocolate
White chocolate is not true chocolate, but rather a chocolate confection. It is made without any chocolate solids but, high-quality white chocolate will get most of its chocolate flavor from cocoa butter.
White chocolate can be eaten as candy or used in baking, melting with a rich, buttery flavor and texture. If you love this candy, we have an entire article dedicated to all the best ways to use white chocolate.
21. White Currant
White currants are close relatives of the more conventional red currant berry. As the name implies, this variety is white and nearly translucent with dark brown or rosy cheeks touched by the sun.
White currants are very slightly smaller and sweeter than the red variety, making them more well-suited to sweet recipes such as jams and jellies.
22. White Figs
Most figs are native to Western Asia though white figs are thought to have originated in Southern California. They are very delicate fruits that don’t ship well so are usually only found locally and at farmer’s markets.
The tender skin ranges in color from a light off-white to a pale green color with beautiful ruby red, pulpy flesh. The fruits are filled with edible seeds giving the jammy pulp a crunchy texture.
The flavor develops as the fruit matures, tasting like very sweet strawberries and raspberries combined.
Whitefish is a very oily freshwater fish that lives in cold Northern lakes. They have a mild flavor, similar to salmon though, as the name implies, the flesh is pure white. These fish have a medium-firm texture with a large flake that holds together well.
Because of the oil, they’re perfect for smoking, though can also be grilled without too much worry of overcooking.
24. White Turnip
White turnips are a winter variety very similar in sweet flavor to baby turnips. They’re shaped like a large radish, as are most turnips, with mainly white or cream-colored skin and small light-purple shoulders.
White turnips are perfect for roasting or braising because of the natural sugars, which caramelize for added flavor. The greens are also edible and can be cooked similar to beet greens or spinach.s
Whiting are bottom-dwelling fish that grow up to 2 feet in length on average and feast on shrimp, crab, and small fish around the UK and Ireland. They’re a fast-growing and very reproductive fish, making them a sustainable and economical species to fish commercially.
Whiting is a white-fleshed fish that tastes best fresh. It has firm yet delicate flesh that isn’t very oily but will go mushy if cooked too long. The flavor is comparable to pollock or cod.
26. Wild Boar
Wild boar may be related to the common, domesticated pig, but it’s a meat unto itself. The flavor is a rich combination of pork and beef, with a unique wild nuttiness.
Wild boar is less fatty than conventional pork, though it has more marbling. It cooks more quickly and can be prepared as steak, ribs, roast, or ground for a variety of purposes.
As wild meat, boar is considered a very healthy alternative to conventionally raised meat, full of vitamins, minerals, and lean protein without any additives, hormones, or antibiotics.
27. Wild Leeks
Wild leeks can be found in forests in the early spring and are considered a delicacy among foragers. They are much smaller and thinner stalked than their conventional relatives, with white bulbs that grow red as they get closer to the leaves. They look more similar to green onions than standard leeks.
Wild leaks have tender, loose, lance-shaped leaves. The bulbs, stalks, and leaves all share a similar pungent onion-garlic flavor, which is more concentrated in the bulbs and stems.
28. Wild Rice
Wild rice a type of grass grain that grows in shallow waters such as small lakes or slow-moving rivers in North America and China.
Wild rice has more nutritional value than conventional white rice and is becoming more popular commercially for this reason. It also has a chewier texture, nuttier flavor, and takes longer to cook.
29. Williams Pear
Williams pears are the most commonly grown and popular pears in the US. They have a perfect pear shape and thin golden-yellow or yellow-green skin that blushes when sunkissed. They have crispy, mealy textured ivory flesh that becomes more buttery and sweet as they ripen.
Williams pears are delicious both out of hand and cooked, having enough moisture to taste juicy without creating too much of a mess when eaten raw or baked.
Wineberries are Asian relatives to raspberries, though they grow in many parts of the world, including throughout the USA. When they’re mature, they look like orange-red raspberries but as they’re growing they’re covered by a hairy, protective husk that leaks a sticky fluid.
These berries are sweetest when they’re fully ripe, but at their best, they taste like a sour raspberry.
31. Winter Melon
Winter melons are Asian gourds that are commonly prepared as a vegetable, rather than a fruit. They look like large watermelons with white flesh and yellow seeds that cluster in a central seed cavity.
Winter melons have a very mild flavor, similar to a cucumber crossed with a zucchini.
32. Winter Squash
Winter squash is not a single fruit or vegetable, but rather an entire range of squashes that are harvested in the fall and store well into the winter. Winter squash have tough outer shells, unlike their softer summer relatives like zucchini.
Some of the most popular winter squashes include pumpkins, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash, among many others. They’re typically on the sweet side, often with a nutty undertone, and a firm, dense texture that is ideal for roasting.
Wolfberries are also known but the name goji berries, which rose to fame in the early 21st century though they’ve been used in traditional Asian medicines for at least 5000 years.
The shoots and leaves of the plant are edible and often served as leafy green vegetables, though it is the little bright red berries that are considered one of the healthiest fruits on earth. They’re commonly available dried but can also be eaten fresh or juiced where available.
They’re a tart berry, similar in flavor to cranberries or sour cherries.
Wolffish are named for their vicious, toothy maw but, despite their feral appearance, are a highly sought after fish across most of the Northern Hemisphere. They’re a bottom-dwelling Atlantic fish, often caught as a byproduct of trawl fishing.
It’s a lean white fish, with firm flesh and a mild flavor that is preferred by those who don’t care for overly fishy seafood.
35. Wong Pei Fruit
Wong pei are small, round, yellow fruits that grow in clusters on trees native to China. Their skin is covered in a light fuzz, similar to a peach, and is peeled to reveal white flesh protecting a collection of small green seeds.
The fruit tastes similar to lychee fruit, though not as sweet. The texture is comparable to a grape and the seeds should be spit out or discarded, not consumed.
36. Wood Apple
Wood apples are extremely odd fruits common in South and Southeast Asia. The thick rind is hard and rough, similar to a small coconut though a very light grey color and not hairy. If you’re able to crack one open, you’ll be met with a very strong odor, likened to blue cheese or possible baby poop.
The pulp tastes nothing like it smells though, as it has a sweet, acidic flavor often compared to tamarind. The texture is similar to a jammy custard filled with crunchy bits of seed and bristles from the rind.
37. Wood Pigeon
Wood pigeons are close relatives of the common urban variety of pigeon you may be familiar with, though this game bird lives primarily in the woods, as their name implies. Though they’re small birds, they’re flavorful and succulent, with an earthy complexity that varies with their primary diet.
They’re considered a sustainable meat source in Europe and Western Asia.
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