When trying to think of vegetables from A to Z, it can actually be very hard to fill in a letter in the middle of the alphabet: I. As it so happens, very few vegetables have names that start with this “interesting” letter, but this list is sure to give you a few “ideas.”
Many of these words are actually descriptive adjectives in front of the vegetable, but we think they still count.
Iceberg lettuce really does look like a true head of lettuce, and is classified as such because it looks like a head rather than being defined by its leaves. It is commonly used on sandwiches and occasionally in salads. It’s mild flavor pairs well with other foods without being overpowering and it still provides a satisfying crunch.
Before it was called iceberg lettuce, it was referred to as Crisphead lettuce because of how crispy it was. It got the name “Iceberg Lettuce” from Californian farmers who needed to transport the heads of lettuce with copious amounts of ice due to the warm weather conditions.
Ice Cream Bean
This bean has a flavor similar to vanilla when eaten raw, and perhaps that is the origin of the name. When cooked, ice cream beans taste more like chickpeas, which is definitely not considered to be a dessert option. It hails from South America
Try out these ice cream flavors which is your favorite.
Ice plants were originally native to South Africa before being brought to California in the early 20th century to stabilize soil. It grows voraciously and will displace all other native foliage. That said, the ice plant can absolutely be part of a meal!
The fruits are fig-like and can be eaten raw, cooked, dried, pickled, and plenty of other prepared ways. The succulent-like leaves can be put in salads or pickled like cucumbers. What an amazing way to control the species!
These tropical fruits are native to Africa. They are also a rare fruit because of how picky they are about growing conditions. However, once they are established, they are drought tolerant and will continue to grow regardless of ongoing conditions. Imbe is also known as Lowveld, Mangosteen, Mutumbi, Mpekechu, and Wild Mangosteen.
The fruits are sweet and tart and are known for having an overall rich flavor. They can be eaten raw, but also turned into jams, or blended into ice creams.
Indian corn ears are beautifully multicolored vegetables that are a staple of every fall season. Otherwise known as flint corn, this type of corn has been domestically evolved through human intervention to be bigger and feed more. Both humans and animals eat it, whether it is in its original form off the cob, or after the corn has been processed into something else.
This type of corn is one of the oldest varieties of corn, with kernels that contain a small amount of soft starch surrounding more hard starch. This makes it so the corn can be dried easily and won’t spoil as quickly.
Indian figs are a succulent with spinless, oblong pads. The flowers appear along the edges of the pads and then the reddish-purple fruits appear. The fruits have bristles on the skin and can be then hard to handle. However, the fruits are very edible and can be put into jams, jellies, and alcohol.
The Indian fig plant makes a good barrier plant based on its size, however it can become top heavy when it gets too tall, and will thus need to be pruned. It likes full sun and reflected heat. It is so drought tolerant it cannot withstand standing water.
The plant that produces Indian peas produces gorgeously colored flowers with blue and purple hues. The peas are common in East Asian countries, typically as a means of feeding livestock. When the peas were brought to Europe, people ate the seeds originally. Now they are not eaten as much because the seeds are full of harmful toxins.
Indian prunes, or plums, are an early flowering plant along North America’s western coast. The fruits resemble small plums that are dark blue when fully ripe. Native Americans from these areas would include the plums as part of their daily diets. Additionally, the branches of the plant can be used as aphrodisiacs.
The Indonesian lime is also called the kaffir lime, makrut lime, Mauritus papeda, or Thai lime. It is native to the tropics of Southeast Asia and Southern China. The lime is typically juiced for essential oils and perfumes. After that, the lime is used for spices in soups and curries.
Italian Red Onion
These onions are sweet and were engineered specifically to have a mild flavor. Their now mild flavoring makes them ideal for any meal where a little bit of color as well as a sweet flavor is necessary. It comes from Italy, hence the name.
The Italian red onion in specific is stronger, sweeter, and juicer than other types of red onions. So much so that it is possible to make a good jam out of it. Another interesting fact about these onions is that their red hue can be used in dyes.
There are many different types of ivy so please only consider that some are edible. Ground Ivy, otherwise known as Creeping Charlie, has both medicinal and nutritious uses. In the past, this ivy was used to cure all manner of ailments from a runny nose to ear infections. It was also used to flavor beers.
Ground Ivy is a close relative of mint, so it does have a minty flavor that can complement other dishes. That said, it is best to utilize ground ivy when the leaves are younger and less minty. Though they will still be a bit tangy.
See also: Foods that start with i
While there are only a few vegetables that start with the letter I, there are at least some options to fill some alphabetical needs. Plus, learning new vegetables that can be added to your diet is always a good thing.