Foods That Start With J – From Jabuticaba to Jelly!

jackfruit is a food that begins with j

Last Updated on June 26, 2023

Top 25 Foods That Start With J – Some Yummy & Some Yucky!

Looking for a complete list of foods that start with J? We have compiled an exhaustive list that has everything from jelly and jerky, to rare fruits that can only be found in Brazil.

See how many foods you know and have actually tried before. And if you haven’t eaten a few of these J foods, give them a try! After all, the best thing about food is the variety. I can guarantee that most of these foods are way better tasting then something like fish sticks and french fries!

1. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is one of the best meat substitutes around for vegans, though many people don’t know that this delicious, pulpy food comes from a fruit-bearing tree known as the Jack Tree. Jackfruit is native to South India and is part of the Moraceae plant family, which includes mulberry, fig, and breadfruit. However, Jackfruit can be found in tropical regions all over the world.

It is known for its spiky layer of outer skin, which is both yellow and green in color. One of the more interesting things about Jackfruit is its unusually large size. In fact, Jackfruit is the largest tree-born fruit in the world. Many of them can reach up to 40 pounds in weight!

Jabuticaba fruit on tree

2. Jabuticaba

It is so rare that we see fruit sprouting from the trunk of a tree rather than from the sprawling branches. Seems like a lot of effort for a tree to go through to leave its branches empty. Luckily, this mystery of nature gives us the Jabuticaba, otherwise known as the Brazilian Grape. In our list of foods that start with K, there is a similar grape like fruit called a Ketembilla. Check it out.

Jabuticaba fruit has a rounded shape and turns dark purple when it is fully ripe, very similar to the nature of a concord grape. They sit about 1 inch in diameter and offers a resinous flavor with plenty of tannins. Jabuticaba can be used to make marmalades, jams, and other preserves, though it can also be fermented to make wine.

3. Jesuite

A Jesuite is a triangular, flaky pastry, filled to the brim with frangipane cream and topped off with powdered sugar and sliced almonds. Go into just about any French bakery and you’ll find one of these delicious pastries sitting behind the glass.

The pastry has origins in France and the name “Jesuite” refers to the shape of a Jesuit’s hat, which is also triangular.

4. Joumou

For Haitian people, Joumou is synonymous with “freedom.”

When it comes to Haitian cuisine, most people recommend starting with Joumou, as it is one of the more mild spicy dishes native to the culture. The soup is based on a large squash grown in winter, one that resembles a pumpkin. To make Joumou, one must slice up the squash and simmer it in a saucepan along with a variety of different ingredients, including potato, beef, plantains, and vegetables.

Some vegetables often found in Joumou include carrots, parsley, green cabbage, onions, and celery.

5. Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a Creole rice dish that has many influences, including West African, Spanish, and French. The dish originated in New Orleans and quickly became one of the most popular dishes from the region.

It consists mainly of meats and veggies atop rice, though can have plenty of different kinds of ingredients depending on what one wants to throw inside. However, from a traditional standpoint, the meat most always includes some sort of sausage, most often andouille. From there, other meats are thrown in the mix, including pork, chicken, shrimp, or crawfish.

jars of jam or jelly

6. Jelly

Jelly, jam, marmalade, preserves — is there a difference?

Actually, there is! The fruit preserve category that we refer to as “jelly” comes from the French word gelee, and is a translucent fruit spread made in a similar fashion to its sister food, jam. However, in jelly, the main additional step is adding extra liquid and filtering out any leftover pulp.

Great jelly is sparking and clear with a flavor that can only be described as “fresh.” The unique clarity of jelly is why it shares a name with the gelatin-based dessert, Jello.

7. Jaffle

The name “jaffle” comes from medieval times, when jaffle irons were used to produce flat and unleavened cakes. These jaffle irons were made of two metal plates that connected to one another using a single wooden handle. Today, the jaffle craze is spreading across the world once again, though now, people are referring to the delicious and toasty jaffle sandwich.

The Jaffle is a South African toasted sandwich filled with meat and toasted in an electric toaster or over an open flame.

8. Juice

Juice. We all know what it is. We all love it. It comes in many different forms and can provide health benefits unlike anything else. From orange juice to apple juice to pomegranate juice and beyond, even with all of the differences, the production is the same. To make juice, one must extract or press the natural liquid contained within a fruit or vegetable.

Juice is often consumed as a beverage, though it can just as easily be used as an ingredient when cooking different types of food. Juice is so popular that the “juicing” trend became extremely popular a few years ago.

