Food, glorious food! It’s always fun to learn about how many foods there are in the world that start with different letters.
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Whether you’re a thrill-seeking foodie or you’re just curious about the sheer amount of different foods out there, it would be so handy to see an alphabetical encyclopedia of foods that begin with certain letters.
Picture this: You’re hosting a family or friend quiz, and you are challenged to name as many foods that start with the letter O. Sounds easy, right?
Once you get past the predictable “onion” and “omelet”, you might encounter a blank mind.
To help you prepare your research (or simply to satisfy your curiosity), here are 52 foods that start with the letter O.
Oatcakes are essentially oaty crackers. They are prepared in a similar way to oatmeal and cooked on a griddle or in the oven. In the UK, oatcakes are usually eaten as a snack or for lunch with cheese, butter, vegetables, or dips.
As they are mostly cooked with wholemeal flour (sometimes plain flour if wholemeal isn’t available), oatcakes are a fairly healthy snack.
2. Oat milk
One of the most popular plant-based kinds of milk, oat milk is derived from whole oats. The plant material from the oats is extracted with water, leaving a creamy texture and milky-nutty flavor.
Most oat milk is unsweetened, but there are some flavored options like sweetened or vanilla.
Oat milk is a staple for vegans and is probably the most eco-friendly alternative to cow milk.
Oatmeal is a popular breakfast meal that is made from steel-cut or ground hulled oats. Added to milk, oatmeal is a fibrous and filling breakfast option that can be mixed with fruits, berries, nuts, and sweeteners like honey or syrup to enhance the flavor.
You can also make oatmeal cookies to satiate the sweet cravings whilst still remaining a healthy option.
It might seem like we’re cheating by including oats on this list considering the last few food examples, but oats are so versatile that we can’t miss them out.
A species of cereal grain, oats can be used by humans in so many ways - plus they’re an essential fibrous part of a diet for livestock.
Also known as Puran Poli, Obbattu is a southern Indian sweet flatbread that is made at festivals and special occasions. Obbattu is fairly complicated to make - with a flour called Maidu, turmeric, salt, wheat flour, chana gram, and Ghee.
There are several variations of Obbattu, including plain, coconut (Kai Obbattu), and filled with fruits and vegetables.
As Obbattu is only made at special occasions and festivities, it’s hard to find ready-to-eat Obbattu in Indian supermarkets.
Translating to “wafer” in Spanish, Oblea is a traditional dessert in Latin American countries including Mexico.
Oblea is essentially a wafer sandwich with a filling inside such as jam, whipped cream, cheese, and traditionally dulce de leche, which is a sugar milk mixture.
To add to the sweetness, they are often served with chocolate, coconut, condensed milk, marmalade, and more.
A traditional Kenyan dish, Obusuma is a cooked maize mash that is like a mixture of oatmeal and mashed potato. It is usually served alongside leafy greens, stews, curries, fish, scrambled eggs, and more. It is often sweetened with sugar for a dessert option.
We won’t explain what an octopus is, but it’s a popular and common meal in some Asian countries including Korea and Japan.
Octopus can be eaten in a variety of ways, including fried, grilled, in a soup, or in a salad.
It is mostly eaten raw with the tentacles still moving - this is because the nervous system of an octopus is so complex that most of the neurons exist in the tentacles, so make sure to chew them properly to prevent choking.
Ochazuke is a Japanese dish that features hot green tea poured over a bed of cooked white rice. Alongside Ochazuke is usually pickled vegetables and other salty toppings.
It’s one of those dishes you make at the table and not one that is usually served as a meal - kind of like a lazy “I just needed to eat what I had” meal.
10. Oeufs en Meurette
A traditional Burgundian dish, Oeufs en Meurette features poached eggs and a Meurette sauce or bourguignon sauce. The sauce typically includes red wine, shallots, bacon, and onions browned in butter.
Oeufs en Meurette is usually eaten as an appetizer but can also be served as a main dish in a larger portion with crisp róutes for a nice crunch.
11. Ogbono soup
Ogbono soup is a Nigerian dish that features dry, ground ogbono seeds as the key ingredient. It also contains meat, vegetables, fish seasonings (if there is no meat), water, palm oil, and seeds.
Each region will have a different way of making Ogbono soup, so you never really know what you’re going to get.
If you’re lucky, you might find packaged Ogbono soup in supermarkets that specialize in Western African foods.
