Bland, tasteless, and unappetizing are a few words that will cross your mind when you imagine gray foods. It will shock you that some of the most delicious, mouthwatering foods are this color.
25 popular foods that are gray include Mackerel, Wood apple, Yubari King Melons, and Earl Gray Macarons.
Gray foods are highly nutritious and offer similar health benefits to other foods even as they make up an essential part of your balanced diet.
Moreover, missing out on gray foods isn’t the best because of the critical vitamins and minerals they contain.
Popular Vegetables That Are Gray
Below are some gray vegetables that are healthy and nutritious.
Mexican truffle, corn smut, fungus – these are the many names of huitlacoche. This food is a plant disease that grows on corn ears in puffs of gray.
This plant disease is a delicacy in the culinary world – a sought-after fungus and an essential ingredient in the preparation of many cuisines, from sauces to soups and enchiladas.
Huitlacoche is derived from Nahuatl – an Aztec language Central Mexicans still speak. Huitlacoche has a higher protein content than common corn, including significant lysine amounts – an amino acid you won’t find in regular corn kernels.
Unfortunately, huitlacoche isn’t available all year round except during corn season. Heat makes the gray fungus turn black which is why many dishes have a black color with huitlacoche as an ingredient.
Gray morels are a species of fungus under the mushroom family but closely related to truffles. Their honeycomb, sponge-like gray appearance makes this food easy for hunters to identify.
It’s easier to hunt gray morels than to cultivate, and the highly nutritious food carries a hefty market price.
Interestingly, morels are known as “true morels” and don’t look too different from fake versions. However, you can tell the fake apart because it’s not spongy. Be careful not to pick the false morels because it’s toxic!
You wouldn’t believe that a fungus is one of the most expensive foods worldwide, and it’s gray. Truffles are a fungus, one of the many species of edible mushrooms that live around tree roots.
The food can range from darkish red to gray and have a wide flavor depending on where it’s found and the time of year.
Moreover, the musky scent and flavorful aroma make it a staple ingredient for many five-star restaurants and hotels worldwide.
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Truffle cultivation is becoming prominent in the US, but Italy and France are the two leading countries for its production.
This gray food is expensive because it needs a specific climate to flourish; even then, you’re not guaranteed to harvest it. It’s one of the most costly foods worldwide, up there with caviar and Kobe beef.
Popular Seafood That Is Gray
Gray seafood is delicious, and some even serve as an aphrodisiac.
The oyster is one of the most coveted foods worldwide and has been a favorite of humankind since ancient times.
This gray seafood has little calorie content and is rich in micronutrients like zinc – which boosts sex drive and makes you feel good.
Interestingly, oysters are best enjoyed in winter because the bivalves spawn during summer. Oysters thrive in winter and taste better when the ocean is colder. Oysters are delicious, but you can fall sick eating them.
It’s common sense not to eat oysters that aren’t fresh, but people still get food poisoning from fresh oysters too. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria that stays on the same coast where you find oysters. This bacteria affects humans, making them fall ill.
However, it isn’t fatal, and you’re sure to recover in no time. Oysters are versatile seafood and can be eaten in many ways, including baked, fried, in a soup or stew, or eaten raw.
Raw oysters are best enjoyed on the shell with various dipping sauces. Fried oysters are often breaded and served with ketchup or tartar sauce.
The mackerel is a beautiful gray fish, rich in essential Omega3 fatty acids critical for healthy function. The fish has shiny gray skin and is exceptional for several cuisines, including sushi and barbecue.
Mackerels also pair well with broccoli and rice. The torpedo mackerel is renowned for its bold, explosive flavor, with a soft, slightly chewy texture and undertones of sweetness.
Fortunately, this fish won’t go extinct anytime soon and is plentiful in temperate and tropical waters.
Still, mackerels have a bad rep, and their strong flavor is a double-edged sword that makes people either love them or hate them. It would help if you didn’t decide until you’ve tasted this fish.
Gray anchovies are cute little fish that barely weigh anything. And yet, these fishes have a distinct taste that sets them apart from other seafood.
It’s easy to recognize this fish because of its gigantic mouth and upper jaws that almost reach the eyes.
Interestingly, gray anchovies are best caught under a full moon because the moonlight makes them easy to find in marine and brackish waters where they live.
