Foods That Start With the Letter I (Our List of 25 of Them!)

Last Updated on June 26, 2023

Top 25 Foods That Start With the Letter I – From Icaco to Ilama!

The letter “I” is certainly not the alphabet’s most popular letter by any means, though you may be surprised to find out just how many foods start with ‘I’. We know you’re probably thinking “ice cream,” though there are plenty of other foods on the list that begin with ‘I’ too!

Let’s dive in and check out the top 25 food items that start with the letter ‘I’!

1. Ice Cream

[toc]While we’re on the topic, let’s start with a fan favorite. Ice cream is one of the most popular sweet treats in the United States. In terms of overall consumption, no country consumes as much ice cream as the U.S. Second place goes to Australia and third place goes to Norway. Yeah, you’d think it’s already cold enough there without eating frozen treats as well.

In terms of flavors, most people stick with the classics. Vanilla is ranked the most popular ice cream flavor around. The second place goes to chocolate. Personally, I’m a cherry-vanilla type person. I actually like just making my own. This is the ice cream machine I use.

Fun fact for you: It requires 12 pounds of milk to produce one gallon of ice cream.

2. Icaco

The icaco, also known as the cocoplum, is a shrub-born fruit that grows next to the ocean. Icacos are oblong in shape. You can decipher an icaco from other fruits thanks to the black and red skin, which is very similar to a plum. Icacos can grow up to 1.5” long.

In terms of flavor, many people describe the icaco as “sweet yet subtle.” While you can eat the icaco straight from the shrub, it is very popular to make icaco jam. People often like to roast the seeds as well, as they taste like almonds after a good roast.

3. Ice Pops

Ice pops might be in the same vein as ice cream, though sweet tooths will argue their clear differences. Ice pops are sweet, frozen treats often made with frozen milk and fruit on a popsicle stick. Ice pops, unlike ice cream, do not have a thick, cream-like consistency due to the fact that the milk is not churned or whipped.

You can think of ice pops as sweet ice cube treats, frozen to the core, yet just as delicious as ice cream. And if you’re lactose intolerant, perhaps a shaved ice machine can give you the dairy treat you long for.

We can give all the credit for ice pops to the inventor of the popsicle, Frank Epperson, who invented the popsicle when he was only 11 years old.

4. Iceberg Lettuce

If you’re a salad lover, you probably know a thing or two about iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is a crisp, leafy vegetable that acts at the perfect bed for many types of salads, though just as easily makes a complementary home on a classic hamburger.

While it may have the crisp quality that we all love, it does not share the same nutrient-dense quality as darker greens, like spinach. With that said, it does have fair amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and calcium.

5. Iced Tea

If you live in a hotter climate, then you’re probably well aware of the importance of iced tea. Sometimes, the weather just isn’t suitable for a piping hot tea. This is where iced tea comes to save the day. Ice tea is regular tea made poured atop ice cubes. It acts as a refreshing beverage for hot, summer days.

Iced tea is often served chilled rather than poured atop the ice, as it keeps the tea from being diluted. It is also very popular to sweeten tea with syrup, sugar, or honey.

6. Iced Gems

If you aren’t a bonafide sweet tooth, you may have never heard of iced gems. However, many people grew up on these delicious little meringue frosted biscuits. Some of you might be feeling nostalgic right now just thinking about them and we get it!

Iced gems are a wonderful treat for children thanks to their small size. They are most popular in the UK. Store-bought versions differ pretty greatly from homemade versions as well. Store-bought iced gems typically come with a small dollop of pastel-colored royal icing on the top.

Be prepared to dig in whenever you get a box of iced gems, as it’s almost impossible to have just one!

7. Iced Coffee

Iced coffee may seem like a cop-out, as it’s just coffee with “ice” in front of it, though when you consider the popularity of this caffeinated beverage, it makes sense that it’s on the list. Iced coffee is so much more than a refreshing breakfast beverage. Similar to iced tea, coffee is the perfect choice for those who live in hotter climates, yet still want to enjoy the energy boost that you can only get from a cup of joe.

Fun fact for you: Did you know that Hawaii is the only state in the United States that grows coffee?

Despite the numerous and diverse landscapes in the United States, Hawaii is the only truly tropical climate with rich soil and high altitudes, perfect for growing coffee.

