Food is both fun and delicious! To celebrate our love of food, we’ve compiled a simple list of 28 foods that start with the letter J. How many have you tried?

My daughter has show and tell every week at her daycare where each student brings in something that starts with a particular letter, such as the letter “J”. She always likes to bring something from her play kitchen and we often find ourselves completely stumped on what she should take that starts with that weeks particular letter. 

I figured that I would put together a list of the foods that we’ve come up with that start with the letter J. Hopefully this is helpful for you :)

Below is a compiled list of 28 foods that start with the letter J, along with a short description of them. Is there anything missing from the list that I should add? Leave a comment with what I missed and I’ll be sure to give you credit in the blog post for coming up with it!

  1. Jabotucaba
    The jabotucaba is a fruit similar to grapes found in Brazil. Red jabotucaba tastes similar to blueberry yogurt, while white jabotucaba tastes similar to sour lychees. Grimal jaboticabas taste like grape candy. This fruit ferments quickly, so it is often used in jams, tarts, and wines.
jackfruit on a cutting board

  1. Jackfruit
    Jackfruit is a species in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family. The fruit’s flesh is often used in curries or as a meat substitute for pulled pork. By itself, this fruit tastes like apples and bananas mixed together.
  2. Jaffa Cake
    Jaffa cakes are small cakes named after Jaffa oranges. These biscuit-sized cakes often contain layers of Genoise sponge, orange flavored jam, and a chocolate coating. Jaffa cakes may also be referred to as Jaffa cookies (in the United States) or Jaffa biscuits (in Britain).
jalapenoes on a white background
  1. Jalapeno
    Jalapenos are hot peppers that typically grow to be 2 to 3.5 inches long. These peppers are commonly used to add spice and flavor to Mexican dishes. Jalapeno poppers are a common appetizer in American cuisine. Poppers can vary based on recipe, but most of them involve deep-frying Jalapenos, cream cheese, and breading until crispy.
  2. Jam
    Jam is a spread that combines cut or crushed fruit with water and sugar. This mixture is heated until it reaching a setting point, then sealed in jars. Unlike jelly, which only uses juice from the fruit, jams contain chopped or crushed fruit pieces.
  3. Jamaican Jerk Chicken
    Jamaican jerk chicken involves dry-rubbing or marinating chicken in hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. This seasoning lends to a savory flavor with a spicy and peppery kick. Alternatively, jerk spices can be used to create Jamaican jerk pork.
  1. Jambalaya
    Jambalaya mixes meat, vegetables, rice, and seasoning to create this Creole dish. Most often, jambalaya uses sausage and seafood like crawfish or shrimp. Jambalaya differs from gumbo, a stew that is often served with rice. If the rice is cooked in the dish, it is most likely jambalaya and not gumbo.
  2. Jamun
    The jamun, more commonly known as a java plum, is a fruit with a tangy and tart taste. It is often eaten fresh or cooked. The seeds of the fruit are removed. The richly pigmented fruit can stain clothing, fingers, lips, and tongues a dark purple color.
  3. Japanese Plum
    Japanese plums are a naturally sweet fruit, often eaten raw when ripe. Because this fruit has a high acid content, it can also be sour. They are also often salted and preserved as umeboshi, a type of Japanese pickled plum. They are often served with rice or as a filling for rice balls.
coffee beans being ground up in a coffee grinder
  1. Java
    Java once referred to coffee grown on the Island of Java. However, java has become a blanket term referring to most modern coffee. This caffeinated bean is roasted, crushed, and brewed to make a variety of coffee beverages. 
  2. Jell-O
    Jell-O is a well-known brand of gelatin desserts. These desserts use gelatin and flavoring to create a light dessert. It can be served plain or as part of a dessert dish like Jell-O salad. Jell-O salad mixes gelatin, fruit, grated carrots and can sometimes include ingredients like cottage cheese, cream cheese, marshmallows, nuts, pretzels, or cheese.
  3. Jelly
    Jelly, like jam, is a fruit-based spread commonly used on breaded foods. Unlike jam, jelly only uses a fruit’s juice to create a preserved spread. This juice is combined with sugar and heated until it sets. It is then preserved in jars until ready to consume.
  1. Jelly Beans