Similar to British custard, Ogi is a Nigerian dessert made from dehydrated cornstarch and added flavors. Traditionally, Ogi is made from maize, sorghum, or millet.
The grains are soaked in water for three days, then wet-milled and seeped to remove the husks. Once fermented, the sour mixture is boiled or cooked to make a creamy pudding.
Ohitashi is a Japanese spinach salad, which involves a method of infusing lightly cooked vegetables (usually spinach but whatever is available) with seasoned dashi, which is a family of broths in Japan.
It’s usually a vegan-friendly dish that is comforting and healthy, and a hidden gem in Japanese cuisine.
14. Oil Down
Oil Down is the national dish of Grenada and features a one-pot stew of meats, dumplings, breadfruit, callaloo, and anything else you might find in your cupboard.
Stewed in coconut milk, herbs, and spices, this is the ultimate comfort food. The reason it’s called Oil Down is that the coconut milk helps to release the rich oils as it simmers down.
15. Oil palm
Oil palm can be said interchangeably with palm oil, and is a vegetable oil extracted from oil palm trees. Oil palm is used in cooking but is mostly found in food products, cosmetic products, cleaning products, and more.
Due to deforestation, oil palm is one of the most destructive sources of oil on the planet.
Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake that is usually personalized to individual preference - hence the name that loosely translates to “what you like cooked”.
A bunch of ingredients can be thrown into the wheat-flour-based batter, including cabbage, pork, cheese, fried noodles, eggs, and more.
Okowa is a comforting Japanese steamed rice dish that is accompanied by meats and vegetables, and often chestnuts or wild herbs. To add a bit of festive color, the rice is often boiled in red Azuki beans.
Often called “ladies’ fingers”, Okra is a seasonal vegetable that is grown in warm, subtropical climates like southern America, West Africa, and South Asia. It is usually found in a roast, salad, or sautéed with garlic and other vegetables.
Okra is filled with antioxidants, fiber, minerals, and vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It can often be used for medical purposes.
The ham is mixed with kvass, which is a non-alcoholic drink made from fermented rye or black bread. Okroshka is usually accompanied with sour cream and served in summer for its refreshing taste.
Olallieberries are similar to blackberries in taste and appearance, except they don’t have a hollow center.
This means that when the berries are picked, they are still intact in their form. Gone are the days of accidentally crashing blackberries! Olallieberries are mostly found in pies and other sweet dishes.
A south Indian dish, Olan is a mild curry made of coconut milk, cowpeas, and curry leaves that are usually served with Kerala red rice. It’s one of those comforting, homey meals that most travelers won’t know about.
Olives are a popular stone fruit that is picked from olive trees and are known for their unique salty flavor. Olives are incredibly versatile and high in antioxidants and vitamin E, and are most commonly eaten raw or brined and spiced.
23. Olive all’ascolana
Olive all’ascolana is a fried and stuffed olive dish that is found in Italy and originated in Marche. It was first created by rich chefs who had leftover meat and food from parties, who then started to stuff olives with meat fillings before frying them.
This is a popular appetizer and is often sold at festivals and public events in cones. The meat fillings range from pork, beef, veal, and chicken.
24. Olive oil
Olive oil is made of the fat from olives, which are pressed to extract the oil. It comes in a variety of forms, including extra virgin olive oil, standard olive oil, and olive oil blends that can contain other ingredients like garlic.
Olive oil is a staple in Mediterranean foods and used in most meals - whether it’s as an oil to fry or roast ingredients or as a dressing on a salad.
25. Olivet Cendré
Olivet Cendré is a French cheese from Olivet that is made from cow’s milk.
The cow’s milk is collected in spring, and the cows graze on the grass by the Loire river (where Olivet is situated) as this is when the milk is said to be most delicious.
The cheese is aged for three months in cylinders filled with ash, giving the cheese its distinctive gray outer layer and earthy taste.
Almost every region in the world has its own variation of the classic omelet. Generally speaking, an omelet is made from beaten eggs that are fried amongst a variety of fillings, including cheese, onions, vegetables, meats, chives, or mushrooms.
They are typically folded halfway through cooking and fried in a frying pan.
An Omurice is a Japanese version of an omelet that is made of thin scrambled eggs and fried rice. Omurices don’t typically include other fillings or ingredients, as they are usually served with ketchup and served as a meal for children.
