by Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News
SAN FRANCISCO — Ube — a popular dessert ingredient in the Filipino culture — is finally being noticed by mainstream America.
Numerous popular websites have already featured the purple yam in articles, praising it as one of the biggest trends in 2017.
All the publicity has been largely thanks to social media.
Ube has become Instagram famous, with over 150,000 posts using the hashtag #ube.
Award-winning pastry chef, Francis Ang, says that while he is proud that ube is becoming accepted throughout the US — he hopes that people will remember where it comes from.
“I’d rather have people understand it as indigenous to the Philippines, just like sweet potatoes, cassava, or something like that. I don’t want it to be a trend and people overthink it,” said Ang.
Chef Ang, who grew up in the Philippines, has years of culinary training among accomplished chefs. He adds his own creativity to plating ube.
“I like to take it where its a component. I recently put the puto bumbong with the purple rice, and the ube ice cream and coffee.”
Ang started a contemporary Filipino pop-up — Pinoy Heritage — to showcase not just Filipino dessert, but the rest of Filipino cuisine.
“Filipino food has been the hit the past two, three years,” he says. “First, you have to understand the story behind any food, the culture…understand why this dish is this dish, and from there you have to keep trying the food over and over in different restaurants, different people, different families. I think that always helps.”
The pastry chef adds that while he hopes that Filipino food continues to be a hit in mainstream America, he also would like people to travel to the Philippines to try the food in its purest form.