40 Foods That Begin With The Letter S

It’s time once again for a very fun thought experiment, where we’ll be looking to see how many foods we can name that all start with the same letter. This time, the letter in question is ‘S’, a very common one for sure.

This seems appropriate given the Sesame Street nature of this game, and you’d best believe Sesame Seeds are among this list! We’ve got 40 in all so let’s start rattling ‘em off.

#1 – Spaghetti

We have to start out with Spaghetti, a true delight for sure. Get a big bound of spaghetti noodles, douse them in meaty marinara and add in some parmesan cheese, you’ve got something truly delectable and hearty. 

Of course Spaghetti is an Italian food, one of the many Italian exports to become widely popular internationally. A good spaghetti is a rich and savory affair, one that always satisfies.

What we just described is only one way to prepare spaghetti of course, as they can very much be made meatless, cheeseless or with various other ingredients. 

#2 – Sushi

It seems like sushi gets a little more popular in the West every year. Of course the art of making sushi comes from Japan and is effectively raw seafood wrapped around a rice roll, which itself i filled with veggies and sauces. 

The result is umami to the max, a very savory food. What the seafood is can vary, as can whatever is inside it. One such variant is the California Roll – this is made up of crab rolled around avocado. 

The rice used in sushi is typically vinegared to ensure that it maintains that rolled up shape and holds together. A strip of seaweed is another traditional method for keeping a sushi roll from unraveling.

#3 – Shrimp

Probably the most common food to see looking back up at you. Shrimp are also the most commonly eaten shellfish out there and for good reason.

They’re as delicious as they are abundant, and high in some key nutrients too. Protein, iodine and selenium are big factors, but they’re also quite low in calories. 

Their taste is buttery, sweet and salty, yet it all comes together in a fairly mild combination. It’s also known to not have that distinctive fishy smell that most seafood comes with.

#4 – Salad

This is obviously something of an umbrella term, as there’s all sorts of different things called ‘salad’, like potato salad or chicken salad. But for these purposes, we’re just talking about the traditional, leafy variety.

There’s beauty in the simplicity of a salad, just taking a bunch of greenery – iceberg cabbage leaves being the most common – and putting any number of additions on top. 

They most commonly have some sort of dressing, as well as other veggies, cheeses or croutons. These can be extremely nutritious and low in fat, or flavor packed and delicious depending on what you’re looking for.

#5 – Sausage

There are tons and tons of sausages out there, this is a big category. Really more than anything this is used to describe meat formed into a specific, cylindrical shape. 

Typically a sausage is made up of a mixture of different meats, combined with some filling ingredients and spices. The whole of it is then wrapped tightly in intestinal lining, usually from a cow or a sheep.

Describing what they are kinda makes them sound grody, doesn’t it? But they certainly don’t taste that way!

#6 – Salami

This is, itself, a form of salted sausage meaning it fits into the prior category. As such, salami too can refer to various different types of meat. 

But what defines salami is the way it’s prepared. It specifically refers to a cured sausage, made from meat that’s either fermented, air-dried or both. 

A couple thousand years ago, in the days before freezers, curing meat was a big deal when it came to food preservation. So most believe salami was a byproduct of this, and it was tasty enough to stick around ever since.

#7 – Salmon

A very oily fish that many will think of as a superfood due to its extremely nutritious nature. Salmon is actually a category of fish rather than a specific one, there are many types of fishies out there that count as salmon.

It’s packed full of minerals, vitamins, proteins and perhaps most keen of all, omega-3 fatty acids. 

And it’s got a mild, delicate flavor that makes it easy enough to add onto any dish, as it’ll lean more to the taste of any ingredient you add with it.

#8 – Soybeans

These beans are quite famous and becoming more popular by the year for their use in vegan-friendly alternative foods. 

Soy-based products are wonderfully versatile and can seemingly be made to taste like practically anything.

These soybeans are thus quite highly valued. They are most native to Eastern Asia where they are most frequently eaten whole. 

Elsewhere, when they’re not used to help make fishless filets or other such vegan fare, they’re used for soy milk and sauce, as well as tofu. 

#9 – Sage

We’re about to provide you with some sage wisdom… which is to say, some knowledge about sage! This is an herb, a very strong one, the dry leaves of which are often used for slow-cooking dishes.