Possibly the most commonly used vegetable of all, onions are a staple in kitchens across the globe. They can come in a range of forms, including white onions, red onions, shallots, chives, scallion leeks, and more.
Onions are diced and fried during the first step of most meals, but they can also be roasted or eaten raw in a salad.
Raw onions are spicy and are known for making people cry, whilst cooked onions are sweet and complement a lot of food.
29. Onion bhaji
Onion bhajis are a popular Indian snack and side dish that are similar to fritters. A batter is made of baking powder, flour, salt, and spices.
The onions are sliced and dipped into the batter, then deep fried in oil. There are lots of variations of onion bhajis, including spicy bhajis, mint bhajis, and red onion bhajis.
30. Onion kulcha
Onion kulcha is a lesser-known leavened bread that is similar to naan, except with tangy onions.
This leavened bread is typically fried or cooked in a griddle and served alongside a curry or by itself for lunch.
A Japanese food, Onigiri is a triangular-shaped or cylindrical-shaped ball of white rice that is usually wrapped in seaweed called nori.
Onigiri is typically filled with salted salmon, pickled ume, kombu, tarako, pickled takana, or any natural preservative that is salty or sour.
Onigiri is a popular food in Japan that is found in both convenience stores and designated takeaway stores and restaurants.
32. Opera cake
Opera cake is a French cake made of layers of almond cake soaked in coffee syrup. It is typically layered with ganache or coffee buttercream and covered with a shiny layer of chocolate glaze.
This is a sweet and satisfying cake that features a lot of complimentary flavors, which is why it is so popular.
Who could forget the classic orange? One of the most popular citrus fruits, oranges are named after their distinct orange coloring.
These fruits are high in vitamin C and are usually eaten fresh (peeled, of course). They can also be squeezed into orange juice.
As they are so popular worldwide, oranges are grown virtually everywhere. They can also be used to make marmalade and other preserves.
Orangelo is a lesser-known citrus fruit that is a hybrid between an orange and a grapefruit. Nothing and nobody forced this hybrid fruit to grow, instead, it spontaneously grew in shady trees in the coffee plantations of Puerto Rico.
They are said to taste like citrus fruit and are usually shaped like a pear or orange.
Oregano is one of the most popular herbs in the world. It is a flowering plant in the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean and Western Eurasia.
The leaves of the trees are harvested and used as a herb in a variety of dishes.
Oregano is most commonly found in Italian dishes like pasta and pizza due to its complementary flavors to tomato, but it can also be used in a variety of other foods.
It features great health benefits, such as antioxidants and antibacterial properties that work to fight infection and strengthen the immune system.
36. Oregon grapes
Despite its name, Oregon grapes aren’t actually grapes. An Oregon grape is a flowering plant that can form berries, but they are tart and taste nothing like grapes.
Whilst they’re not commonly found in foods, Oregon grapes are used for medicinal purposes. The stem is made to make medicine, the roots are to treat itchy skin and eczema, and the berries are used for upset stomachs and reflux.
Ah, the humble Oreo! Oreos are American sandwich cookies that are typically made of two chocolate cookie wafers with a layer of créme filling inside.
Due to the popularity of Oreos, they can be found in a variety of desserts such as Oreo cheesecake or ice cream.
There are a bunch of flavors of Oreos that continue to develop, such as Red Velvet, Cinnamon Bun, Lemon, Mint, Birthday Cake, and more.
Oritang is a Korean soup or stew that features slowly-simmered duck and vegetables. The name comes from Ori, which means duck, and tang which is another word for guk in Korean - as Oritang is a variation of guk.
Oritang is usually a clear soup but the flavors change regionally, as some are spicy and others are slightly thicker.
39. Orgu Peyniri
Orgu Peyniri is a Turkish plaited cheese dish that is typically eaten at lunch or breakfast. It is made of elastic, stringy cheese that can be braided into a plait without breaking.
The flavor is mild and the stringy texture is achieved by ripening cow milk in brine and soaking it in cold water to get rid of excess salt.
Oroblanco (or often spelled oro blanco) is a seedless citrus hybrid fruit that is similar to a grapefruit. It was created in California by cross-developing a seedy white grapefruit and an acidless pomelo.
They are a sweeter version of grapefruits and peeled like an orange. You can either eat it in segments or scooped with a spoon.
