Welcome to Jarkitchen.com, where we broaden your horizon more and more with each article. I must say that I really enjoy writing these series. In this article, you will be learning 20 foods that start with I. Like the previous one, I didn’t have any trouble in finding 20 foods that start with N thanks to the abundance of the world cuisine. Because there will be examples from Turkish cuisine as well, we hope that you will enjoy reading this article.
As a tropic fruit, icaco is also known as coco plum. If you are in the American continent or Western Africa, you may have a chance to taste this fruit in its original birthplace. When I took a look at the image of icaco, it reminded me of the damson plum with its shape and color. Icaco is a plum-like fruit that grows better when the icaco tree is closer to the sea. In other words, its taste will get more neutral when the icaco tree is away from the sea. Like other fruits, there are many benefits of icaco as well.
Being the first of foods that start with I and a fruit that is rich in vitamin A, C, and K, icaco is a source of nourishment for you. You are free to consume it raw, but we will be giving some suggestions for you. Plum types like icaco become very delicious when you use them for jam, jellies, and compote. Besides vitamins, you will be getting the necessary potassium and calcium for your body as well. If you ask me, I would prefer adding some icaco to make compote considering that it will be refreshing during hot weather.
2. Iceberg Lettuce
Here is a food whose name sounded very surprising to me when I saw it first at the bazaar. Although it was very surprising for me, I never looked up why they used the word “iceberg” for lettuce. The fact is that when the first shipment of iceberg lettuce started, Californian farmers were using heaps of crushed ice to cover the lettuces. For this reason, we started to know this lettuce as “iceberg lettuce”. In Turkish cuisine, there are many ways to use iceberg lettuce but, I love eating it with “çiğ köfte”. Iceberg lettuce has a more crispy texture if we compare it to the usual lettuces. For this reason, it has a good use for salads.
If you are thinking of going on a diet, you should think of adding iceberg lettuce to your diet list thanks to its low calorie. Besides, iceberg lettuce has many benefits for your health thanks to the fact that it is packed with Vitamin K. It is also a good supporter for your eye health but I am not sure if it can heal my nearsighted eyes.
3. Ice cream
With the upcoming hot weather, icecreams have started to take their place at the markets and in our refrigerators. Depending on the ingredients that you use on it, ice cream could be either healthy or harmful to your body. Basically, you need to use fruits, aroma, milk to make ice cream but the ingredients will differ depending on the ice cream type. Usually, ice cream melts easily when you expose it to heat because it is usually served frozen and the texture is weak.
Most of you must have heard about it but there is this special Turkish ice cream that is resistant to quick melting. If you have ever seen a video of a man extending an ice cream as if it is gum, that is the special Turkish ice cream. Turkish ice cream is also called “dondurma” which means ice cream in Turkish. What makes it different from other icecreams is the fact that there is salep and mastic in it. Salep is some kind of powder while mastic is a type of resin. Besides, for the best quality, the owner should use goat milk to make dondurma. Otherwise, the taste, the flexibility, and the refreshing feeling of the ice cream will definitely change. It is also one of the most famous foods that start with I.
4. Ice cream Cake
There is no need to explain but, ice cream cake is a type of cake that you make with ice cream. As you can guess, you need to consume this cake while it is cold. Depending on your choice, you can make this cake without cooking anything but making an ice cream base. Or, you can cook the basement and cover it with the icecream. Ice cream cake doesn’t have remarkable popularity in Europe or Asia but it is very popular in America.
One of the main reasons why ice cream cake got so popular in the USA is that there is no need for you to use an oven to make it. So long as you have a freezer and a countertop stove, you can easily make this delicious cake. Although the most popular ice cream cake type is the one with chocolate, there are many other delicious recipes. For instance, you can make your own ice cream cake by using Oreos, banana pudding, snickers, or kit kat. It is up to your imagination to cook the best ice cream cake.
5. Iced Tea (or Ice Tea)
As the product of popular culture, ice tea has become our saviors during summer. Like most other drinks, the founder of ice tea probably discovered it by adding ice into the tea. However, I don’t recommend you doing this with a regular tea. It is not like ice coffee, it will definitely taste worse than anything you have ever drunk. When we refer to ice tea, it usually means the ones with ice, but it is not necessary for an ice tea to have ice in it. So long as you can drink it while it is cool, it is an ice tea.
Since the demand for ice tea has been increasing each year, there have been different canned ice tea products coming out. By using syrup, sugar, or sweeteners, the manufacturer tries to make ice tea taste better with the tea extract in it. During my stay in Japan, I even tried iced tea that included alcohol in it. Its taste was pretty funny but you should give it a try.
