How many foods can there be that start with the letter V? Turns out quite a few!
From pastries and cakes to alcohol and homeopathic remedies there are a lot of things that we eat, drink and use every day that are V words.
And we can learn about them along the way, including where they come from, how they are used and if they’re good for us.
We have found 23 foods from around the world that begin with the letter V (see also ‘33 Foods That Start With The Letter O‘), and we hope you enjoy reading about them all.
1. Victoria Sandwich
A Victoria sandwich is a light, fluffy sponge cake that is divided by a layer of whipped cream or buttercream and jam.
It was most likely named in honor of Great Britain’s Queen Victoria who was known for having a sweet tooth and enjoyed sponge cakes for afternoon tea.
The Victoria sandwich is also commonly known as the Victoria sponge cake.
Vermicelli is a type of pasta which in the United States is thinner than spaghetti. In Italy, it is actually thicker.
It’s made from durum wheat and is made by being extruded through a round die or metal plate with holes in.
The name vermicelli means ‘little worms’ which is not particularly appetizing. Due to its size it cooks quickly and is often accompanied by a sauce.
3. Vegetable Soup
This is a soup made primarily from vegetables. Although a soup made with any singular vegetable can be called a vegetable soup the term usually refers to one with a variety of different vegetables.
Some of the more common ingredients are onion, carrot, celery, and potato. They are cooked in broth with added herbs and spices. Typically served hot.
Veal is a very divisive meat with many people refusing to eat it due to its origin. The meat comes from mostly male calves slaughtered when they’re only a few months old.
They are often kept in crates to control their diet and movement.
For those who do eat veal it is a very tender and pale colored meat. It tends to be more expensive than beef.
Vindaloo is one of the hottest curries that you can get. It originates from Goa and is actually based on a Portuguese dish called carne de vinha d’alhos (see also ‘16 Smoky Recipes With Linguiça‘). This means meat marinated in garlic and wine.
This curry can be made with beef, chicken, lamb or vegetables.
There are many spices used in the sauce including Kashmiri chili, cumin, coriander and cardamom.
6. Valencia Orange
Despite their name there is some dispute as to where Valencia oranges came from. Some claim they originate from Chile and became popular in Spain.
These are medium to large oranges, 7-10 cm in diameter with a sweet-tart flavor and are very juicy.
They have a thin rind and a pith that clings to the orange flesh. This can make them difficult to peel.
Venison is typically known as the meat from deer but technically can refer to the meat of any game animal including elk.
The meat has half the fat of beef and a very different taste. It has a rich, earthy flavor due to the diet of the deer who eat leaves, grass, berries and fruit.
However, venison can be cooked in many of the same ways as beef.
Almost 80% of all vanilla comes from Madagascar. That’s because this island is where the orchid that vanilla pods come from tend to thrive.
Harvesting vanilla is extremely labor intensive hence it is the one of the most expensive spices in the world second only to saffron.
The vanilla pods hold the tiny black seeds that actually give the signature vanilla flavor.
The most basic form of vinegar is as an acidic liquid produced by fermenting ethanol with acetic acid bacteria.
In fact, the word vinegar comes from the French meaning, sour wine. It has a sour and acidic taste.
There are infinite varieties of vinegar all deriving their flavors from their base and added ingredients. Examples are malt vinegar, white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.
10. Vienna Sausage
Vienna sausage is a mixture of pork and beef in a casing of sheep’s intestine. It is typically parboiled, with a long, thin appearance and a smoky flavor.
North American Vienna sausages are more often canned and have a shorter appearance.
They are similar to hot dogs, made from finely ground pork and mixed with a variety of spices.
11. Valerian Root
This is a herb that is native to Europe and parts of Asia. It can grow to more than six feet in height and has been used as a sedative for centuries dating back to Roman times.
Valerian root has a strong odor but today is used to treat sleep disorders including insomnia.
It is also used to treat anxiety and stress as it works on the central nervous system.
12. Vol Au Vent
A vol au vent is a hollow case made of puff pastry. They are made by cutting two discs of puff pastry and making a circular hole in one of them.