Another citrus fruit hybrid, ortanique is a natural tangor that is a hybrid of the sweet orange and the mandarin orange. It is most commonly known as a tangor, which is a mixture of the words “tangerine” and “orange”.
Ortaniques are eaten like oranges, as they feature a thick, easy-to-peel rind and a bright orange pulp that is slightly more sour than a sweet orange.
Oshirko is a traditional dessert in Japan made of azuki beans. The beans are boiled and crushed into an oatmeal or porridge-like consistency and served with mochi, which is a Japanese glutinous rice cake.
Some forms of Oshiruko include glutinous rice flour dumplings instead of mochi or chestnuts. This is a sweet, warm, and comforting dessert that is mostly eaten during winter and New Year celebrations.
43. Osmanthus cake
Osmanthus cake is a traditional Chinese pastry that is celebrated for its unique sweetness. It is made with glutinous rice flour, rock sugar, and honey sweet-scented osmanthus - a native flowering plant.
The texture, despite it technically being a pastry, is soft and waxy and almost looks clear. It is often found at street vendors in Taiwan.
Ossobuco is a traditional Lombard cuisine that features veal shanks that have been braised for several hours with vegetables, broth, and white wine. It is usually served with risotto or polenta (boiled cornmeal) depending on the region.
The key feature of this dish is the marrow in the hole of the bone in the veal.
It is said that this dish should be made a day before eating to allow the flavors to enhance. Beef shanks are used as a substitute if veal isn’t available.
45. Ostriche arrosto
No, this meal isn’t made from Ostriches. Ostriche arrosto translates from Italian to fried oysters in English, which is a classic Italian dish that features broiled oysters in breadcrumbs, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil.
Whilst they’re not often grilled traditionally, grilling these oysters enhances the unique flavors even more.
Osumashi is a clear and simple Japanese soup that is typically made with chicken, seafood, or dashi (the stock of the clear soup). Other forms of Osumashi include green onion and shiitake, tofu, carrot, or Tamago - which is a Japanese omelet.
It is seasoned with salt and soy sauce and is fairly similar to miso soup.
47. Ovos moles de Aveiro
Ovos moles de Aveiro is a pastry delicacy from the Aveiro District in Portugal.
They are an egg yolk sweet treat that features sugar and often chocolate, in the form of a paper-thin wafer shell with a creamy yolk and sugar filling inside.
They are usually shaped in casings to look like shells and other nautical shapes because of Aveiro’s connection to the sea.
As you can imagine, these sweet treats can be hard to eat, so eat them whole and hope for no mess!
Owofibo is a Nigerian oil soup that looks similar to pumpkin soup in its bright orange color. It is mostly known as Owo soup and is made from blended tomatoes mixed with palm oil and akun.
It is a simple soup that varies in flavor depending on regional variations and is typically served with a chunk of bread.
49. Oxford Blue
Oxford Blue is a blue cheese similar to Stilton that is creamy in texture and tangy in flavor. It is produced in Burford, Oxfordshire, hence the name. This cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk and is typically left to mature for around 10-12 weeks.
Oxford Blue has won countless awards and can be eaten alone, with crackers, or included in sauces and dressings.
Oxtail is the tail of cattle and is most commonly found in oxtail stews. It usually weighs around 7-8 lbs, and the bulky meat is skinned and cut into short lengths. Oxtail stew consists of oxtail, broth, vegetables, wine, and tomatoes.
It is usually cooked slowly throughout the day like a beef stew, so the meat falls off the bone.
Whilst it’s a fairly uncommon meat to come across, oxtail is flavorful and rich and can be cooked in a variety of ways.
Oyakodon is a Japanese rice bowl dish. Chicken, sliced scallion or onions, egg, and some other ingredients are simmered into a soup that is made of soy sauce and stock. This soup is then poured over a bowl of rice.
Interestingly, the word “oyakodon” translates to “parent and child donburi” (donburi is the name for a traditional rice bowl dish), which is said to symbolize the chicken and egg ingredients.
Last but not least, oysters are a name given to different families of salt-water mollusks that live in the sea.
They have been eaten for centuries and can be eaten raw or cooked. Oysters are most commonly served in a half shell with lemon and a sauce depending on the restaurant, sat on a bed of ice.
Once they have been eaten, the shells are used for decorative purposes. Some pearly oysters are harvested for their pearls. Interestingly, oysters are known for being aphrodisiacs!