What is ube and why is everyone talking about it on Instagram?

Those incredible purple puddings that keep popping up have a surprising ingredient.

Press Association
Last updated: 15 May 2018 - 3.41pm

If you’ve noticed pictures of purple ice cream cones cropping up on Instagram recently and thought, ‘Mmm, that blueberry ice cream looks good,’ you may be surprised to learn that it actually gets its colour from ube –  a purple sweet potato.

Ube, pronounced ‘oo-bae,’ is the Filipino term for the purple tuber, and it’s in the Philippines that this sweet treat trend started. There, it’s used to make traditional desserts like ube halaya, which uses the boiled and mashed flesh to make a cold set pudding.

Now, bakeries and restaurants all over the US have been getting in on the action, creating ube waffles, pancakes, frozen yogurt, milkshakes, cheesecakes, cronuts, popsicles and more.

Because of the vivid violet shade of the dishes, it was only a matter of time before they became Instagram fodder – in fact, we think this is what those eateries were banking on.

What does it taste like? Fans say the flesh has a subtly sweet flavour, similar to regular sweet potatoes or pumpkin, that lends itself beautifully to desserts and adds moistness to cake mixtures without being overpowering.

So what you waiting for? There’s no excuse not to whip up your own batch of Insta-worthy eye candy.

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