Purple yam, locally known as ube (pronounced OO-beh), is native to the Philippines and has been gaining popularity in the US.
More Than a Trend
It's always a delight for us to hear that a Filipino staple food is gaining popularity among Americans. People in other countries are finally noticing the desserts that I grew up eating. Many Fil-Am pastry chefs are now creating their own twists on ube classics, making these treats accessible to Filipinos living abroad, helping them feel more at home with these familiar comfort foods.
Our popular dessert called halo-halo is never complete without a scoop of purple yam, making it a cultural staple in Filipino cuisine. But more than just an add-on, it’s an essential, every-day ingredient that makes Filipino desserts extra special and more flavorful.
Ube isn't just a fancy name for something purple. There's a soul to its consumption, as it's a part of our heritage and culture. While it might currently be a trend in other parts of the world, it will remain part of our culture even if its popularity fades.
Food: A Gateway to Culture
While some might only see a fun-colored version of a popular staple food, ube itself represents a bridge between other cultures to have a taste of what Filipino culture is like, literally! Its bright and vibrant purple color has caught the eyes of many, along with its notes of vanilla and pistachio, making it a key flavor in desserts and even scented products like candles. With its expansion to the United States, Filipino-Americans can have a taste of their home country while Americans can expand their palates and learn more about Filipino culture. From sweet treats like cookies and muffins to ube-infused lattes, the possibilities are seemingly endless for this unique and delicious food.