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Foods that Start With C: Unique food, ingredients, traditions

Food is powerful. It brings us together and gives our bodies what they need to have a good time – and that is a universal truth, no matter where you live. The next time you travel to some of the countries mmentioned on this list, we recommend trying some of the foods, dishes or ingredients mentioned. Here are 10 foods that start with C.


Kicking off this roundup of foods that start with C is cumin – a beloved spice of many regions around the world including the Middle East, Latin America, Northern Africa and India.

Cumin is a staple in many international cuisines.

Foods that Start With C
Credit: Dario Méndez

The spice comes from cumin seeds, which resemble caraway seeds but give off a different taste and color once the seeds are ground down to a powder.

You can find whole cumin seeds in Indian cuisine, but the most common form is the powder.

It wraps you in an incredibly warm flavor that has a great balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Cumin seeds are actually used as a digestive aid in India; whether they are whole or ground, cumin seeds are high in iron and antioxidants, making them great for weight loss, anti-inflammatory purposes and digestive regulation.


When you want to infuse an oceanic, briny flavor to a dish, adding capers is a great way to infuse those flavors to whatever you are cooking.

Capers are small, round, immature flower buds from the caper bush, which thrives in the Mediterranean or in countries like Italy, Morocco, and Spain.

Not to be confused with the caperberry, capers are harvested before they’ve had the chance to bloom into what we know as a caperberry.

Capers are most commonly used in stews, pasta and even meat-based dishes like chicken piccata.

While we wouldn’t recommend eating a handful of capers, they are a low carb, low calorie and low fat food – the flavor can be very overpowering if you decided to eat a large quantity all at once!

We recommend using them as a garnish or as one ingredient among many in a delicious recipe of your choice.

Capulin Cherries

Everyone loves a good cherry on top of their ice cream sundae or milkshake.

To kick it up a notch, look into buying some capulin cherries.

These cherries are an incredibly deep red color with a juicy, light green pulp.

Just like most cherries, capulin cherries are harvested in the spring and summer and are most commonly grown in places like Guatemala, Ecuador and El Salvador (not to say that you can’t find them in most places around the world).

They are a versatile fruit – you can use capulin cherries to create amazing sauces and fillings for tamales, or you can mix them with sweet cream and cinnamon for dessert.

If you love snacking on cherries, capulin cherries are a great addition to your diet.

They are high in Vitamin C, calcium and fiber, which can all lend to higher energy throughout your day with lots of flavor.


Whether you enjoy alcoholic beverages or not, chicha is an interesting concoction for all to try while visiting or exploring Peru.

Street vendors and small restaurants or shops in Peru serve chicha, an iconic, ancient drink that has survived in Peruvian or Andean culture for thousands of years.

It resembles a beer but is comprised of a fermented or non-fermented corn mixture, and just like craft beer in other parts of the world, there are different flavors, colors and variations of chicha.

Chicha de jora is the more traditional brew said to have been used in ancient religious rituals and other important ceremonies for the Andean people since corn was a sacred crop.

Chicha morada (a rich purple color) is the most common chicha served in Peru in this day and age, a refreshing drink usually served alongside a good meal.

Chicha, no matter the color or variant, presents some incredible health benefits to consumers.

It can improve circulation, lower cholesterol levels and regulate your body’s digestion of sugar.

Unlike most beers, chicha has a relatively low alcohol content, but we still recommend treating the beverage with care and to drink responsibly.


You may have heard of chapati before – it serves as an umbrella term for the many types of unleavened flatbreads made in India such as roti, ratlas or puris.

The actual chapati is the flattest variation of Indian flat breads and is usually served in a round shape.

Made from super finely ground whole wheat flour, chapati gives off a very warm, pleasant aroma due to the use of the whole wheat flour called atta.

Chapati is typically cooked on a griddle or in a pan with no oil or fat to assist in the cooking process – but ghee or butter spread on the chapati once it’s done is highly encouraged!

Bread always tends to be filling, but if you’re filling up on chapati you are also receiving some great nutritional benefits.

Chapati is rich in fiber, helping to regulate your digestive and circulatory systems.

It’s also packed with complex carbs that will keep you feeling full and energized for a longer period of time.


Many folks associate couscous with Moroccan cuisine, which is valid!

But did you know that there are so many different types of couscous from different regions of the world?

To cover the basics, couscous is crushed up durum wheat semolina, a wheat that has a heavier texture than your average flour.

Couscous takes a round shape naturally once the durum wheat has been crushed, and this is where the different regional variants come in.

Moroccan couscous is the smallest variant while Israeli couscous is what we know as pearl couscous.

Lebanese couscous grains resemble the size of a pea, seemingly the largest couscous variant available.

If you’re looking for ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet, cook up some couscous.

It’s a great ingredient that can serve as almost a pasta or rice base for grilled vegetables, salads or just simply serve it up on its own.

This is also a superfood for vegetarians and vegans looking to add some protein into their lives!


South African cuisine is so flavorful, colorful and delicious, so we had to include our favorite relish – chakalaka – on this list of foods that start with C.

Yes, not only is it fun to say, but it is a bright flavor on your taste buds.

Chakalaka is a spicy yet refreshing tomato relish that can be as spicy or as mild as you desire.

It’s chock full of vegetables – the basics are onions, beans, carrots, chilies, cabbage, peppers and curry powder, but you can add proteins such as chicken or beef to the mix.

You can chow down on chakalaka as a side dish or you could spread it on a sandwich, burger, you name it.

Chakalaka tends to be a low calorie food when made with the basics since it’s loaded with veggies and spices.

Vegetables are an important part of any balanced diet, but chakalaka is an adventurous way to meet those nutritional goals!


We’re back with another French cheese – if you read our last post that featured brie, get ready for comté.

For a cheese, comté gives off a complex set of flavors – sweet, salty, nutty.

Comté is a true product of its origin location, the beautiful Massif du Jura in the French countryside.

The surrounding mountain ranges provide fresh water and grass to the cattle on the surrounding farms.

From there, the milk is mixed with a curd-producing agent called rennet to get to the aging process.

And get this – comté is unpasteurized and gluten free.

This is another amazing cheese that you can serve on a cheese board with apples and other fruits, or honey and jams.

Cheese can be good for you in moderation since the milk used is fresh and full of calcium, so be the host or hostess with the most and impress your crowd with some comté.


Taking it back to Asia, we wanted to make sure we included congee on this list of foods that start with C.

Foods that Start With C

Congee is a traditional rice porridge made in China and is typically served as a breakfast dish.

It is made by boiling rice in an excess of water until it not only dissolves some of the water, but also breaks down in the remaining liquid to resemble a pudding consistency.

While some like their congee with just a water-based broth, some like to switch it up to get more sweet or savory flavors out of the dish.

For a sweeter take, congee is typically served with Chinese donuts, a savoury fried dough that you can dip into the mixture.


Just like with a 5 course meal, we’re ending this post on foods that start with C with dessert – a Swiss dessert at that!

Carac is a traditional Swiss pastry filled with chocolate ganache.

These are really fun to spot in Swiss bakeries because they are traditionally decorate with a bright green icing – plus, who can resist a chocolate tart?

Is it the most nutritional food you could be eating?

Not necessarily. But everything is okay in moderation when it comes to what we eat.

Life is short, eat a carac.

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