When you live with picky eaters – whether they are your children, your spouse, or maybe even yourself – you have to get creative with how you introduce different foods into your meals. Eating a variety of foods can be fun when you turn it into a game. We decided to try a new food from A to Z, and created this list of foods to have options to choose from. Here is our list of foods that start with T, including fruits, vegetables, and other fun things to eat!
Why eat foods from every letter of the alphabet?
When you step outside of your food comfort zone, you have the opportunity to discover a new food that you never knew you could enjoy. There are so many foods that we haven’t tried, for various reasons – because our parents never cooked them, they weren’t available in our area, they are popular foods in different cultures, or just because we didn’t know they existed!
Trying different foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients that we wouldn’t normally have. It can also get us out of the “what’s for dinner” rut when we get bored of eating the same old things over and over again.
These food lists are also great when teaching the alphabet, or when looking for a fun food for show and tell day at school!
If you’re looking for a little flavor in the kitchen, or a way to spice up your life, try one – or all! – of these foods that start with the letter T.
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Vegetables that start with T
Hey there, veggie-enthusiast! Fancy a trip through the tantalizing world of T-vegetables? Buckle up, buttercup, because we’re diving into a tasty realm that might just turnip… err, turn up your excitement levels.
Often mistaken for the potato’s exotic cousin, taro is that sophisticated root vegetable grown mainly in Africa, Oceania, and South Asia. Boil ’em, fry ’em, or make a delicious dessert out of them. Just remember to cook them thoroughly, or they can make your mouth and throat super itchy due to having calcium oxalate!
Say hello to the leafy green often seen hangin’ with the cool crowd in those fancy mixed salads. Popular throughout Asia, tatsoi is a leafy cabbage that is closely related to bok choy. With a slightly mustardy bite, tatsoi’s delicious in a salad or stir-fry.
These are the green, slightly tangy husk tomatoes that make you go, “Oh! So that’s what’s in my salsa verde!” You’ll find them often in Mexican foods, especially salsa.
Think of them as tomatoes’ zesty, wilder sibling. Next time you whip up a dish, throw some in and let the fiesta begin.
Oh, the age-old debate: fruit or vegetable? While scientifically a fruit, in the culinary world and in our hearts, it’s very much a veg. The tomato is like that friend who can’t decide if they’re an introvert or extrovert. Toss them in salads, slap them on sandwiches, or woo your date with a homemade sauce. Either way, tomatoes are totes terrific.
Turmeric is the golden child of the T-veggies, even though you may not realize this spice is actually a root vegetable. It’s in the same family as ginger and has an earthy flavor.
Not just a pretty face, turmeric is loaded with health benefits and can jazz up any dish with its bold, pungent flavor. It’s a common ingredient in curry and is popular in Asian dishes.
Use sparingly unless you want everything, including your fingers, to sport that golden hue!
This bulbous root vegetable is the equivalent of that underrated band you secretly jam to. Mildly sweet, slightly peppery, and darn good when mashed or roasted. Rumor has it, if you listen closely while slicing, they whisper, “Turnip the beet.”
Here in the South, turnip greens are a staple food and are commonly boiled with salty pork meat for seasoning. Turnip greens are delicious with a dash of your favorite brand of hot sauce and a big chunk of homemade cornbread!
Fruits that start with T
Hey there, fruit fanatic! If you’re hunting for some T-riffic fruits to tease your taste buds, you’ve landed at the right spot. Let’s take a tropical trip through the world of T-fruits!
Tamarillos are a tropical fruit also known as tree tomatoes, but they aren’t quite like the tomatoes we know. These oval-shaped beauties come dressed in red, orange, or yellow. With a tangy flavor, you’ll find them dancing in dishes across South America, Asia, and New Zealand. Scoop out the insides for a zesty snack, and revel in their vitamins A, C, and E.
Brown, pod-like, and hiding a sticky pulp inside. This sour-sweet delight is a staple in Asian and African cuisines. Think sauces, candies, or drinks. Not just a flavor powerhouse, it’s also rich in magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins.