The flavor is pretty distinctive, and it’s useful in a variety of dishes like stews, soups and casserole. It’s also used as a garnish for some meals, like on pork among other things. 

#10 – Squash

One of those vegetables you might forget about only to see it pop up when its season comes around. Squashes actually make up a whole family of vegetables, including pumpkins, cucumbers, gourds, melons and zucchini.

Despite this, there are also many vegetables that are simply called squashes, many of them summer squashes. 

These can come in a few different colors, as well as shapes and sizes, but the most well known summer squash is yellow with a white flesh. 

#11 – Spinach

Spinach became quite famous in the US a long time ago, thanks in no part to being made an iconic part of the cartoon Popeye. 

The titular hero basically powered himself up every time he ate them, and he’s been a mascot for the veggie ever since.

They probably won’t actually empower you to beat up bad guys sadly, but they are very, very good for you. They’re rich in nutrients and antioxidants that do a lot for skin, hair and bone health.

Spinach is most often added in salads, or cooked and steamed until properly wilted. 

#12 – Soup

What is there to say? You’ve almost certainly tried soup before at some point, even if you were very little at the time. It’s one of the most common and global ways of preparing food!

Soup ultimately can refer to any kind of food that’s primarily a hot liquid with ingredients added in. It’s usually made up of stock of some kind or just water, but also juices in some cases, like tomato soup for example. 

Veggies and meats alike tend to be welcome in most soups. There’s a lot of versatility when it comes to this dish.

#13 – Strawberry

A strikingly bright red fruit, and one of the absolute sweetest things to ever grow from the ground. It’s got a very nice scent to it as well and they’re juicy to boot, there’s a lot to love about strawberries!

As such, they’re very frequently just eaten fresh and raw. But of course they’re also quite useful for being made into all sorts of things, from jellies and jams to fruity smoothies. They can even be used to flavor pancakes!

#14 – Soda

Sodas are also known as soft drinks, pop or fizzy drinks depending on where in the world you are. They’re very common regardless, and there are many famous brands of soda out there.

They are made up of carbonated water as well as some kind of flavoring, sometimes natural and sometimes artificial, and with added in sweeteners like sugar, high-fructose corn syrup or fruit juice.

Many of the more famous ones also include a decent helping of caffeine for a little bit of an energy boost.

#15 – Salsa

It’s hard to even say the word salsa without feeling a bit spicy. Which is fitting because boy is it ever! Salsa refers to a mix of various veggies, often comprised of tomatillos, avocados, spices, lime juice and fresh green chiles. 

Alternatively, they might be made of roasted tomatoes, dried red chiles and spices. Either way the result is thick and spicy, and can be used as a condiment, a dip or a sauce. 

They’re heavily associated with Mexican food and go well with enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, tortillas and fajitas among many other things. Anything can turn from mild to wild in a second with a little salsa!

#16 – Salt

Salt might well be the most frequently utilized seasoning on the planet Earth, as it seems to be added to just about any savory meal. 

Think about this, there aren’t a lot of seasonings out there that basically have a taste named after them! But when you hear someone say the word ‘salty’, you probably have a good idea of what that means.

They are most commonly used on meats but, again, they can be added to anything to give it just that little bit more kick and flavor. 

#17 – Sandwich

This is opening up quite the pandora’s box. The possibilities are practically endless when it comes to sandwiches, as they can theoretically be filled with anything.

If you can name it, somebody has tried stuffing it in a sandwich. Point blank, full stop, look it up and you’ll probably find a review for it!

All that said, there are of course a few ingredients that are much more closely associated with a sandwich than most. Generally speaking, a sandwich is made up of two slices of bread or a split roll.

Between them can be next to anything but the most common include sliced meat, cheese and veggies of all sorts. Sandwiches can be eaten hot or enjoyed at room temperature. 

#18 – Strudel

This is a layered pastry, one which hails from Austria and is quite popular among Central Europe. It’s rolled up and baked with some kind of filling, whatever suits your fancy.

Like many pastries, it’s most commonly associated with sweetness. But the truth is the taste can vary a lot depending on how it’s prepared, and it’s very possible to have yourself a savory strudel.

