The world is full of interesting things. From creatures to cultures, and even food. There’s so much out there to discover. Many cultures across the globe make use of all manner of exciting ingredients in their local cuisine that are otherwise entirely unknown in the Western world.
Whenever they do reach the Western world, they very often spread very quickly in popularity, and you’ve likely spotted them popping up all over in all sorts of recipes.
One of the most popular ingredients that are beginning to pop up in lots of exciting recipes and dishes is ube. But what actually is ube? What does it look like? What does it taste like?
And where did it come from? There are so many questions surrounding this strange but also very delicious ingredient, and we have no doubt some of these questions are cycling around your mind right now, otherwise, why else would you be here?
Want to finally get some answers as to what exactly ube is, and what it tastes like? You’ve come to just the right place! Join us below!
What is Ube?
Ube is actually a form of yam! However, unlike our usual idea of what a yam typically looks like, an ube is instead a deep and intense purple color, deep within its brown skin. Its purple color is likely the reason why it has become so popular in so many modern recipes.
The intense purple color draws the eye to any dish it is added to and makes it look all the more appetizing.
What Does Ube Taste Like?
As well as looking pretty darn cool, ube also has a very interesting taste. Many who have tried it tend to describe it as having a slightly creamy taste that is pleasant to the tongue, and makes it extremely easy to eat.
Some people have also noted that it has distinct nutty flavors, with some even being able to taste hints of coconut. You can also closely compare it to a standard yam that you have tasted, as it is similarly sweet.
Ube can be used in lots of recipes, thanks to its creamy and slightly sweet taste. Some recipes include tasty stews, curries, and even cakes and doughnuts! It is a versatile ingredient that tastes incredible, and makes any dish it is added to look just as incredible!
Where Do Ube Come From?
Now you’re probably wondering where Ube comes from, right? Surely with such a strange and vibrant color, surely it must come from some alien planet! Well, it actually, very much originates on Earth, within Southeast Asia, most commonly in the Philippines.
However, even though ube originated in the Philippines, it is used within a massive range of dishes across Asia, such as in India.
What Dishes Make Use of Ube?
There are so many different dishes that make use of ube as an ingredient, to create amazing tastes and textures. Some of these you may even find for sale in local restaurants or grocery stores, and many you can make yourself.
If you want to experience ube for the first time, we strongly recommend trying something like ube doughnuts or ube loaf. Ube doughnuts make full use of the sweet and creamy taste of ube in a familiar form.
Ube loaf can be made nice and soft, with plenty of purple ube marbled throughout, so that every bite of ube loaf can get you in touch with those amazing and unique flavors.
Ube can also be added to salads and stews, easy and simple dishes that make easy use of the ingredient.
Can You grow Ube?
Certainly! Though you should make sure to follow every step of the process. Growing ube can be quite a challenge, as it needs the perfect environmental conditions and plenty of care.
Growing your own ube can, however, be very rewarding, and the time and effort needed to grow it can prove worthwhile, once you begin to see results.
You should aim to grow your ube in a controlled indoor environment so that you can keep a close measure over the temperature, and so that you can monitor exactly how much water it receives, and how often.
Once your ube has grown, you can then use it in all manner of dishes, to make full use of it. Fruit and vegetables taste a million times better if you know that you’ve played a hand in growing them!
Let’s Finish Up
So now you know why Ube has proven to be such a sudden success in the west, and why it is so popular! Ube certainly looks unique, thanks to its intense purple color, and it tastes just as good as it looks.
Ube boasts a refreshing and simple creamy taste that is full of nutty notes, which makes it an absolute joy to eat. And eating it is easy too, not only because of the soft creamy taste but also because of its versatility.
The soft texture and taste of ube lend itself well to both savory and sweet dishes, such as stews, or soups, or even baked goods like doughnuts and cake!
If you’ve ever wanted to try ube, we can definitely recommend giving it a go. You’ll likely come away very satisfied, and wanting even more! It’s seriously that good!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Ube A Yam Or Sweet Potato?
Ube is in fact most definitely a yam. Though, it is often misidentified as a type of sweet potato, thanks to the inherent similarities of yams and sweet potatoes. You can tell that ube is a yam, thanks to its shape and texture, and its taste, which is rather similar to a regular yam.
Can Ube Be Eaten Raw?
We would advise against eating ube raw, as in its raw form it may still contain quite a few toxins. These toxins are unlikely to do much harm, and might just land you with an upset stomach, but it is not worth the risk. Ube tastes much better once it has been cooked anyway!
Is Ube Naturally Purple?
Yes! Ube is naturally purple and isn’t chemically altered to have that iconic purple color. Ube can even be used as a healthy alternative to food coloring, as its purple hue will naturally spread through into other ingredients. This is why ube doughnuts are able to appear purple!