    Jelly beans are small, bean-shaped candies. This candy has a soft shell and a thick gel inside. These sweets combine sugar and flavoring to create a wide variety of flavors. One of the most common jelly bean brands, Jelly Belly, has over 100 flavors available.
  2. Jelly Donut
    Jelly donuts are donuts filled with jam filling. Most often, jelly donuts contain a berry-flavored jam. However, some brands use apple or artificially flavored jellies to create the signature berry flavoring.
  3. Jelly Roll
    A jelly roll is a sponge cake rolled together with a fruit filling, most often a jam or jelly. This rolled up combination creates a log-shaped dessert that is sometimes topped with a layer of frosting and powdered sugar. Jelly rolls are sliced and sometimes garnished before serving.
  1. Jerky
    Jerky is meat that has been dehydrated to prevent spoiling. In addition to dehydrating the meat, many jerky recipes involve seasoning and marinating the meat with salt and other seasonings. Jerky is often consumed as a snack, although it can also be used as a survival food for campers because of its light weight and high protein content.
  2. Jerusalem Artichoke
    The Jerusalem artichoke is a root vegetable that comes from a species of sunflower native to parts of North America. This vegetable has a crunchy texture and nutty taste when raw. They can also be cooked and served in recipes and are often likened to water chestnuts because of their crunch and flavor.
  3. Jewfish
    The Jewfish, also known as the Atlantic goliath grouper, is a large saltwater fish found in shallow tropical waters among coral reefs. A typical Jewfish is around 60 pounds, often breaking tackle when caught. This fish has tougher meat with a stronger flavor than other fish, tasting similar to its cousin the Mulloway.
  1. Jicama
    Jicama is a native Mexican vine also known as the Mexican turnip. Its tuberous root is edible and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Some people liken its flavor to a cross between a potato and a pear. This root is most often peeled and cut into pieces to be eaten raw, although it can be added to a variety of recipes.
  2. Jollof Rice
    Jollof rice is a rice dish from West Africa that combines long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat in a single pot. It may use goat, chicken, or beef. This dish is best known for its smoky taste, which comes from being cooked over fire wood.
  3. Jonathan Apple
    Jonathan apples are a medium-sized apple that is sweet with a touch of acid. This apple is good for both eating fresh and including in recipes. Although this type of apple was once very popular, its popularity has waned in the face of other, more popular apple varieties.
  1. Jordan Almond
    Jordan almonds are bite-sized desserts that combine an almond, chocolate, and a hard candy coating. They can also be made from dried fruits, aromatic seeds, hazelnuts, or pine nuts. Alternatively, they can have a cinnamon sugar coating instead of chocolate and a candy shell.
  2. Jostaberry
    Jostaberries are hybrid berries that combine blackcurrant and gooseberry to create a sweet berry. These berries have the sweetness of gooseberries and a slight hint of blackcurrant flavor. They can be eaten fresh or made into a variety of fruit preserves and pastries. Jostaberry is sometimes fermented to make cordials and wines.
green juice being poured into a glass
  1. Juice
    Juice is a beverage that is created by extracting or pressing fruits or vegetables. These natural juices often contain a blend of fruits and may contain added sugar or other flavoring. Juice can also refer to liquids flavored by other foods, such as clam juice.
  2. Jujube
    Jujubes, also known as Chinese dates, are stone fruits about the size of dates. This spongy-textured fruit has a mild apple flavor and can range from mildly sweet-tart to sweet. Jujubes can be eaten fresh or added to teas and desserts.
  3. Julep
    A julep is a drink that mixes liquor and sugar and pours it over crushed ice. Most often, this drink uses bourbon or brandy, although other liquor types can be used. It is often garnished with mint, creating a mint julep.
  1. Juneberries
    The fruit from a juneberry bush is often eaten fresh or made into jellies, jams, pies, and wine. They are best eaten when they are very ripe and turn a dark blue to purple flavor. Juneberries have a flavor similar to dark cherries or raisins.
  2.  Juniper Berry
    The juniper berry is not an actual berry, but a seed cone with scales that give it a berry-like appearance. They are often used to flavor alcoholic beverages, like a gin martini. Juniper berries are also used as diuretics and can be consumed for their anti-arthritis, anti-diabetes and antiseptic qualities.