Shallow-fried or stir-fried anchovy in olive oil is the best way to enjoy this fish, or you can include the fish in any pasta dish to elevate the flavor. Anchovies also taste great with cauliflower or cabbage.
Gray hard-shell clams are another bivalve that makes for good eating. This shellfish seafood is similar to the oyster but has a shiny, smoother shell compared to the oyster’s rough body.
Gray clams come in various sizes and are popular because of their minerals and vitamin content. Whether fried, grilled, or steamed, clams are nutritious and delicious for any diet.
Some gray clams are small enough to fit your hand, while others weigh more than 500lbs. The flavor is fish-like, with a soft and buttery texture.
Clam chowder is a popular dish with gray clams as the chief ingredient. Clams are rich in vitamin B12 and contain omega-3 fatty acids like mackerel, sardines, and salmon.
Caviar is one of the costliest foods globally and one of the few foods closely associated with luxurious living. This delicacy is fish eggs known as roe and harvested from fishes in the Acipenseridae family that thrive in the Black and Caspian Seas.
The color of the eggs ranges from black to golden brown and all shades of gray, depending on the fish type, whether Beluga, Osetra, Kaluga, or Sturgeon.
Gray caviar is mostly synonymous with the Sevruga sturgeon. This sturgeon’s roe has the most intense flavor compared to other caviar despite the small size of the sevruga fish.
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The buttery smooth texture has afternotes of sea spray and hazelnut hints. However, you can still find Beluga caviar – the rarest kind, with a light gray color.
Beluga caviar is the most expensive because the fish is endangered. Moreover, the roe is banned in the United States, making this caviar pricier.
Gray mullet is a beautiful, silvery-gray fish with a wide flat mouth and large scales. This fish enjoys a lazy swim in estuarine and coastal habitats and isn’t endangered in any way.
More importantly, gray mullet is a lovely fish for eating, even though the flesh tends to fall apart easily. Gray mullet has a strong, earthy flavor that isn’t for everyone.
However, you can disguise the taste using marinades and dressings featuring white wine vinegar or lemon.
Interestingly, the fish’s roe is highly coveted in nations like Turkey, Egypt, Japan, and Korea. The smoked and salted roe of this fish is a key ingredient in the preparation of taramasalata.
Popular Fruits That Are Gray
Gray fruits have some of the highest nutrients among other colored fruits seen below:
Salted plums or saladitos are an ancient delicacy common in Asian countries like Japan and China. This gray food is known as “Umeboshi” by the Japanese, who prefer to ferment the plums with sea salt and shiso leaves.
Adding these ingredients offers immense health benefits, including infection-fighting and antimicrobial properties.
Buyers need to be careful because of the surging demand for umeboshi, which has brought about fake plums in the market, with companies using artificial dyes to reduce costs.
These plums’ sour and salty taste makes them an excellent addition to rice dishes.
The wood apple is unlike any apple you’ll ever come across. The first thing worth noticing about this fruit is its smell. It’s like rotten blue cheese and an overripe banana having a baby.
It doesn’t stink the whole place like durian, but the scent won’t win any fans.
Still, this fruit tastes divine despite its poop-like appearance. Wood apples are quite common in Sri Lankan cuisine and are available post-monsoon season in the Asia Pacific.
The fruit looks like hairy coconut; you need a knife to open the shell and scoop the soft, messy meat.
Sri Lankans prefer wood apples with palm sugar and coconut milk to prepare a sweet, mildly acidic beverage – an excellent drink for humid weather.
Wood apples are also useful for baking, blending into ice cream, and boiling into jams, jellies, and chutneys.
Muskmelon is similar to Yubari King, but both are completely different fruits. The former is a refreshing fruit best enjoyed during the summer heat.
Some muskmelons are watery and bland, while others have a sugary taste that is even sweeter when the fruit is fully mature. Muskmelon goes by such a name because of its strong musky scent.
The fruit has a greenish-gray back and yellow flesh like the Papaya of West Africa. Muskmelon is rich in vitamins B, A, and C, featuring trace amounts of magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and manganese.
You can eat this fruit with a spoon, cut it open, and bite into the flesh.
Yubari King Melon
There’s a reason the Yubari King is the most expensive melon in the world. Firstly, these melons are quite rare. It’s exclusively cultivated in Yubari city, Hokkaido prefecture in Japan.