Fun fact: the largest fruit juice consumers on Earth are New Zealanders.

9. Jonathan Apple

Any Jonathans out there? If so, you’ll be happy to know that you have your very own apple! The Jonathan apple is a medium-sized apple with a sweet taste. Many say that the Jonathan apple has an acidic value to it, though very subtle.

The Jonathan apple is very closely related to the Esopus Spitzenburg apple and both are excellent for cooking or eating fresh. Jonathan apples are wonderful for frying and are even better when baked into apple crisps or pies!

10. Juneberries

Juneberries — the fruit that goes where Blueberries can’t. While most farmers and fruit lovers view blueberries as a Plan A when growing, they require acidic soils that are well-drained. If you don’t have access to this kind of soil, Juneberries are an excellent alternative.

These little berries look and taste like Blueberries, though have yet to see their time in the light quite like blueberries. Juneberries are dark in color and are typically grown on the prairies of Canada for wholesale processing. In terms of nutritional value, they have as much thiamin, riboflavi, vitamin B-6, vitamin E, vitamin A, and vitamin C as blueberries do.

mint julep drink

11. Julep

A julep is a blanket term for sugar, bourbon, and mint mixed atop crushed ice and served as a cocktail. However, this refreshing alcoholic beverage goes far beyond its foundation, providing beverage lovers with all types of flavors to pick from.

With that said, the most popular cocktail is the Mint Julep. This mixed alcoholic drink utilizes mint atop the other ingredients. The Julep, thanks to its Bourbon base, is heavily associated with the United States south. It is one of the most popular drinks served at the Kentucky Derby.

For another great drink, check out Irish Cream in our list of foods that start with I.

12. Johnnycake

Johnnycake might look like a typical pancake, though it is something much more. A Johnnycake is a cornmeal flatbread and one of the earliest staple foods in America. However, it can be found all over the world, especially along the Atlantic coast, ranging from Jamaica to Newfoundland.

The Johnnycake originates from North American indigenous tribes and is still one of the most popular cornmeal dishes today. Many like to refer to them as the New England equivalent of the tortilla.

13. Jambul

Another excellent alternative to the blueberry is the Jambul. It is so similar that many people refer to it as the Indian Blueberry. The Jambul is a tropical tree that sprouts berries during the summer or monsoon season. There are two main varieties of jambul, including Paras and Ram Jarnun.

Jambul is very juicy like the blueberry and has a sweet yet astringent taste. While blueberries originated in North America only, Jambul can be found across the world in parts of Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and The Philippines.

14. Jiuniang

If you’re looking for a sweet way to top of your Chinese dinner, look no further than a bowl of Jiuniang. Jiuniang is a sweet pudding or soup-like dish rooted in Chinese cuisine. The Chinese also refer to it as sweet rice wine or sweet wine. The consistency is liquid-y with rice grains floating about in a sweet and saccharified liquid.

There are small amounts of alcohol and lactic acid present in Jiuniang as well. While there is some alcohol content, don’t expect to get tipsy with a bowl of Jiuniang in front of you!

15. Jamaican Jerk Chicken

“Jerk” is a style of cooking that is native to Jamaican culture. It refers to meat that is either wet-marinated or dry-rubbed with hot spice, referred to as “Jamaican jerk spice.” While historians argue its origins, many believe that Jamaican jerk spice was originally developed by Maroons or African slaves who escaped into the Jamaican wild once the British captured this Spanish island in 1655.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken has become one of the most widely known foods in Jamaican cuisine and is the perfect, flavorful dish to introduce you to the wonders of Jamaican cooking.

16. Jelly Roll

Even the simplest of desserts can be the most delicious. The old-fashioned jelly roll is a soft, sweet, and spongy cake that is rolled up into a spiral shape and filled with jelly. To make a jelly roll, you simply spread your preferred jelly, jam, whipping, or frosting onto a thin and flat piece of cake before rolling it into a log.

While the end result may make it look a bit complicated, it is actually the perfect dish for those looking to get started in the world of baking.


17. Jambon

Jambon is simply the French word for ham, one of the most popular deli meats in the world. Ham is pork that has been cut from the leg of a pig and preserved using dry or wey curing. Ham is not smoked either.

Ham is one of the oldest meats in human civilization, though Larousse Gastronomique claims that the smoking and salting of pork to create delicious ham is an invention of the French. You can go to just about any country around the world and find ham, though there are also plenty of people who do not consume it for religious purposes.