If I talk about food, there will always be samples from Japanese cuisine as well. Ichiju-sansai is not the name of the food, but the name of the serving style. When we translate it into English, ichiju-sansai means “one soup, three dishes”. There is a term “teishoku set” in Japanese that stands for a set menu. This set is usually created by the idea of ichiju-sansui. So, basically, there will always be soup, pickles, and gohan while the side dishes change depending on the menu. Of course, there are different types of pickles and gohan that you can choose but what I mean is that there will be some type of these without an exception.
If we plan an ichiju-sansai food table, we can arrange it like this: miso soup, pickled daikon, gohan (steamed rice), nikujaga (meat and potato stew), and vegetable tempura (fried vegetables and fish). What makes ichiju-sansai a favorable meal style by the Japanese is that it has a balanced style. While you can get all the necessary nutrition, it becomes nearly impossible for you to get fat with this meal.
Idiyappam is probably the most interesting food on this list for me. I was wondering why any people would think of making flour from rice and turn it into noodles later while they can use wheat flour and make a normal noodle. Considering the less calorie option of rice and its health benefits, I guess it worths trying.
Idiyappam is a South Indian-originated rice noodle and it is usually consumed as the breakfast itself. Thinking about the broadness of Indian cuisine, idiyappam could be a great side dish for curries as well. Surprisingly, there is nothing other than rice flour, salt, and water in idiyappam. After the cooking process, idiyappam takes its brilliant white color and becomes ready to serve. When you think of noodles, you possibly imagine eating them when it is hot but you need to consume idiyappam while it is cold. I can’t help but imagine how it would feel like for the cold rice noodle sliding through my throat.
8. Ikan Bakar
This name may look interesting for you but we are talking about “grilled fish” when we mention ikan bakar. Ikan bakar is a part of Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine that is basically shaped around seafood. What makes ikan bakar’s taste so much different from the other grilled fish type is the process of marinating and the way they grill it.
For the marination part, they use margarine, sweet soy sauce, and coconut oil. I can’t even imagine how it may taste at that point. While grilling the fish, they usually use banana leaves for fish to absorb all the seasonings. Besides, they prefer cooking it on a charcoal fire so that it will taste more delicious.
As you may guess from its name, imagawayaki is Japanese food, actually, a dessert which I have tried before. If you want to try the original one and don’t like azuki bean paste like me, it may be a great failure for you. Imagawayaki is actually known as a festival dessert while it gets more and more popular lately. Because there are many people who don’t really like the taste of the azuki bean like me, they have started to change the ingredients into curry, vegetable fillings, or vanilla custard. In my opinion, like most Japanese desserts, imagawayaki doesn’t feel like a dessert because of its ingredients.
To get the fluffy texture of imagawayaki, it is important to mix the ingredients very well and use imagawayaki pan. Like pans for pancakes, imagawayaki pans are deeper and they usually have 4 holes to fill in. Other than imagawayaki, there is dorayaki whose ingredients and outer appearance are also similar to imagawayaki. But, imagawayaki is one cake while the latter is made up of two different cakes.
10. Imellety Perunalaatikko
Whenever I saw a food name like this, I immediately think of Scandinavian countries. Indeed, this food is one of the most famous casserole food in Finnish cuisine. Because it requires a long time to cook, imellety perunalaatikko is a Christmas special food. Although the main ingredients are mashed potatoes and wheat flavor, you will be getting a sweet taste after long hours of cooking. The trick is to let it stay around 50 °C and allow starches in potatoes to break down. After long hours of cooking, the taste of the flavor and the starches in the potatoes will turn into a sweet taste and you will enjoy this side dish during your Christmas night.
Have you ever imagined sushi whose rice is hidden inside a pocket? Inarizushi is probably the easiest sushi recipe to make at home because you will not trouble yourself to make it look good. It is not a type of sushi that you eat at restaurants. Because of its easiness, it is a popular konbini food in Japan. You don’t have to use a chopstick so long as you have hands to grasp it. The main ingredient for this sushi is deep-fried tofu pockets that is what we call abura age. Other than that, you only need to have some soy sauce, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, sushi rice, sesame seeds, sugar, etc.
Inarizushi is a popular picnic food because it is easier to cook and eat. Although I spent almost a year in Japan, I never tried inarizushi because I hate eating anything made from tofu. For the next time, I will definitely try eating inarizushi and comment on how it tasted like. Since it is mostly known as konbini (Japanese 7/24 stores), it doesn’t have a good image on my mind but I still will try it when I have a chance.