The volcanic ash soil and pristine mountainside offer a mellow sweet flavor that’s impossible to replicate.
Interestingly, not all melons that grow in Yubari city qualify as Yubari King. Melon inspectors carefully examine each melon, scrutinizing each rind, and looking out for the sweet fragrance oozing out of the fruit before placing the Yubari label.
The Yubari King is the most expensive melon worldwide, sometimes selling for thousands of dollars.
The Monkey Bread of Africa is another gray fruit that’s highly nutritious with many medicinal properties.
Also known as the Cream of Tartar, this fruit is a product of the Baobab tree endemic to Southwest Asia and the African continent – particularly West Africa.
The gourd-like fruit has a grayish hue and fleshy pulp inside a woody covering. The fruity pulp is a useful food additive with high mineral content, including eight of the nine essential amino acids in addition to phosphorus, carbohydrates, and potassium.
It also has four times the vitamin C content of a banana. Interestingly, baobab fruit is a novel ingredient recently approved by the USFDA and the European Commission.
Gray Hubbard Squash
You won’t find many fruits larger than the Gray Hubbard Squash. It’s sold in chunks because of its large size and has a flavorful flesh that’s bright orange.
The gigantic fruit is impressive for its size and amazing flavors. A juicy bite into this fruit offers sharp, sweet notes with hints of nut and an earthy mouthfeel.
More importantly, the Gray Hubbard Squash is a fantastic ingredient for various soups. It’s also useful for baking, especially as filling for a pie dish.
The Gray Hubbard Squash is an excellent substitute for any pumpkin dish because it’s easily affordable and shares a similar flavor. However, the flesh is denser than most pumpkins, which makes it suitable for use as a creamy puree soup.
The Hubbard Squash is named for Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard, who gifted the squash’s seeds to friends in the late 19th century. Its exact origins are unknown. However, various winter squashes are New World foods originating in the Americas.
Charleston Gray Watermelon
The Charleston Gray watermelon is a gigantic melon with an elongated body. The fruit is famous for its greenish-gray rind.
However, underneath that gray is a delicious red flesh that’s soft and juicy. C.F Andrus designed these melons in 1954 in a bid to develop disease-resistant melons.
This melon has low-calorie content and is rich in lycopene. This essential antioxidant helps to prevent some cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
Dragon Fruit is an exotic fruit of a special type of cactus known as the Hylocereus Megalanthus. This fruit may have a yellow or bright pink body, but what’s undeniable is the delicious gray pulp and black seeds within.
Fortunately, this fruit is available throughout the year, especially during summer and fall. The yellow variety of this fruit is considered the real dragon fruit. It is renowned for its sweet taste among all dragon fruit types.
This fruit has a slightly crispy and juicy texture with undernotes of sweetness, tropical floral hints, and no aftertaste of acidity. Dragon fruit is an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
It also has trace amounts of niacin, iron, and Vitamins C and A. You can eat this fruit raw, scooped out of the flesh like ice cream, or sliced. Dragon fruit can also be used as a puree for cocktails and smoothies.
Popular Desserts That Are Gray
Gray desserts can be awesome, with a delightful taste to make your mouth water.
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Creamy, nutty, savory, and sweet, the Black Sesame Ice Cream has it all. This Japanese ice cream uses black sesame paste or nerigoma, an ingredient common in many Japanese cuisines, including pudding, mochi, and bread.
This ice cream doesn’t have the aesthetic appeal common with many ice creams but has a taste that’s nothing short of divine. You’ll worship Black Sesame Ice Cream.
The flavors are nothing like the regular ice creams, and the ice cream is a must-try for Otaku culture fans. Black sesame paste features numerous micronutrients, including calcium and magnesium. It also contains lots of vitamin A.
Earl Gray Macarons
Look no further than Earl Gray Macarons if you want a deliciously sweet treat to enjoy alongside a cup of tea!
The Earl Gray Macarons is a marriage of earl gray tea and honey-flavored buttercream inside a French macaron casing. This decadent treat has a creamy smooth texture with undertones of fruit.
You’ll love the gray custard in the middle that offers a silky-smooth consistency and rich flavor. Earl Gray Macarons are best enjoyed after lunch or during teatime.
Popular Breads That Are Gray
Gray breads are filling too, like the one below.
