Ube is purple yam, a root crop that is famously from the Philippines. It grows within 6 months upon planting. In a year, there are generally only 2 harvest seasons usually in June and December. Yam is different from potato, taro, or carrots. Though some may find it similar to them, yam is more starchy and creamy when cooked as desserts with milk. Most yams are grown in the lower hemisphere but their color varies depending on the climate of the country of origin. You can find white yams (mostly in the African region) and yellow or orange yams (mostly in the Southern American region) too.
Among the Filipinos, the most popular recipes are Ube Halaya, ice cream, ube-cheese pandesal, and ube cake. Ube Halaya is a recipe made with purple yam, milk, butter, and sugar. It is prepared in a llanera and served during special occasions. It is also used in other recipes like cakes, jams and ice creams to name a few.
During the pandemic, many lost their jobs or got stuck inside their homes for months. The rise of ube-cheese pandesal became very popular in social media. Another Ube product is seen everywhere, digitally and in the neighborhood. In Europe, Ubeness became the go-to purple yam flavoring for this recipe. With its rich taste, smell, and color, ube flavor became easier to achieve. Eventually, Pamana Foods B.V. (makers of Ubeness) released other favorite Filipino flavors too such as Buco Pandanness (Coconut Pandan Flavor), Mangoness (Philippine Mango Flavor) and Langkaness (Jackfruit Flavor).
And who could miss the Ube cake at every birthday party? Its gorgeous purple color and rich creamy taste, make it almost a staple in every party scene. Every cake is beautiful and can be combined with macapuno (sweetened coconut sport string), buttercream, or cream cheese for some. Recipes vary like chiffon, roll, or just a straight-up naked ube cake.