Ube (oo-beh) is a purple yam that is a classic ingredient to your favorite Filipino treat like that tasty, purple pudding floating inside of your halo-halo drink or that purple cake with soft coconut filling your relatives love to bring over during family get-togethers. Ube dessert has definitely evolved from its original form as you’ll see them in fusion creations like doughnuts, waffles and even pop tarts.
From the West to the East Coast, ube is stirring up commotions in places like Cafe 86 in Los Angeles (ube everything) and Manila Social Club in Brooklyn (24K Gold Cristal Ube Donut). From the looks of it, it could possibly become the next crossover success and may be happening as we speak. Though ube is transitioning from its traditional recipes to modern mash-ups, it’s just crazy beyond belief to witness our heritage food attracting all types of people to try it out. I love how its bringing togetherness and good vibes and people just want to try more Filipino food and learn about our culture. That’s something to celebrate about.
What is our fondest memory of ube, you ask?
Jamie: As a kid, when my grandma made ube jam. I would just take a large spoon of it and snack on it then watch tv on the couch.
Mestelle: My fondest memory has to be ube wrapped in banana leaves that my mom brings back from her Philippine trips. I would just admire its purple hue but wouldn’t eat it.
In a few words, how would we describe the taste of ube?
Jamie: Starchy like a sweet potato, nutty, flavor of its own.
Mestelle: Slightly sweet, earthy, vanilla-like.
Current fave ube dessert and where?
Jamie: Ube Ice Cream from Magnolia.
Mestelle: Binka Bites‘ Ube Macapuno Mini Bibingka.
If not ube, what other dessert would we be eating?
Why did we name the blog “The Ube Way”?
Jamie: We went to a food truck event and Mestelle was disappointed with an ube cupcake that didn’t taste like ube. It stuck so I used ube cupcakes as a placeholder then eventually chose this name. It sounded cute.
Mestelle: Yes, it started from a cupcake. I was looking for some hints of ube flavor but sadly, it didn’t deliver. I feel like our blog has to be opposite of that cupcake and not let our FilAm community down. We’re going to do it the right way, the authentic way.
In closing, ube is not your usual flavor pick of the day but curious minds are intrigued by its vivid aesthetic and charmed by its subtle, exotic taste. As bloggers, we want to capture that very same essence by sharing and celebrating our unfamiliar world with you. Thanks for getting to know us!
We’ll now end this post in our truest fashion—with food! Here’s a not-so-typical list of new, noteworthy ube snacks + desserts to try in SF:
Don’t forget to follow us on on our social media channels and subscribe to our blog to be notified of our next posts!