What is Ube?

Ube is a very popular flavor in the Philippines. It’s a purple yam that they use in many different foods (mostly sweet foods, like ice cream, cake, donuts, shortbread, jam, as well as desserts such as halu-halo and bilo-bilo). It is naturally very purple in color. On my mission, I ate ube ice cream a lot. I don’t think it’s quite as sweet as other flavors. Ube was a different kind of flavor than I was used to in the United States, but it grew on me.   A popular flavor actually was “ube-cheese” flavored ice cream, which is interesting. I once tasted an ube plant, plain, at a member’s home. It looked like a big brown root, but inside it was bright purple. It wasn’t too tasty plain, just starchy and potatoey, but it is pretty good in other things. Ube is also found in Hawaii, but there it is known as Uhi. If you want to try out ube, it is available at many Filipino stores in the U.S. Some even carry ube ice cream.

Article contributed by Rebecca, Philippines Baguio Mission, 2009-2011.

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