26 Common Foods That Start With I

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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There are many foods that start with “I”. Yet, somehow, many still struggle to find foods whose names begin with each letter in the alphabet, or in this case, a simple letter: I.

After reading the foods below, you’ll gain a lot of exciting knowledge and develop more ideas about these items, from dishes, vegetables, to fruits, from common to exotic ones.

So, don’t hesitate anymore! Let’s start right now!

26 Foods that Start with Letter I with Filters

Follow me to get on a culinary adventure with 26 “I”-initialed foods beloved worldwide. Make your exploration easier by using filters of different types of foods like dishes, fruits, vegetables, and more.

Ice Cream Dessert

Ice Cream

  • Dishes

Ice cream is a popular frozen dessert made from milk, cream, or dairy alternatives, sweetened with sugar and various flavors.

It offers a wide range of flavors, with classic vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. People can add textures with toppings like fruits and chocolate chips.

Originating from snow-based desserts in China around 200 BC, ice cream has evolved globally into various forms like Italian gelato and French sorbet.

They also come in lactose-friendly versions made with almond or coconut milk.

Ice Cream Cake

Ice Cream Cake

  • Dishes

Ice cream cake is a delightful dessert that blends ice cream with cake layers. It is often topped with cookie crumbles and whipped cream.

Ice cream cake is traditionally made by lining a pan with crushed cookies and filling it with ice cream.

Today, this treat has evolved into various styles, including all-ice cream versions and alternating layers with sponge cake.

It is a favorite at parties and celebrations, especially in North America and Australia. You can find ice cream cakes in supermarkets and ice cream shops.

Ice Pop

Ice Pop

  • Dishes

Ice pops, also known as ice lollies or popsicles, are frozen treats with water or milk bases.

They are available in different flavors, such as lime, coconut, banana, and other fruits.

Ice pop was invented by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905 and was originally called ‘Epperson icicles’.

They differ from ice cream in that they are solid blocks of ice, often without dairy, and can form ice crystals.

Typically served on a stick or in a plastic tube, they’re a refreshing treat that can get sticky if not eaten quickly.

Idli Sambhar Idly Sambar


  • Dishes

Idli is a soft and fluffy rice cake made from a fermented batter of black lentils and rice. It’s a popular dish in Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine.

Idli is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, suitable for all ages. Locals often serve this rice cake with Sambar, chutneys, or curry.

The preparation process involves soaking, grinding, fermenting the batter overnight, and then steaming the idlis.

Idiyappam String Hoppers


  • Dishes

Idiyappam, also known as string hoppers, is a traditional South Indian dish particularly popular in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Sri Lanka.

It is a steamed rice noodle dish. These thin strands of noodles are made from white rice flour.

Savored as a breakfast dish in Malaysia with brown sugar and coconut, Idiyappam goes well with chicken stew, chicken curry, pea curry, or vegetable kurma.

And it can also transform into a dessert when served with ghee, sugar, sweetened coconut milk, and grated coconut.

Imarti Indian


  • Dishes

Imarti, also known as Amriti, Jangri, or Emarti, is a traditional Indian sweet. This treat is especially popular during festivals and special occasions.

Originating from the Mughal kitchens of Fatehpur Sikri, it was once a delicacy exclusive to Mughal and Rajput courts.

Imarti is made from a batter of all-purpose flour, corn flour, besan (dal flour), yogurt, turmeric, baking powder, ghee, and lemon juice.

It’s deep-fried and then sweetened with sugar syrup flavored with rose essence, cardamom, and saffron.

It is characterized by its bright orange or reddish color and intricate circular, spiral shape resembling a flower. Its texture is chewy and crisp.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew

  • Dishes

Irish stew has its roots in Ireland, hence the name.

It’s a traditional dish that pairs mutton (sheep) or lamb with onion and potatoes, creating a rich, comforting meal. Other ingredients like celery, carrots, and cabbage are also added.

In some Americanized versions, lamb gives way to beef. Still, what defines Irish stew is the special gravy, a blend of Guinness or dark beer mixed with red wine.

Italian Sausage

Italian Sausage

  • Meat

Despite its name, Italian sausage is actually an Italian-American pork product in North America.

Made from pork and seasoned with a blend of salt, pepper, garlic, fennel seed, and anise seed, it offers a spicier twist than typical sausages.

This versatile ingredient can go alone as a main dish but also shines in sandwiches, buns, or other recipes.

Italian Dressing

Italian Dressing

  • Condiments

Italian dressing is a vinaigrette-style favorite in American cuisine.

This is a versatile condiment perfect for livening up salads and marinating foods.

Italian dressing is healthier than creamy sauces due to its lower calorie and fat content.

This dressing can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Ikan Bakar

Ikan Bakar

  • Dishes

Ikan Bakar is a popular grilling fish dish in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The term “Ikan Bakar” literally translates to “burned fish” in Malay and Indonesian languages.

The dish typically involves marinating the fish in a mixture of aromatic spices and ingredients like garlic, shallots, turmeric, tamarind, chili, and sometimes lemongrass or galangal.