8. Icing

You can’t enjoy a delicious cake without icing on top. From birthdays to weddings and beyond, everyone enjoys a good finger-lick of icing. Icing is often used to decorate cakes as well, moving beyond the world of food and into the world of design.

Most people are unaware of just how versatile icing is. In fact, there are a whopping ten types of icing out there, all of which stem from the first historical instance of icing back in 1494! The majority of icing lovers know about fondant and buttercream. However, a deeper look reveals icing such as meringue, glaze, ganache, marzipan, and Mexican paste.

9. Idiyappam

Idiyappam is a popular Indian snack made from rice flour. The word Idiyappam is derived from the Tamil/Malayalam language and translates to “steamed, broken-down pancake or noodles.”

Idiyappam is a steamed dish that is often consumed for dinner and breakfast, making it quite a versatile dish. On the side, you’ll likely find curry or coconut chutney to give it a bit of extra flavor. While India might be known for consuming Idiyappam more than any other country, it is an equally popular dish in many other Asian countries, including Indonesia and Malaysia.

10. Idaho Potatoes

Wondering where Idaho potatoes come from? We have a hint for you.

It’s in the name.

Idaho potatoes are mainly russet potatoes. However, don’t let that fool you, as Idaho grows numerous types of potatoes, including fingerling, red, and Yukon gold. Idaho doesn’t grow potatoes simply because they feel like it.

Many generations ago, local Idahoans realized the combination of volcanic soil, adequate irrigation, and ideal climate, made Idaho a prime spot for potato growing. The Idaho Potato Commission has over 1,706 recipes for potato lovers to enjoy.

11. Ilama

Ilama is a Central American tropical fruit that comes in two varieties — pink and green. The Ilama, also referred to as the sincuya or soncoya, gets its name from the tree that it grows on. The rough translation of the name means “old woman’s sapote”.

The pink Ilama has pink flesh and a flavor that many describe as “tart.” The green Ilama has white flesh that many describe as “sweet.” There are plenty of ways to consume Ilama, including as-is, though serving it alongside ice cream is probably the most popular way to consume.

12. Idli

Idli is a popular Indian dish that is made with black lentils and rice. It is also one of the oldest dishes in the country, stemming from 700 CE. in fact, the earliest mention of the Idli in popular culture came from a 920 AD Kannada writing called Vaddaradhane by Shivakotiacharya.

Many describe this rice cake dish as “mild” in flavor, which is why it is rarely eaten alone. Idli is great with chutney, curry, or stew, as it soaks in numerous flavors to create a hearty, uniquely-flavored dish.

13. Imarti

Imarti is another very popular Indian treat that is made with vigna mungo flour batter. To make Imarti, you must deep fry batter and dunk it in sugar syrup to procure the necessary sweet flavor. It comes in a unique round shape that many say resembles that of a flower. With such a gorgeous look, it is a wildly popular dessert.

For western foodies, the similarity in design to a pretzel or funnel cake makes it a wonderful introduction to Indian desserts. Those traveling to India often enjoy tons of Imarti during the holidays, as it is a wondrous winter food.

14. Illawarra Plum

The Illawara Plum, otherwise referred to as the Brown Pine, is an indigenous Australian fruit. It comes with fleshy seeds that Aussies often use as a condiment. As for the actual fruit, many unfamiliar with the Illawara Plum say it looks like a blueberry, though has a texture similar to that of a grape. As for the flavor, many describe it as sweet and juicy.

One of the best ways to consume Illawara plum is by making it into a delicious plum sauce.

15. Indian Black Salt

Indian Black Salt, otherwise known as kala namak, comes from a foundation of Himalayan pink salt. Indian Black salt is unique by design thanks to its black color, which comes from infused volcanic rock salt which is a unique type of salt.

To make Indian Black Salt, one must infuse Himalayan pink salt with a variety of spices, including the harad fruit, which contains sulfur.

Once the salt mixture is ready, it must be put over high-heat until it turns a dark, black color. Beyond the fact that the dark color makes it stand out from other types of salt, Indian black salt has a distinctly unpleasant scent thanks to the sulfur compounds inside.

16. Inca Berries

Inca Berries are wonderful exotic fruits, native to South American lands. These tiny, yellow and orange berries are filled to the brim with excellent vitamins, nutrients, and flavor. People often refer to them as the “healthier alternative for sour skittles.”

Did your mouth just water?

Similar to sour skittles, Inca Berries has a hybrid flavor, which is sour at first and sweet at the finish.