These fun fruits are the juicy offspring of tangerines and grapefruit or pomelos! Imagine a slightly larger, super juicy tangerine with a little hint of that grapefruit zing.
This type of citrus fruit is found in warmer climates, and they’re perfect for juicing, peeling, or adding zesty punches to fruit salads. And, hey, they’re a vitamin C bomb, perfect for those winter blues (or preventing them!).
These little orange globes are like sunshine wrapped in a peel. Common in temperate climates, tangerines are citrusy sweet with a hint of tartness. Pop ’em like candy, juice them, or zest them into desserts. Bonus? They’re packed with vitamin C and fiber.
Wait, didn’t we just cover this? Oh well, the tomato is back, flaunting its fruity side! Red, round, and raring to go, it’s found all over the world. While chefs treat it like a veggie, botanists beg to differ. Eat it raw, make it into a sauce, or toss it in a salad; this versatile beauty is a great source of vitamins C, K, and potassium.
Tropical Starfruit (Carambola)
Shaped like a star (no kidding!), this fruit screams exotic. You’ll find it lounging around Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. With its crisp texture, eat it fresh, toss it in salads or make some refreshing juice. Besides looking fab, it’s a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Turmeric (Fruit of the turmeric plant)
A surprise entry, right? The turmeric plant does bear fruit, though it’s the root that steals the show. Native to Southeast Asia, it’s a spicy, earthy wonder. While we mostly use it as a spice, it’s got some impressive anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidant punch.
Other foods that start with T
Here are some meat dishes, beverages, tasty snacks, and other delicious foods that start with the letter T!
Tabasco sauce is a brand name of hot sauce made from tabasco peppers, a type of chili pepper. Tabasco is the number one brand name hot sauce that is sold across the world. It was invented in 1868 by Edmond McIlhenny who grew these peppers In Louisiana that he received from Central America.
Once the peppers are rime they are dried and made into a fine powder that is then used to make the delicious sauce. This sauce is used on many different types and styles of food.
Crunchy or soft, these Mexican marvels are all the rave. Stuffed with almost anything (hello, late-night leftover tacos), they’re as diverse as your playlist. Flavor? A fiesta in every bite! Interesting tidbit: National Taco Day is October 4th. Get those salsa moves and hot sauces ready!
Tandoori Chicken is a baked or grilled chicken that has been marinated in lemon juice, yogurt and a variety of spices. This dish has a very distinct flavor, or as some would describe as earthy flavors that are brought out from the garam masala spices that are used.
Tapioca comes from the cassava root, which is where tapioca pearls come from. These starchy balls are also known as boba and are the main ingredient for bubble tea in Japanese cuisine, or tapioca pudding which is common in many countries.
These pearls are essentially flavorless, but once they are sweetened with brown sugar, or cream or soy milk, or any other sweetener, they are the equivalent of a chewy candy pearl.
A tarte tatin is a French version of the apple pie. However, they make theirs a bit different. They cook their granny smith apples upside down with butter and sugar, to caramelize the apples, and add the pastry crust on top.
Once it has finished cooking, they then turn it over and present it as a pie like dessert.
Tater tots, a child favorite. These are simply shredded potatoes that have been formed into a shape similar to a cylinder. You can bake them, but it’s best if you fry them until the outer layer turns into a thin crust of brown skin like potato.
Making them slightly crunchy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. These can be used in place of french fries or even hash browns. Some even make a tater tot casserole. These are pretty versatile and the possibilities are endless.
Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant. Fun fact, all different types of teas come from this plant! White tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea – they all come from this plant!
I don’t know about you, but I am from the South and I love some good sweet tea. When I am feeling under the weather, I make hot black tea or herbal tea and add in some local honey and sip on that – perfect for warming you up and soothing a sore throat.
From English breakfasts to Chinese ceremonies, tea is a global sensation. Green, black, herbal, or oolong; there’s a flavor for every mood.