#19 – Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes are plants that belong to the morning glory family, noted for their large roots. These roots are starchy and unsurprisingly sweet to the taste. So they’re very frequently used as a root vegetable.

It’s a versatile food, one that can be made into just about anything and add some nutrition to a meal to boot. They can be turned into fries or mashed, or served in soups, salads and curries.

The young shoots and leaves from a sweet potato can also be eaten as greens.

#20 – Soy Sauce

A liquid condiment which is of course made from soybeans, fermented ones specifically, as well as wheat. Native to Asian countries, soy sauce has become one of their most famed exports as it’s popular all across the globe.

In taste, soy sauce is savory, earthy, salty and very slightly sweet. Altogether it’s thought to have a nice umami taste, and is a constant for Chinese food.

#21 – Snowpeas

What a cute little name this veggie has. It has other names though, such as a Mangetout or simply ‘Chinese peas’. 

The pods look a bit like deflated, flattened green chili peppers and are filled with sweet, small little peas, about seven apiece. 

Many will swear by the bright green pods being the most delicious of the bunch. 

#22 – Sesame Seeds

These come in a few varieties, but the one you’re most likely to be familiar with are the white sesame seeds. They’re small and delicate enough to add some rich flavor and texture to whatever they’re added to.

White sesame seeds are mostly known in the US for use in hamburger buns. The sesame seed bun is popular among fast food and sit-down restaurants alike. 

Golden and black sesame seeds are included among the other types.

#23 – Sugar

Of course, we can’t forget about sugar. Just like salt, sugar is an iconic seasoning and just like, ‘sugary’ is a frequently used adjective.

Whenever you want something sweetened, going to sugar just makes sense. Of course it’s very possible to overuse it, and it can be hard to resist indulging in sugary foods and drinks.

Sugar can give practically anything a surge of sweet taste and aroma. Sugar can come in a number of different popular varieties, like white sugar, brown sugar or raw sugar among others.

#24 – Schnitzel

Far and away the funniest word among this list, schnitzel is almost as much fun to eat as it is to say! And you might have actually eaten it without realizing it.

It comes from the German word for ‘slice’, and while you might be tempted to presume it’s something exotic or fancy, the truth is? Schnitzel just refers to a thin slice of fried meat.

Yeah, turns out if you’ve eaten chicken-fried steak, you’ve technically eaten schnitzel before. Italian milanesa and French escalope aren’t too different. 

#25 – Sambuca

This fancy word refers to an Italian liquor, usually colorless in appearance like a glass of water. But it’s also sometimes found in a deep blue or bright red color. 

Pour water into sambuca and you’ll see what is known as the ouzo effect. That is to say, the liquid will become cloudy the more you add to it. 

#26 – Safflower Oil

A type of oil used for cooking, a potential alternative to canola oil or olive oil. Like canola oil it’s bland and flavorless in it’s taste. Safflower oil is high in fats, some healthy and some not so much.

#27 – Scallops

The word ‘scallop’ is a generic term used to describe a high number of mollusks and saltwater clams. These can be found in oceans all across the globe, but it’s in the Indo-Pacific region where they are most common. 

Scallops are known to have a buttery texture and a mild, slightly sweet taste. They’re quite nutritious, with high amounts of protein, low fat and many omega-3 fatty acids. 

#28 – Sangria

This is a type of punch, one that hails from Portugal and Spain. Basically this is just a wine willed with a selection of fruit chunks.

This is traditionally red wine but sometimes white wine is used instead. The fruits vary but are most commonly strawberries, apples, peaches, pears, limes and pineapples.

Most often sangria is sweetened with sugar.

#29 – Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut refers to shredded, fermented cabbage. Various lactic bacterias are used for the fermenting process. The end result is a particularly stringy, and very nutrient heavy meal.

It’s rich with vitamin K2 as well as probiotics. All that comes together to make for a great boon to your immune and digestive health. 

As far as taste goes, it’s comparable to kimchi but without all the spiciness. It’s on the salty and sour side, something that intensifies the more it ferments. 

#30 – Scallion

You might hear of this veggie and think it might have something to do with the term ‘rapscallion’. But no, it doesn’t appear that’s the case, as rapscallion is just a fanciful way of saying ‘rascal’. 

Anyway other names for scallion include spring onions or green onions. As you might guess, it’s a type of onion! They’re mild in taste compared to other types. 