17. Inga Edulis

Inga Edulis, also known as the ice cream beam, it a sweet and pulpy South American fruit that is composed of rich flesh wrapped around seeds. The reason they call it the ice cream bean is that many believe it tastes just like vanilla ice cream. However, the unique thing about the Inga Edulis is that it changes flavors once the seeds have been cooked.

Cooked inga edulis seeds have been said to taste like chickpeas.

18. Irish Cream

Add a splash of Irish cream to your coffee or espresso and you’ll be sure to have a great day! Irish cream is a popular liqueur made with coffee, cream, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and almond extracts, chocolate syrup, and, of course, Irish Whiskey.

Though people often add it to coffee or dessert recipes, it is perfect to consume on its own.

Did you know that at one time Irish Whiskey was the most popular spirit on Earth?

19. Indian Mustard

indian spices

Indian mustard is a very popular plant that provides foodies with seeds, stems, leaves, all of which are edible and delicious. Indian mustard is quite popular in Nepali culture and cuisine. One of the most popular uses for the Indian Mustard plant is making a brown mustard condiment, which uses the seeds of the Indian Mustard plant.

Brown mustard is perfect for those who are looking for a bit more of a kick than yellow mustard can provide.

The cultivation of the mustard plant began many generations ago. Historians date it back to 3,000 B.C. in the Indian regions. As of today, there are over 40 species of mustard plants, many of which grow in colder climates that still have sunlight.

20. Iodized Salt

Those who have iodine deficiencies often look to iodized salt as a supplemental part of their diets. In fact, more than 2 billion people on Earth suffer from iodine deficiency, which is one of the leading causes of both developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Iodine is crucial to maintaining good health, which is why so many use iodized salt in their cooking. Iodized salt is a lot like table salt, though it combines many smaller amounts of different salts of the iodine element.

21. Instant Noodles

Instant noodles — the college freshman’s best friend.

Instant noodles, otherwise known as ramen, are dried and pre-cooked blocks of noodles covered with various types of seasonings. While instant noodles are native to the Japanese, you can find them in countries all around the world.

Instant noodles are great for those looking to add a bit or iron, B vitamins, or manganese to their diets, though they lack proper fiber, protein, and other necessary vitamins and minerals that are good for our health. While instant noodles are incredibly affordable, with such high sodium levels inside a single cup of instant noodles, they aren’t the most healthy choice.

22. Instant Oatmeal

Whether you are in a rush in the morning or camping out in the wilderness, instant oatmeal is an excellent source of energy. Instant oatmeal is dried and partially cooked, allowing for extremely quick preparation. The beauty of instant oats is that they retain all of the nutritional benefits of regular oats.

It is worth checking the labels, however, as many instant oatmeal brands utilize tons of sugar to create unique flavors. If you’re looking for a healthy instant oatmeal, we recommend getting the plain Quaker oatmeal and adding your own fruit for flavor!

23. Israeli Falafel

Israeli Falafel is one of our favorite traditional Israeli foods. It consists of a deep-fried ball or patty, filed with fava beans, chickpeas, or a combination of the two. The ball or patty is then wrapped in taboon or served in pita.

Falafels become highly popular in the 1950s with Yemeni Jews. They brought them from Yemen with deep fried balls and chickpeas. Many consider the falafel to be the national dish of Israel.

Irish Soda Bread

24. Irish Soda Bread

If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating delicious Irish soda bread, you’re missing out. This bread is incredibly soft, yet very dense due to the fact that it uses sodium bicarbonate instead of traditional yeast. Some of the other ingredients that you might find in Irish Soda Bread include baking soda, flour, salt, and buttermilk.

The reason Irish Soda Bread sprung to popularity so many years ago is due to the fact that it was and is incredibly cheap to make, as it only uses a few basic ingredients.

Fun fact: Many people would carve out a cross on the top of their Irish soda bread to keep the devil out.

25. Indian Pea

Indian Pea is a very popular legume grown through Asia, though it is mostly found in India. Some people refer to the Indian Pea as the white pea or grass pea. This legume is grown in places prone to famine and drought, as it is one of the most reliable crops around.

‘I’ Spy With My Little Eye, Something Delicious

When it comes to naming delicious foods that begin with the letter ‘I’, consider yourself a master. When everyone is shouting “ice cream,” you’ll be the one shouting Illawarra Plum!

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