This spice blend imparts a rich, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor to the fish.

Once marinated, the fish is usually wrapped in banana leaves, which adds a subtle, smoky, and herbaceous flavor during the grilling process over charcoal or open flame.



  • Bread

Injera is a staple Ethiopian and Eritrean flatbread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. In fact, it is both a bread and an eating utensil in local culinary traditions.

The flatbread is made primarily from teff flour, a tiny grain native to the region.

The preparation of Injera involves mixing teff flour with water and allowing the mixture to ferment, which can take several days.

This fermentation process gives Injera its distinct sour flavor and creates tiny bubbles in the batter.

When cooked, usually on a large, flat griddle known as a mitad, Injera takes on a large, circular shape, similar to a thin pancake or crepe, but with a notably softer and more elastic texture.

Israeli Salad

Israeli Salad

  • Dishes

Israeli Salad is a fresh, vibrant dish commonly found in Israeli cuisine. It typically consists of finely chopped vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.

The salad is usually seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and sometimes garlic, with herbs such as parsley, mint, or za’atar.

One of the key characteristics of Israeli Salad is its finely diced components, which provide a pleasing texture and allow the flavors to blend seamlessly.

The salad is usually served chilled, making it a perfect side dish or appetizer, especially in warm weather.

Isi Ewu

Isi Ewu

  • Dishes

Isi ewu is a goat head soup in Nigeria, especially Igbo cuisine. It uses goat heads or cow feet, including the brain, tongue, and cheeks.

After a thorough cleaning, they’re seasoned and boiled until tender.

Isi ewu often comes with a spicy pepper sauce that adds a fiery kick.

Isi Ewu is traditionally served in a wooden dish and often accompanied by Nigerian staples like pounded yam, fufu, or garri, which are used to soak up the delicious sauce.

Instant Noodles

Instant Noodle

  • Dishes

Instant noodles, originating from Japan, are a popular food worldwide because of their convenience and affordability.

Just by adding boiling water and seasoning packets, which typically include flour, salt, palm oil, vegetables, and spices, they transform into a ready meal in minutes.

Imitation Crab

Imitation Crab

  • Seafood

Imitation crab, aka crab sticks, krab, or seafood sticks, is a processed seafood product.

Despite its name, imitation crab doesn’t contain any actual crab meat. Instead, it is made primarily from surimi, a paste made from finely pulverized white fish.

The paste is then flavored and colored to mimic the taste, texture, and appearance of crab meat.

Imitation crab is popular in various dishes where crab meat is typically used, such as seafood salads, crab cakes, California rolls (sushi), and more.

Overall, people love it since it is a budget-friendly alternative to real crab meat.

Iodised Salt

Iodised Salt

  • Condiments

Iodised salt, also spelled iodized salt, is a common table salt mixed with a minute amount of iodine, an essential nutrient.

In its typical form, iodised salt looks and tastes similar to regular table salt. This type of salt is widely used in cooking and food processing.

The use of iodised salt has been a significant public health success in preventing iodine deficiency disorders in many parts of the world.

Sugar Skull Cookie


  • Candy/confectionery

Icing, also known as frosting, is a sweet, creamy glaze typically used to decorate or add flavor to baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.

Sugar is the primary ingredient of icing. Its basic form is a simple mixture of powdered sugar and a liquid, such as water or milk.

There are various types of icing, each differing in texture, ingredients, and use.

Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg Lettuce

  • Vegetables

Iceberg lettuce is a variety of lettuce with crisp texture and mildly sweet taste.

Developed in 1894 and named for its early shipping method of being packed in ice, it thrives in cool climates, with California producing 70% of the U.S. supply.

Iceberg lettuce is a staple in American salads and sandwiches.

Ice Apple

Ice Apple

  • Fruits

Ice apple is a tropical fruit native to the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. It’s the edible fruit of various species of palm trees, such as the Palmyra palm.

Ice apple resembles a translucent lychee in appearance and texture, with a similar size and a jelly-like, tender flesh.

The outer skin is a thin, woody shell, which, when cracked open, reveals the soft, juicy pulp inside.

The fruit is especially popular in the hot summer months due to its cooling and hydrating properties.

Inga Edulis

Inga Edulis

  • Fruits

Inga edulis, commonly known as the ice cream bean or pacay, is a tropical fruit native to South America.

This fruit is notable for its unique and elongated pod shape, which can grow quite long, sometimes reaching up to several feet in length.

The outer shell of the Inga Edulis pod is typically green and somewhat tough. When opened, it reveals a row of large black seeds, each enveloped in a soft, fluffy, cotton-like pulp.

The fruit has a sweet flavor and texture similar to vanilla ice cream or a sweet cotton candy.

Imbe Fruit


  • Fruits

Imbe, originating from Southern Africa, resembles a plum in size. It’s akin to cherries or grapes, boasting a vivid yellow or orange hue at its ripest.

