Ube ice cream brings an interesting mix to one of the dishes featured at the opening night of Chef Allan Pineda’s Filipino pop-up series
By Chef Allan Pineda | Photography by Peter Ruiz
I won’t forget the first time I tried ube ice cream. “I thought to myself, how is this possible, purple?” Purple was the colour of many things, and this colour was relegated to a crayon box or characters from Sesame Street, but purple ice cream? In that instant,I tasted this strange and oh so delicious frozen treat, it was over. Move over vanilla, get out of the way chocolate, ube was hands down my new favourite ice cream. As an elementary school kid, proclaiming a new dessert flavour was a big deal.
Ube is still one of my favourite deserts and can be seen in all forms of traditional Filipino sweets. You can literally find ube at many Filipino gatherings and in-store food products at the local supermarket. Ube ice cream (my favorite) including ube puto, this purple root vegetable is not to be confused with a potato as it is a yam and can be used in dishes like ube with macapuno, ube with flan and ube cake. It can also be made into a jam and used in halo-halo or in a warm pandesal to make a scrumptious sweet sandwich snack. Ube is versatile and delicious.
All these memories and the exposure to ube have had an impact in my work and hobbies. Being a cook at heart and Canadian born, BAON Filipino Nights was where I can fuse Filipino cuisine with non-traditional dishes. In this case Italian style Gnocchi, originally made with potatoes I switched the starch with our beloved ube. The final dish that rounded out an 8-course dinner at my first Filipino dinner pop-up was ube gnocchi with a vanilla bean cream cheese sauce, ube polvoron, Skyflake crumble edible flowers and served with a health scoop of ube ice cream.