Food provides essential nutrition and added pleasure to life. As a celebration of all things food, we’ve compiled a list of 26 food items that start with the letter N. How many of these foods have you tried?

Below is a compiled list of 26 foods that start with the letter N, 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!

flatbread on a marble board
  1. Naan
    Naan is a leavened flatbread that is typically baked in the oven. It is eaten with many Western Asian cuisines. Unlike pita, which uses simple ingredients, naan often incorporates egg and yogurt. This provides a slightly different texture than traditional pita breads.
nachos on a plate
  1. Nachos
    Nachos are a Mexican dish that combine heated tortilla chips with melted cheese and other toppings. Different toppings can be combined to create different flavor profiles. Common nacho toppings are guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, grilled corn, pinto beans, black beans, black olives, jalapeno slices (fresh or pickled), pickled red onions, steak, chicken, tofu, and more.
  2. Nance Fruit
    Nance fruit is a small fruit that resembles a yellow-orange cherry. However, this fruit does not taste like a cherry. It has an oily pulp that can taste sweet or acidic. This fruit can be eaten plain or added to a variety of fruit dishes and desserts.
  3. Naranjilla Fruit
    Naranjilla is a plan indigenous to Columbia. This yellow-orange fruit has a large ring of juicy green pulp inside. Naranjilla tastes citrusy and similar to a cross between pineapple and lemon. The fruit is often used in desserts and other dishes, and its juice can be used in drinks and popsicles.
  1. Nashi Pear
    The nashi pear is a pear native to East Asia. This fruit is crispy like an apple and has the flavor of a sweet pair. Because the fruit is full of juice, it can be useful for quenching thirst. It can be eaten plain or added to a variety of recipes.
  2. Natal Plum
    The natal plum is a bright red and purple plum that can be eaten raw or cooked. The Carissa macrocarpa shrub, which produces natal plums, is poisonous. Yet when the plums mature, they are edible. These plums have a sweet and sour flavor, with juicy flesh.
  3. Natto
    Natto is a traditional Japanese dish that combines fermented soybeans. These soybeans are fermented with Bacillus subtilis var. natto. The dish is often served as a breakfast food with karashi mustard, soy sauce, or Japanese bunching onion. It has a taste similar to salty cottage cheese or Brie cheese.
  1. Navel Orange
    Navel oranges are one of the most commonly cultivated oranges. These oranges grow in pairs, with a second fruit on the opposite side of its stem. This fruit remains small and underdeveloped and looks like a human navel, giving this orange its name. Navel oranges are seedless, peel easily, and have a sweet flavor.
crockpot chili ingredients in a crockpot
  1. Navy Beans
    Navy beans are a common bean native to the Americas. These beans are dry and white and often grow to be smaller than other types of white beans. Navy beans have an oval, slightly flattened shape. They are smaller than cannellini beans. These beans are often added to soups and other dishes.
  2. Ndole
    Ndole is a dish from Cameroon that combines stewed nuts, ndoleh and fish or beef. This dish can also contain shrimp or prawns. It is one of two national dishes of Cameroon. Ndole can be served with bobolo, a fermented cassava shaped into a loaf. This rich dish is almost always present at parties and other festivities in Cameroon.
  1. Neapolitan Ice Cream
    Neapolitan ice cream is a type of ice cream that arranges three ice cream flavors side-by-side in the same container. It contains vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice creams. Historians presume it has its origins in the cuisine of the Italian city of Naples, leading to the adopting of the name “Neapolitan.”
  2. Nectar
    Nectar is a liquid produced by plants. This sugar-rich liquid is sometimes used to sweeten drinks, desserts, and other foods.
  3. Nectarine
    The nectarine is a smooth-skinned peach grown in warm regions. They have red, yellow, or white flesh. Nectarines have a juicy and sweet-tart flavor when yellow-fleshed and a more floral taste when white-fleshed.
  4. Nettles
    When dried or cooked, stinging nettles are safe to eat. Fresh nettle leaves may cause irritation, so cooking or drying leaves before eating is recommended. They have a rich, earthy, spinach-like flavor and have a little bit of a tang. This plant can be cooked by itself or as part of a dish.
  5. New England Clam Chowder
    New England clam chowder is a creamy clam chowder that is made creamy with a milk or cream base. Although these chowders are not thick, the starch from the potatoes along with the cream allows a slight thickening of the broth. New England clam chowder contains a combination of clams, diced potatoes, salt pork, and onions.
  1. New York Cheesecake
    New York cheesecake is a cheesecake that uses more cream cheese in place of the usual heavy cream and sour cream. This thicker, creamier cheesecake contains dairy products, vanilla, and sugar. Because the vanilla and sugar are often mixed in halfway through baking, this cheesecake often has a twice-baked effect.
  2. Nigella Seed
    The nigella seed comes from a flowering plant native to eastern Europe and western Asia. These seeds, also known as black cumin, are often used for their flavor. These seeds taste smoky with hints of onion, cumin, and oregano flavoring. Nigella seed is often used in savory dishes.
  3. Nihari
    Nihari is an Indian stew that contains slow-cooked meat and bone marrow. It can contain beef, lamb, mutton, goat, or chicken. This stew is flavored with long pepper, a pepper similar to black pepper. Herbs like cilantro can be added for flavor. Nihari often has a savory and comforting flavor and can be served with naan, green chilies, coriander leaves, or ginger.
pasta salad
  1. Noodles
    Noodles are made from unleavened dough that is rolled flat and cut into a variety of shapes. Different noodle types can be used to make a variety of food dishes like ramen, pad thai, lo mein, spaghetti, soups, and more. Noodles are used in Asian, Italian, and American cuisines.
  2. Nopal
    Nopal is a type of cactus with edible pads. There are over a hundred known species of nopal native to Mexico, where it is commonly used in cuisine. They have a moist, crunchy texture and can be slimy like okra. They are tart and have a slight citrus taste. 
  3. Nori
    Nori is dried seaweed that is often used in Japanese cuisine. It has a strong flavor and is often used to wrap rolls of sushi or onigiri. High quality nori will have a natural sweetness and no strange fishy smell. Nori can be eaten by itself as a snack or used as a garnish on other foods.
  1. Nougat
    Nougat is a candy made from sugar or honey mixed with nuts and egg white. It often contains roasted nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts. This sweet concoction can be eaten alone or added to other desserts. It is a popular ingredient in candy bars like Snickers and Milky Way.
  2. Nutella
    Nutella is a brand of hazelnut cocoa spread. This spread combines sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, and milk powder. It has a smooth texture, making it a great spread for fruits and desserts. This spread can also be combined with other ingredients to make a wide range of desserts.
  3. Nutmeg
    Nutmeg is a seed or ground spice made from several species of Myristica plants. It is a common ingredient in many baked goods. Nutmeg is also commonly used in beverages like eggnog, mulled cider, and mulled wine. It has a sweet, spicy, and slightly nutty taste, making it perfect  for traditional autumn and winter treats.
  1. Nut Butter
    Nut butter is a spread made from nuts and added flavors. Peanut butter is one of the most popular kids of nut butter in the United States. Nut butters can also be made from hazelnuts, almonds, and other nuts. This spread can be purchased in stores or made at home using roasted nuts and a food processor. 
  2. Nuts
    Nuts are dry, edible fruit or seeds that often have a high fat content. Edible nuts include pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, and more. They can be added to dishes or baked into desserts.