They are made up out of thin stalks, pure white in color on one end and a deep green on the other. Both parts are edible and can be eaten cooked or raw alike. 

#31 – Stevia

Stevia is among the top sugar substitutes out there, and shares it’s name with the herb that it’s derived from. 

Stevia is thought to be a better alternative to sugar for those who suffer from chronically high blood pressure.

It can be found in a number of different ways, though of course the most common would be a refined powder, where it looks very similar to it’s sugary counterpart. 

But it can also be seen as a liquid, in tablets or as a powdered leaf.

#32 – Saffron

This is a spice that hails from Greece originally, but is also grown in India, Iran and Morocco. It has a distinctive taste, one that is a bit complex and tough to describe. A little bit sweet, but also earthy and floral. 

You certainly know it when you’ve consumed some as not much else tastes quite like saffron. It’s known for making dishes golden in color, aromatic and much, much richer.

#33 – Sardines

Sardines are a species of teeny, tiny little fish and are noted for being tightly packed together in their canned form. They’re a very oily fish and quite rich in nutrients with no shortage of health benefits.

They’re often compared to anchovies, though they’re much bigger than those (this says a lot) and their taste is a bit different too. The only thing they really have in common is that they are frequently preserved in cans. 

The flavor profile of a sardine is one that’s very mild, round and not particularly fishy. Basically somewhere between an anchovy and a tuna.

#34 – Sazerac

A type of rye whiskey or cognac cocktail, one that’s very big in New Orleans. The taste is closest to whiskey, but with a little added sweetness from sugar, as well as some bitter floral bits from peychaud’s and herbsaint. 

#35 – Swordfish

Of all fish to be used in cooking on a regular basis, the Swordfish might well be the largest. These guys are enormous, and as such they come with a ton of meat. 

In this case, particularly firm meat, not flaky like you might find with other seafood. Combined with the mild taste, this allows it to be cooked in a variety of different ways. Swordfish steaks are particularly popular.

#36 – Sultanas

A variety of seedless grapes, these are among the more obscure selections we’ll be discussing today. That is owed largely to the fact that they mainly grow in a very specific place, that being Izmir, Turkey. 

These grapes are dried up and look a little like raisins, but differ thanks to the oily solution that’s used to accelerate that drying process.

#37 – Sake

This is a very famed Japanese liquor, also known in some circles as rice wine. That’s because it’s used with rice of course, fermented rice that has been polished to remove the bran to be precise. 

Being a brewed alcohol like beer or wine, it should be noted that sake is not a spirit like vodka. Their alcohol content is a little bit higher than wine’s.

As rice has a mild flavor, sake is prone to take on whatever flavor you add to it. So it often tastes fruity, and can be made to taste like apples or bananas among other things.

#38 – Spatchcock

Spatchcock is both the name of a chicken dish and also the word used for preparing it. To ‘spatchcock’ a chicken, you must cut out the backbone and then press the bird flat. That way it can be cooked in a singular layer.

This makes for some very even cooking. Another name for this process is butterflying – that’s actually the same thing. This is most frequently done with young chicken, as it’s the most tender.

#39 – Sunflower Oil

Another largely bland and flavorless vegetable oil. Since it doesn’t affect taste it can be used in all manner of dishes, be they salads or baked goods. 

Sunflower oil is prominently used as a cooking aid, for searing, frying and sauteing among other things. It’s considered more healthy than some of the alternatives.

#40 – Swiss Chard

It seems like a lot of vegetables start with the letter ‘S’, kind of a curious thing there. Closing out our list is another such example, as the Swiss Chard is a leafy vegetable.

The flavor is pretty close to that of celery stalks. As such they’re a good fit in anything you’d use celery for, like salads, soups and frittatas. Sauteing them with garlic is also popular.

Though it doesn’t look it, it hails from the same family as beets.

In Conclusion…

It’s always a fun exercise to see how many foods you can think of that start with the letter ‘S’. 40 seems like a solid number, but the truth is we’re still only scratching the surface.

‘S’ is one of the most commonly used letters in the English alphabet and you can bet that there’s plenty more out there that we missed.

That means you can go ahead and pick up where we left off! What can you name that we left off our list here? See if you can get up to 100!