12. Inasal na Manok
Mostly known as inasal, inasal na manok is a type of grilled chicken of Philippines cuisine. What makes its taste unique is the marination they use for the chicken. By using lemongrass, vinegar, achiote oil, calamansi juice, you can get the unique taste for inasal. While preparing the plate for inasal na manok, they usually combine it with rice, soy sauce, chicken oil, vinegar, and calamansi.
If you have a chance to check the images for inasal na manok, you will be seeing the golden color of the chicken. What gives this color is the annatto-infused oil that they use for brushing the chicken. That oil is also the one that gives the bitter taste of inasal na manok. As a person who mostly eats chicken rather than meat, this recipe could be my favorite if I could find calamansi and annatto oil by any chance.
Inca berries are a special type of berries that are indigenous to South Africa. It took attention with its unique appearance, taste, and health benefits. In Spanish, we call Inca berries uvilla, and the name Inca berries derived from the word Inca because they believed that Incas used to eat this fruit. With its sweet-sour taste and yellow outer appearance, Inca berries started to be the new trend in the diet sector. With its high fiber rate, Vitamin C intake, and health benefits like being rich in potassium, Inca berries are a great alternative for other berries.
Like most of the berries, you can consume Inca berries in the dry format with many options. If you like cooking, you put dry Inca berries on your cake, muffin, granola bars, bread, etc. Since Inca berries are like cape gooseberry regarding their amount, it is pretty expensive in my country. If I could see it in any market by chance, I will be trying to bake my cake by using it for the next time.
14. Indian Curry
Although there are varieties of curry like Japanese curry, Bengali curry, Indian curry is the most popular one thanks to its distinct smell and taste. As the country of herbs, what comes to mind first when we say India is their curry. What makes Indian curry’s taste special is the mixture of cumin, ginger, turmeric, and other herbs. Other than these, there are basic ingredients like chicken breast, onion depending on your taste.
During my stay in Japan, I had plenty of chances to eat Indian curry from an Indian chef. Although I am not good at trying different spices, Indian curry has opened a different stage for me. Especially when you combine Indian curry with steamed rice, it tastes so good that you can almost eat your fingers. Or, you can eat it with naan bread by dipping it into the fluid part of the curry. Since you are what you eat, the smell of the curry will not pass for a while if you eat to much or absorb yourself too much to the smell of it while cooking. Still, it will be once in a lifetime experience for you and it worths giving it a try.
15. Infant Formula
We have talked too much about the food for grown-up people. Infant formula is an alternative for baby milk as you can guess. Since human beings’ diet has changed drastically in the last decades, there has been an issue for mothers to get enough milk for their babies. Ideally, a baby needs to get a mother’s milk for 6 months after birth. However, woman’s engagement in work-life has caused them to have less time for their babies. Of course, there are alternatives like preparing the baby’s milk in advance but using infant formula is easy to access for them.
However, there are some points that make the mother feed their babies with infant formula because of their health situation as well. As for the ingredients of the infant formula, it changes depending on the manufacturer. But, they usually use casein, vegetable oil, cow’s milk whey to create the infant formula. Using infant formula is also up to the socioeconomic situation of the families. While poor families tend to breastfeed their children because they cannot afford to get infant formula, middle or upper can easily afford it by refraining from breastfeeding.
Here is another Philippines cuisine for you. In Tagalog, “inihaw” is a word to stand for “grilling”. In other words, inihaw is the term for barbecue. When I saw the image of inihaw, it reminded me of Turkish şiş kebab. Like şiş kebab, they use skewers although they call it barbecue. For this barbecue, they usually prefer using pork or chicken meat although we associate barbecue with red meat.
There are different versions of inihaw. While you can cook it by directly putting it on charcoal, you can also add seafood by putting them in a skewer. As in other grilled food, what makes inihaw delicious is the marination itself. They usually use the same things for both marinating and as a dipping sauce: anatto oil and banana ketchup. This mixture is what gave inihaw the orangish color.
17. Instant Ramen
This is a food that saved time and money for millions of people since the time it first came out. Just like the usual ramen, instant ramen is also a Japanese product. Instant ramen is also known as instant noodles but this is kind of different from the ones sold in plastic packages. Momofuku Ando found out instant ramen because people had trouble affording restaurant food after World War II. What matters most about making instant ramen is to keep it fresh all the time. There are different types of packaging styles to keep instant ramen. One of them is the ones filmed so that air or water can’t permeate in it. When they use sealed packages, it gives you an option to preheat your noodle as well. In a usual package, they also provide some seasonings along with instant ramen.
