Discovering 10 Interesting Vegetables That Start with “I”

In this guide, we’ll explore 10 intriguing vegetables that all have names beginning with the letter “I”. These veggies might not be in everyone’s kitchen, but they each have their unique qualities and stories.

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1. Iceberg Lettuce

Lactuca sativa - Iceberg Lettuce - Vegetables That Start with "I"

Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa

What is it: Iceberg lettuce is a well-known leafy green vegetable, especially in the United States. It doesn’t have much flavor or many nutrients because it’s mostly water.

Fun Fact: It’s called “iceberg” because it looks like an iceberg when partially buried in ice for transport.

2. Ice Cream Bean

Inga edulis - Ice Cream Bean

Scientific Name: Inga edulis

What is it: The ice cream bean is a legume plant from South America. Even though it’s a bean, it tastes sweet, like vanilla ice cream. People often snack on it.

3. Indian Corn

Indian Corn - Zea mays var. indurata

Scientific Name: Zea mays var. indurata

What is it: Indian corn, also known as flint corn, is a colorful variety of corn. It doesn’t have much water, so it can handle freezing conditions. People like to use it as decoration.

4. Indian Cucumber

Cucumis sativus - Indian Cucumber

Scientific Name: Cucumis sativus

What is it: The roots of the Indian cucumber plant smell and taste like regular cucumbers. It’s part of the lily family and was a favorite vegetable among Native Americans.

5. Indian Peas

Indian Peas

Scientific Name: Lathyrus oleraceus

What is it: Indian peas or Green peas are blue flowering plants eaten in Asia and East Africa. They’re sold as pulses in Italy and are used to make flour.

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6. Irish Moss

Irish Moss

Scientific Name: Chondrus crispus

What is it: Irish moss is a red seaweed that grows on rocky parts of the Atlantic coastline. People don’t eat it directly, but it’s used to thicken things like ice cream and in printing and marbling.

7. Italian Parsley

Italian Parsley

Scientific Name: Petroselinum crispum var. neapolitanum

What is it: Italian parsley, also known as flat-leaf parsley, is a common herb used in cooking. You can eat it fresh or dried, and it’s found in many farmer’s markets.

8. Italian Red Onion

Italian Red Onion

Scientific Name: Allium cepa

What is it: The red onions from Tropea in Italy are more aromatic and sweet compared to other types. They’re great for making chutneys because the center is juicy.

9. Italian Sweet Peppers

Italian Sweet Peppers

Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum

What is it: Also called friggitello and pepperoncini, these yellow peppers are good in salads and sandwiches. You can pickle and sauté them too.

10. Ivy Gourd

Ivy Gourd

Scientific Name: Coccinia grandis

What is it: When ivy gourd is ripe, it turns bright red. It’s popular in Indian cuisine, often stuffed or deep-fried. Young ivy gourds are used to make pickles.

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These 10 “I”-starting vegetables each have something unique to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just curious about different veggies, these can add variety to your meals. From the familiar taste of iceberg lettuce to the exotic flavors of ivy gourd, there’s something for everyone to explore.

So, if you’re looking to spice up your healthy eating or simply want to expand your vegetable knowledge, give these “I” vegetables a try. They bring diversity and unique flavors to your table, making each meal a tasty adventure.