Is Ube becoming Ubiquitous?

A few years ago, I asked “Has Filipino Food Arrived?” and mentioned that ube is starting to appear in many places. In the shopping areas, grocery, and restaurants that I frequent, ube is already very well established. One could argue that my sampling is biased by the fact that I live in an Asian ethnoburb, but when I heard a DJ on the radio talking about going to Ube Fest this coming Sunday, I definitely think ube has arrived – or better yet, become “ube-quitous!”

It is present in more places than just Asian venues. Sure, there is an Ube Cheesecake from Uncle Tetsu and an Ube Ice Cream at Somisomi, both Asian oriented food chains. I recently got ube croissants at a bakery in our San Jose’s Little Saigon.  But when I mentioned ube to someone who is living in Alabama, she mentioned that her nieces like Trader Joe’s Ube Mochi Pancakes.  Ube has popped up recently in Real Simple magazine and even on Martha Stewart’s website.

Of course, not everything purple that is claimed to be ube is really ube. Sometimes what is touted as ube may be made with artificial flavoring and food coloring. Ube is not the same as purple sweet potatoes or is not the same as taro.

Ube Fest promises to have items like ube salsa, ube, cookies, and ube kettle corn. You can purchase tickets here for the April 7, 12:00-5:00 PM festival.  If you can’t make that event, “Yum Yams” will also celebrate ube on May 18, 2024.

(photo credit: Remi Tournebize licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)

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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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