Featured Products: Ube and the Creative Recipes to Enjoy It
For a long time, it seemed that chocolate would forever remain the world’s most in-demand commodity to satisfy millions of people with a sweet tooth. Cocoa remains a premium, to be sure. But just when reports surfaced that cocoa production may (or may not) run aground by 2050, the good news came in. International markets have discovered an alternative; countries have already been securing a steady import of Southeast Asia’s purple crop that has taken the world by storm.
So, what’s the deal with ube (purple yam)? The purple sweet potato is far from dethroning the brown or dark chocolate, but it certainly is the new white chocolate or vanilla at the moment. Some may say that—one that resonates wildly with the current public opinion—ube is the flavor that defines the taste of this generation. The purple treat has become a trend in a time that Instagram is a highlight reel and the only place that commands the attention of the millennial generation who are obsessed with novelty. A food color that is weirdly appealing being one of them. Ube violates our primal instinct to avoid purple when foraging for food millions of years ago. Now, we are addicted to the sublime beauty of the vivid lavender or aubergine hue: it’s enticing, unreal, and signifies rarity, which is more likely to get you the little hearts on social media.
Ube also sits comfortably in a holy grail category between healthy choice and guilty pleasure. It is a natural food after all, a fact that helped its welcome from conscious consumers that prefer organically grown and unmodified farm produce. Ube is the darling of healthy dessert options for its healthy carb and high-fiber content. It’s a bonus that something healthy can have a quite exciting taste: ube has a floral flavor, an earthy and mellow sweetness, and ends with nutty, vanilla notes that swirl around for a while. You don’t have to get the actual ube crop to experience the trendy flavor. We have a feeling though that soon you may find yourself in a shopping cart race to be among the first to get fresh-out-of-the-box ube-flavored jams, powder, or extract in the imported goods section.
Let’s not forget that ube is one of Filipino’ most notable contributions to the culinary world. Ube has undoubtedly put the Philippines on the map—the term itself is a Filipino word for the purple yam. Ube has always been attributed to Filipino culinary because the root crop is native to the Philippines and grows in less warm regions. The Philippines imports its ube production mainly to the US and other Asian markets
Indeed, it is a staple for creating many popular Filipino desserts including ube halaya, halo-halo (as the most prominent topping), ube ice-cream (often complemented by coconut flavor), ube hopia (this beats the traditional mooncake in our not so humble opinion), and ube pan de sal (the bomb).
But there is so much more you can do with the natural ingredient. With ube, your imagination is the limit. So, we scoured the image-sharing social platform Pinterest for creative ways to incorporate ube flavor into desserts you are already familiar with.
UBE MILK TEA
First thing in the list…wait, you mean we can make ube-flavored bubble tea all this time? We have been settling for standard flavors and odd combinations, yet we miss out on this glorious idea? This deserves to be a best-seller.