This is placed on top of the first pastry disc and then baked. The resulting hollow is filled with savory or sweet fillings.
They were a very popular dinner party food in the seventies and eighties.
Velveeta is a type of processed cheese, similar to American cheese with a distinctive orange color.
One of Velveeta’s characteristics is its ability to melt smoothly without separating. It’s actually a blend of cheese and other products rather than a cheese in its own right.
The product is made from whey, emulsifiers and salt. It is used in recipes such as mac and cheese.
Vichyssoise is a soup that is made from pureed onions or leeks, potatoes, chicken stock and cream. It is traditionally served cold but can be eaten warm.
It is credited to the French chef Louis Diat who claimed he invented the soup when he worked at the Ritz Carlton in New York in 1917.
He said it was derived from a traditional French potato and leek soup.
15. Victoria Plums
The Victoria plum is, unsurprisingly, an English plum.
It has a mottled or red skin with a yellow flesh and is one of the most popular plums in the UK. It became popular in the 1840s as a garden fruit tree and commercial fruit producing variety.
This plum is a good culinary fruit and produces excellent jam and is wonderful in pies and crumble.
A vinaigrette is typically a combination of a vinegar and oil. Normally used as a salad dressing it can also be used as a marinade.
There are many different types of vinaigrette as the base can be enhanced with herbs or spices to create lots of flavors.
You can make your own vinaigrette by combining olive oil, a wine vinegar and some herbs.
Technically not a food but this V word is derived from vegetables or grains, so it counts.
Vodka is a distilled, clear alcohol that is made from lots of different sources and originated in Poland and Russia (see also ‘17 Russian Desserts For A Taste Of Russia‘).
The original vodka came from fermenting cereal grains and then in more modern times from potato.
Today vodka comes from apples, maple sap, honey comb and even quinoa.
18. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is a bit of a confusing name as this oil actually comes from various fruits, nuts, seeds and grains.
Some of the most commonly used vegetable oils are palm oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and canola oil.
Its main purpose is for cooking food such as shallow or deep frying and in food production it is added for texture and flavor.
19. Velvet Beans
Velvet beans or mucuna pruriens is a tropical plant that is native to Asia and Africa. It belongs to a group of plants known as adaptogens.
These are non-toxic herbs which can be used to support a lot of physiological functions.
Velvet beans are thought to contain a substance similar to dopamine that plays a vital role in mood, cognitive function and emotions.
Viennoiserie is the land between bread and pastry in France. It contains a little of both including croissants, brioche and pain au chocolat.
The reason they are known as viennoiserie is that they most likely originated from Vienna in Austria. It is thought the croissant was made to honor Marie Antoinette who was Austrian.
They became so popular that French bakers continued to develop them, and they are still known as viennoiserie in France today.
Vegemite is a close cousin of Marmite which was a popular spread in the UK.
Both are made from yeast extract. When Marmite was hard to come by in Australia during WW1 the Australians developed their own version and Vegemite was born.
It has a rich, deep, almost meaty flavor and the consistency of peanut butter. Vegemite is used as a sandwich filler or added to foods to bring out the savory flavors.
Velouté is a white sauce that is made from a roux and a light stock. The word is French for velvety, the consistency of this sauce.
It is one of the five mother sauces named by chef Auguste Escoffier at the beginning of the 20th century. The others are bechamel, hollandaise, tomato, and espagnole.
The sauce produced is often referred to by the stock used, e.g. chicken velouté.
23. Vine Leaves
Vine leaves are also called grape leaves. They are used for wrapping different types of food in various cultures.
The most well known are the Mediterranean stuffed grape leaves called dolmas or dolmades.
They are commonly filled with rice and meat mixtures seasoned with herbs and spices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Fruit That Starts With V?
We know that Valencia orange starts with a V but that feels a bit like cheating. There’s also voavanga, which is an African fruit with green flesh and white dots.
Which Snacks Start With V?
Vegetable chips are a healthy snack and alternative to potato chips. Victoria plums are an even healthier snack.