What’s with Ube and Why Is It So Popular?

These past few months, you might have noticed a boost in demand for purple pastries and desserts. Everybody talks about it, tries to make it, and posts it on social media. These purply “#foodgrams” have been the talk of the town, and are surely getting a lot of love everywhere! Well, there is only one ingredient that prevails in all these desserts, and we know you are familiar with it – they are all made of Ube! 

Traditionally, Ube is a flavored ice cream sold by a Mamang Sorbetero, a cake that we see in our local stores, or an accent to Halo-Halo. But now, our very own Ube is filching the limelight on the internet. If you search for the #Ube on Instagram, nearly 365,000 posts of various “#instagrammable” and mouth-watering pictures will pop out from all over the world! Probably, you found yourself craving for it too when you saw an Ube dessert on your feed! (It happened to us!) But seriously, what is with Ube? And why are the Filipino families so crazy about it? In this article today, we will look into this famous purple spud, and together, let us examine this Ube fever! 

What's with Ube and Why Is It So Popular?

The Basic Things You Need to Know About Ube

Famously known as the purple yam sold in a jar, Ube is certainly one of the most common desserts you will find in almost every Filipino household. However, not everyone knows that Ube is actually a root crop vegetable natively grown in the Philippines. It naturally holds a deep dark purple chroma that will surely dazzle you as soon as you slice it. (Yes, it is not food coloring!) Being a vegetable, you will not expect this to have sugared nutty taste favored with a velvety texture. Imagine, vanilla and pistachio blended together with a slight kick of creamy coconut. Perhaps, like Taro, you may say? Well, you are not the only one jumbled between the two. Taro is a starchy root crop that is clear in color but turns purple when cooked. It has a bland taste, that is why it is used for savory dishes most of the time. Ube, on the other hand, is rich in flavor, subtle in its sweetness; hence it is more suitable for dessert courses. 

 

Is Ube Healthy, Though? 

We figured you might ask this question! Well, did you know that Ube is part of the sweet potato vegetable family? Oh, yes! Since it is a family member, it also inherits the nutritional features of its origins. This means your favorite purple tater is a good source of healthy carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Plus, it contains anthocyanin, a type of flavonoid liable for its purple hue, which embraces antioxidants and stimulates good health. 

But hold tight right there! Although Ube vegetable is healthy by itself, the other components added to the purple desserts can have a high amount of sugar and fat. And of course, we know that anything in excess is not advisable for anyone’s health. Therefore, it is encouraged to enjoy and experience every dessert in moderation. 

 

So, Why Is It So Popular? 

First things first, the deep purple tone is an absolute eye-catcher! The uniquely striking color created a pure character to every Ube dessert, which got people fascinated and curious. Next is the flavor – if you have tasted an Ube before, you know that it does not disappoint! As soon as you lay your senses onto an Ube dessert, your palate will get boosted of earthy sweetness, that you will surely not get tired of! Lastly, these Ube Desserts are creatively put together! Ube used to be just a creamy jam sold in a jar, but now, it is a global fusion dessert. Thanks to social media – it stimulated the “foodies” to create and innovate more Ube desserts and pastries! No wonder people love to put it on their feed!  

 

So, What Recipes Can I Go For with Ube? 

Well, let us cut to the chase, shall we? Here are some yummy recipes we found that we can definitely try at home! 

  1. Of course, the rising and very trendy, Ube Cheese Pandesal! Spice up your usual pandesal recipe with an Ube Halaya (or Ube powder, fresh Ube, can be used too), Ube Extract, and melting cheese in it! Oh, yummy! 
  2. Baked Ube Coconut Doughnut is the perfect blend for your morning coffee! You can try this at home and add some sweetness using Ube Halaya and Ube extract, while you savor the sunshine! 
  3. How can we forget this darling Ube Macapuno Ice-cream — the rich in flavor and creamy dessert made out of boiled and mashed Ube and coconut! Oh, and do not miss the Ube extract as it enhances the color and taste! 
  4. If you are a fan of polvoron or creamy pastillas, you will love this Pastillas de Ube! Prepare your cooked grated Ube and add it to your sugar rush treat! 
  5. We have established that Ube and cheese are a perfect combo! So, let us take it all the way by exploring Ube Cheesecake! It is basically your classic New York Cheesecake with the addition of Ube Halaya and Ube Extract! 
  6. Another Ube cake that is worth the try is this famous Ube Leche Flan Cake! The name itself is tempting, isn’t it? Well, the perfect combo speaks for itself! This Ube dessert will definitely make you famous in the family! 

There is a long list of things we can try and create with Ube!

How about you, what is your favorite Ube recipe?

 

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