Imbe fruit offers a sweet and slightly tangy taste, reminiscent of a cross between a mango and a citrus fruit.

The fruit’s flesh is juicy and succulent, with a few small seeds inside.

Imbe is not only enjoyed fresh but also commonly used in a variety of culinary applications, including the preparation of exotic drinks, jams, and jellies.

Ilama Fruit


  • Fruits

Ilama is a tropical fruit from Central America, particularly found in areas from Mexico to Peru.

It has a thick, bumpy skin that can range in color from green to pink or bluish-green.

The size and shape of the fruit can vary but it typically resembles a large heart or a bulbous shape. And it can be about the size of a grapefruit.

Ilama has a creamy and custard-like flesh, divided into segments. This flesh is white or pink and some large, inedible seeds.

The texture of the fruit is soft and smooth, and it offers a sweet and slightly tart flavor, often described as a blend of pineapple, strawberry, and citrus with subtle hints of vanilla or nutmeg.



  • Fruits

Incaberry is a small, exotic fruit native to South America.

Each fruit is encased in a papery husk or calyx. Under the husk is a small, round berry with the size of a marble.

The berry itself is a bright, golden-orange color. They are sweet with a delightful tanginess, often described as a mix between a pineapple and a tomato.

The texture is somewhat chewy and the skin slightly firm.

Ivy Gourd

Ivy Gourd

  • Vegetables

Ivy gourd fruits are small, elongated that resemble miniature cucumbers.
They have smooth, bright green skin when young, turning to a deep red when fully ripe.

The interior of the fruit houses small, edible seeds and is characterized by a spongy flesh.

Ivy Gourd offers a mild taste. The ripe red fruits have a sweeter flavor and are sometimes eaten raw. However, the green fruits are more commonly used in cooking.

It’s often stir-fried, steamed, or cooked into curries, with spices.

Iyokan Iyo


  • Fruits

Iyokan, also known as the Yoko orange, is a popular citrus fruit in Japan.
This fruit is a hybrid, likely between the Mandarin orange and the pomelo.

Iyokan is slightly larger than a typical mandarin orange, with a somewhat rounded shape. The skin of the Iyokan is thicker than that of a regular orange and has a distinct pebbly texture.

It has juicy, succulent segments with sweet and tangy flavors.

Unlike some other citrus fruits, the Iyokan is known for having few seeds, making it a convenient fruit to eat.

Ice Plant

Ice Plant

  • Vegetables

Ice plant is a succulent plant native to South Africa, known for its culinary uses.

The leaves have a slightly salty, tangy flavor and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach.

Its flowers are also edible.

Follow up, let’s see these I foods into three key groups, such as dishes, fruits, and vegetables.

Dishes That Start with I

For those looking to add variety to their meals, I have a few famous options for you that begin with the letter I here.

Italian Sausage
Italian sausage is a spicy Italian-American pork product, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, fennel seed, and anise seed.
Israeli Salad
Israeli salad is a fresh dish consisting of finely chopped vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.
Irish Stew
Irish stew is a comfort dish from Ireland, featuring mutton or lamb simmered with potatoes, onions, and root vegetables in a flavorful broth.
Idli Sambhar Idly Sambar
Idli is a soft and fluffy rice cake made from a fermented batter of black lentils and rice.
Ice Cream Cake
Ice cream cake is a delightful dessert with layers of ice cream with cake.
Ice Cream Dessert
Ice Cream is a beloved frozen dessert made from milk, cream, or dairy alternatives, sweetened with sugar and various flavors.

Vegetables That Start with I

Below is a collection highlighting vegetables with names that begin with I.

Iceberg Lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is a crisp and mildly sweet variety of lettuce that is commonly used in American salads and sandwiches.
Indian Spinach
Indian spinach, also known as Malabar spinach, is a tropical leaf vegetable that has a mild flavor and a slimy texture similar to okra.
Ivy Gourd
Ivy gourd is a small, cucumber-like vegetable that is used in many tropical regions around the world, especially in Asia.

If you’re seeking more choices, take a look at this thorough list of I-named vegetables here. Are you interested in fruits that start with I? I have the following section that will help you indulge your curiosity.

Interested in fruits with “I”? Don’t miss the following part.

Fruits That Start with I

Here are some popular fruits that you can choose from.

Ice Apple
Ice apple is a juicy, tropical fruit with a jelly-like texture, popular for its cooling effect in hot climates.
Inga Edulis
Inga edulis is a long, sweet fruit with fluffy pulp, resembling vanilla ice cream in flavor..
Ilama Fruit
Edgar p miller, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Ilama is tropical fruit with creamy flesh, offering a sweet blend of pineapple, strawberry, and citrus flavors.

Have you found your favorite fruits among my suggestions? If not, access the full list of fruits with I at the beginning of their names for more information.

Did this assortment of foods beginning with I fit your demand? I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below. Also, feel free to share this collection with others who might find it helpful.

Below is the list of articles about foods that start with specific letters in the alphabet. Check them out, and you will gain a lot of interesting information.

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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