The Japanese art of frying! Delicate pieces of seafood or veggies, dipped in a light batter and deep-fried to crispy perfection. Perfect for when you want to feel a bit fancy with your fried food. Pair with dipping sauce, and you’re on a flavor trip to Tokyo.
Teriyaki Sauce is a Japanese sauce that is made from soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and honey. When it comes to Japanese cooking, teriyaki is probably my favorite flavor. It is sweet and goes great on many different meats. Teriyaki steak, shrimp, chicken, you name it. It can be used as a glaze, a dip or a marinade.
Tilapia refers to a group of small fish species called cichlids. Tilapia or not only freshwater fish, but are also saltwater fish! You don’t find that very often.
These fish have a nice white flesh and are a great source of protein. These fish are the fourth most popular type of seafood that is consumed.
So many different dishes can be made from using tilapia. Grilled, fried, baked, it doesn’t matter. The fresh flavor can be paired nicely with almost any seasoning that you choose to use.
Tiramisu, is by far, my favorite dessert. This Italian dessert is truly a highlight of the Italian cuisine. A semi sweet stack of lady fingers that have been soaked in coffee and cream to be the texture of a sponge cake, layered with cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa powder.
This dessert is so creamy and delicious. Tiramisu is basically a “pick-me-up” in a dish (which is what “tiramisu” translates to).
Fun fact: Some Italians swear it’s a surefire way to mend a broken heart. Who needs therapy when you have tiramisu?
Or as I like to call it, the chameleon of the food world. This soybean product can taste like… well, whatever you want it to! It’s a good source of protein, especially for those who are vegan or vegetarian.
From soups in Asia to vegan BBQs in the West, tofu’s got you. Here’s a secret: freezing and thawing it before cooking gives it an awesome, meaty texture.
Tomato sauce can be used in so many different dishes. It is perfect for a lot of favorite recipes across the globe. Mexican cuisine uses it with many of their sauces. The Middle East has a wonderful meatball recipe.
And here in America, we pair tomato sauce with many common ingredients and enjoy our variety of foods like chili, pizza, spaghetti, tortellini, and of course, the simple but most delicious tomato basil soup ( I recommend Thai basil), drizzled with fresh parmesan cheese.
Tortillas are commonly used for any traditional Mexican dish and devoured by many folks from South America and North America, as well as other countries across the world. The most popular kind is the corn tortilla, however if you prefer wheat flour they do make wheat flour tortillas, and one of my favorites is the spinach and herb tortillas that only have 4 net carbs!
These wraps can be stuffed with so many ingredients such as any type of cooked meat, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, refried beans, peppers and onions and so much more. They can be fried, or baked or just warmed up. So versatile and so yummy!
Truffles (the fungi kind)
No, not the chocolate ones. These earthy, aromatic underground fungi are like the diamond jewels of the culinary world. Sniffed out by pigs or dogs in Europe, they elevate any dish to gourmet status. Their price tag? Let’s just say they’re the Ferraris of the food world.
If you’ve never had parmesan truffle fries (made with truffle oil), you should definitely treat yourself to this popular dish. Absolutely amazing.
This is the Russian doll of the poultry world. A chicken inside a duck inside a turkey. Yep, it’s as epic as it sounds. Popular in the U.S., especially for grand feasts, it’s a carnivore’s dream. And, a heck of a conversation starter.
Turkey meat can be used in many different ways. One of the most common ways that the United States relates to turkey is the main course for Thanksgiving.
In this case it is mainly cooked slowly in the oven with a variety of herbs and citrus fruits – then served with many side dishes such as sweet potato pie, stuffing, rolls, and almost anything you can think of that is acceptable at Thanksgiving, bringing different colors of dishes to catch your eyes.
Which “T” food is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite food that starts with T that isn’t on our list? Or even a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!
MEET THE AUTHOR
As a mom of 4 kids (and the oldest of 4 kids herself), Amanda has over 30 years of parenting experience. A former special education teacher, Amanda has a Master’s degree in Special Education and a second M. Ed. in Educational Leadership.
When she’s not working, Amanda enjoys DIY projects, exercising, photography, and long walks through Target.