Although instant ramens are not a healthy option considering the rate of fat in them, people keep buying them because of the easy access and easy cooking. When I talk about instant ramen, I actually mean the original Nisshin ramen in plastic cups. There are different versions of it because of the popularity. I have had a chance to try curry, vegetables, seafood, and the normal versions and I must admit that all of them were delicious. If you ever have a chance to buy Nisshin’s products, you should try one too!
18. Iodized Salt
It may sound weird to open a separate title for the salt we are using at our tables. But, this salt has an irreplaceable place in our lives and most of you probably don’t have an idea about its benefits and harms. Iodized salt includes iodine that is very beneficial for your health. Iodine deficiency is a serious illness that most people have trouble with. When the human body lacks iodine, it may pave the way to intellectual and developmental issues. Besides, iodized salt is a great toxin remover for your body. Besides, iodine boosts thyroid function and helps your blood functions get regulated.
Although they say that iodized salt takes your body under control, it is possible so long as you keep it in the minimum amount. Especially when you are on diet, your dietitian will not suggest you use iodized salt at all. But, it will be better for your body to use it from time to time. Furthermore, upon excessive consumption, iodized salt may have an effect on those with Goitre disease.
19. Iskender Kebab
I would feel uneasy if I cannot mention Iskender kebab on this list. Although there is this joke saying that Alexander the Great is the founder of Iskender because his name is “Büyük İskender” in Turkish, he is not. The founder of Iskender kebab is Iskender efendi who used to live in the Bursa district in Turkey. When you have heard the word “kebab”, you probably imagine the rotating one. It is actually “tavuk döner” which basically means rotating chicken kebab. In Iskender kebab, the layer consists of cubed cut pitas. On that, the cook puts thinly cut grilled lamb and there will always be yoghurt, one tomato, one pepper, small meatball on the same plate.
After the cook finishes preparing your Iskender, they will bring it to the table and pours tomato sauce on it. Since the plate will be too hot to hold, they will always say “The plate is hot. Please do not touch it”. They will also pour melted butter on your Iskender but it depends on your preference. After all that sauce and pita, there will be too many calories to burn for you. Once you give it a try, you will not regret getting those calories though.
20. Israeli Falafel
Falafel is like the backbone of Israeli cuisine. As the best friend of vegans, falafel is a great option for your light meals. There is a common belief about the birth of falafel. In old times, people in Egypt were looking for an option to eat food at festivals because they cannot consume meat during definite holidays. Since its ingredients are easy to find and it is pretty easy to cook, falafel has become a very popular street food as well.
The irony is that I have never eaten falafel in my life just because I don’t like tahini, and chickpea together. For this reason, it would be hard for me to give an exact explanation about how it tastes but it definitely looks delicious. Combining chickpea, tahini, garlic, cumin, baking soda together is an interesting choice. But, apparently, the outcome is too successful that falafel has become famous worldwide.
Bonus: Ice Pop
Ice pop, ice lollipop, popsicle, ice block, freezer pop…Have you ever heard of any of these names during your childhood? If you have, you probably had the best childhood ever. I still remember the toothache the popsicle gave me when I was trying to eat one during my preschool times. As you can guess from those alternative names, ice pop is a block of ice that you can easily make even at home. People know this usually as popsicle because popsicle was a brand famous for its ice pops.
For the usual ice cream, they keep whipping the ingredients to prevent them totally freeze while they freeze ice pop passively. In other words, ice pop turns into a solid block because there is no process in between mixing the ingredients and freezing it. If you want to make your own popsicle, you need to blend the fruit of your preference, honey, milk, and some salt and put the mixture into pop molds. Since there won’t be any additives, it will be healthier compared to other ice pops.
Conclusion: About 20 Foods That Start With I
It was a pretty challenging experience for me to write about 20 foods that start with I. While I was writing about these 20 foods that start with I, I found myself heading to the kitchen more than ever. I have tried to sum up this article by mentioning foods from different country’s cuisine so that anybody could come across some food that they haven’t seen before when they check 20 foods that start with I. We will be continuing our “foods that start with” series with the letter K and hope that you will keep following us until our next article.
If you ever think of any other food than the ones in the article “The 20 foods that start with I”, please give us a comment down below and teach us the delicious cuisine of your country. In case you have any other suggestions for the next letter, you can tell us by commenting on this article. I hope that you will enjoy reading about 20 foods that start with I will be as I did.
This is Merve from the JarKitchen Team. I am a freelance content specialist, and I like cooking different recipes in my free time. During the pandemic, I have had plenty of time to practice my cooking skills and cooking turned out to be a hobby for me.