18. Jellied Eels

Jellied eels may not look appetizing to some, though this traditional English dish is loved by many across the world. Jellied eels originated in the 18th-century, becoming a hit at the East End of London. The dish is composed of chopped eels that are boiled in spiced stock. One the stock sets in, it forms a jelly, which is then eaten cold.

As of today, the popularity of this dish has diminished due to the pretentiousness of younger English generations and limited eel migrations, though you can still find some old-school restaurants serving up this once-popular working-class dish today.

19. Jollof Rice

Jollof rice, otherwise known as benachin in Wolof, is a rich dish very popular throughout regions in West Africa, including Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Benin, Sierra Leone, Togo, Mali, and Liberia.

While there is plenty of debate around it, many people say that Ghana Jollof is the best. Originally, this dish was made with fish as the main source of protein, though people have come up with new and exciting recipes that utilize chicken and beef. However, one thing has never changed, and that is the crucial role that tomatoes play in the dish.

The tomatoes in Jollof rice give it its bright, red color.

20. Jugo de Avena

The oat milk fad has exploded across Western regions in the past few years. Almost every trendy coffee shop has oat milk on the menu. Long before that, however, the people of South Africa were sipping Jugo de Avena, an oat-based, South American beverage made with primarily oats and water.

Jugo de Avena is the perfect breakfast beverage and one of the favorites for kids in the summertime. In many cases, Jugo de Avena lovers will add sugar, milk, spices, and other interesting ingredients, such as ginger, carrot juice, or orange peels.

Jostaberry on tree

21. Jostaberry

Jostaberry, pronounced “yusta-berry,” is a small berry that comes from the German word for gooseberry. Some people like to refer to these little berries as Goose Currants. Though they are small, Jostaberries are incredibly complex. They involve three originating species, including the black currant, the coastal black gooseberry, and the European gooseberry.

While there are plenty of things one could do with a jostaberry, people often use them for jam.

22. Jerusalem Artichoke

The Jerusalem Artichoke goes by many names, including the sunchoke or sunroot. This species of artichoke flower is native to North America, though it is now cultivated around the world thanks to its ability to thrive in temperate zones.

These little artichokes look very similar to ginger roots, though have a much different taste. While the United States rarely cultivates Jerusalem artichokes, they are often used in small quantities for making relishes, pickles, and other dietary preparations.

23. Jicama

Jicama, otherwise known as the Mexican yam bean or Mexican turnip, is actually the name of the Mexican vine that the Jicama comes from. The Jicama root, an edible and tuberous root, is what we consume. Jicama is very popular in Mexican cuisine and has made its way into the southwestern states over the years.

It looks very similar to a potato, though has a firm and crispy consistency similar to that of a pear. Many people like to bake Jicama as a healthier french fry alternative.

24. Java

Java is just another word for coffee, though many people wonder,

Why do we refer to coffee as “java”?

Well, it all goes back to a small island in Indonesia between Bali and Sumatra known as Java. The word Java means distant or home, very fitting for coffee, as the beans come from very far away, though they make us feel like we’re safe and warm at home.

Java sits on the equator and is home to many mountains. It has fertile geography and the perfect microclimate for growing coffee. The island has been in the business of producing coffee since 1699 and still makes coffee today.

As the early 20th century rolled around, coffee from the island of Java became more and more popular, which is why the name became synonymous with one of our favorite caffeinated beverages.

25. Jawbreaker

Jawbreakers, otherwise known as gobstoppers, are large, hard candies that sit anywhere from 1-3 cm across. However, large jawbreakers can easily sit at 8 cm in diameter. The term “gobstopper” comes from the word “gob”, which is a slang term for mouth in the UK and Ireland.

Many refer to these large candies as jawbreakers due to the fact that they are so difficult to bite down on that if you tried, you would “break your jaw.” This pure Sugarbomb candy is made by cooking sugar at a high temperature for anywhere from 14-19 days. The sugar is consistently churned during this time until it has formed the perfect jawbreaker shape.

While the true name of the jawbreaker was lost in history, we do know that the Ferrara Pan Candy company brought jawbreakers into popularity during the late 1800s and early 1900s, launching the success of this dangerous and delicious sweet.

If you know of a food that begins with J that we haven’t included, please let us know in the comments below! We’ll even give you credit for helping make Here to Serve a better food website for everyone.

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