Gray Bannock is a bread that’s steeped in history. This bread is indigenous to Scotland but eventually became a staple of the Canadian Indigenous Peoples.
The word “Bannock” is derived from “Banach,” which translates into “morsel.” The Scottish were known to cook this bread on a griddle, a Bannock Stone, and prepared hearthside.
Scottish travelers and adventurers brought this bread to Canada in the 18th century, where the Indigenous Peoples adopted it.
However, they replaced European wheat with corn flour, with various tribes adopting different bread-making techniques.
The gray Bannock is popular because it’s simple to make and serves as a staple food for trappers, prospectors, and wilderness explorers.
Popular Soups That Are Gray
Below are some gray soups and sauces.
Wild Mushroom Soup
Don’t let the looks deceive you; wild mushroom soup is delicious and flavorful. It consists of wild-picked mushrooms with a dollop of cream and garlic, takes only 30 minutes to prepare, and amazing with bread.
You’ll love the creamy texture that makes it the perfect comfort food for Fall and Winter. Depending on the mushroom, the flavors range from earthy to sweet and nutty.
Wild mushroom soup is best prepared with chestnut or chanterelle mushrooms, but a mix of both is fantastic.
Baba Ganoush is a great-tasting Middle Eastern dip that consists of tahini, roasted eggplant, garlic, and lemon juice.
This gray dipping sauce has an irresistible creamy texture with a slightly earthy and smokey taste. The lemon juice gives it a somewhat tangy feel with afternotes of sweetness.
Baba Ganoush has a color that ranges from light gray to dark purple, depending on the eggplant’s flesh. It’s easy to make this dipping sauce by charring the eggplant over an open fire until the skin blisters.
Take off the skin and blend the flesh mixing in the lemon juice, garlic, tahini, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Baba Ganoush is delicious with sandwiches, wraps, and pita bread. It’s healthy, nutritious food for parties and events.
Popular Cheeses That Are Gray
Gray cheeses are distinctive and highly regarded as seen below, as seen below.
Tyrolean Gray Cheese
Tyrolean Gray Cheese or Tiroler Graukase consists of different sour cow’s milk cheeses manufactured in the lush pastures of Austria. The skimmed milk is left to curdle for a few days before processing.
Tyrolean has little fat content, and the crumbly texture and crackled rind make it instantly recognizable. The cheese is renowned for its strong aroma and is best enjoyed spread over wholemeal bread.
Tyrolean Gray gets its color from the mold of the same name, which emerges immediately after maturation. This gray cheese is an important ingredient for many Austrian dishes, including Kaspressknolden with nettle soup, cheese dumplings, and Zillertal donuts.
Gray Owl Cheese
Gray Owl Cheese is the most stunning cheese produced exclusively in Quebec by Fromagerie Le Detour. This beautiful goat cheese is named for Gray Owl Archibald Belaney.
The topmost layer is gray but features a white and creamy color contrasting sharply with the exterior.
You’ll love the firm and dense texture combined with a creaminess that bursts into a sharp lemony flavor in the mouth. Gray Owl Cheese pairs well with Sauvignon Blanc, or you can savor it with smoked salmon or honeycomb.
Monte Enebro is a delicate goat milk cheese winner of multiple Cheese of the Year awards. This pasteurized cheese is the masterwork of renowned Spanish cheesemaker Rafael Baez.
His daughter Paloma Baez continued to carry on the tradition of this cheesemaking art after her father’s passing in 2012. It’s a remarkably soft cheese with a lactic center and more intense flavors towards the rind.
This cheese’s complex flavors and unique gray appearance enhance its reputation beyond the Spanish borders. The gray color is caused by penicillium roqueforti – which is used in creating Roquefort cheese.
Other flavors in this cheese include bright, citrusy notes and a distinct earthy aroma caused by the grayish rind. Monte Enebro is best enjoyed with Spanish dessert wine or Sauternes.
Gray foods come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and flavors, whether fruit, snack, or soup. Some of the most expensive foods worldwide are gray, and the color shouldn’t deter you from trying out such foods.
Gray foods may not look appetizing, but they are highly nutritious and a delight for your palate. A food’s color shouldn’t be your priority when considering what to eat.
Gray foods are healthy and delicious, and you can’t go wrong with any of the foods above.