Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Ube (Purple Yam) Ice Cream Experiment

What’s common to some can be quite exotic to others. Alain de Botton’s book titled The Art of Travel tackled this particular subject.

Now, to be more specific, what I thought were common ice cream flavours my colleagues thought of as exotic. I’m talking about Philippine ice cream flavours in particular.

The idea of an ice cream made from anything other than vanilla, chocolate or strawberry was just too exotic to some of my workmates.

I didn’t plan this experiment at all. But on a recent trip to Chinatown I brought two of my Lunch Club mates to a Filipino store. I wanted to get something uniquely Filipino that I think they would probably enjoy as well.

Why not get Filipino ice cream? I found a small tub of Ube (Purple Yam) ice cream made by Nestle. Some other more Pinoy brand would have been better but Nestle would do for now. Nestle just doesn’t seem uniquely Pinoy.


I brought this 425ml tub of ice cream back in the office. My Lunch Club mates were the first to try and the absolutely loved it! This gave me more confidence to ask some of my other colleagues to try it. As it was only a small tub a teaspoon size serving was all I could give to each one who was willing to try.

I’ve asked them to try the ice cream first before telling them the flavour. Some just couldn’t get past the purple colour of the ice cream. That was exotic enough for them not to even dare try. But a lot more were quite game and happily tasted the ice cream.

I wasn’t surprised with the result at all. Everyone who tried was very positive! Some even asked me to buy them a tub or two next time I do my Pinoy grocery shopping. It was a new taste sensation none of them could describe. No one was able to guess what the flavour was.

The idea of a root vegetable (or fruit, or root crop, or whatever you might to call it) as an ice cream flavour is now not so exotic anymore.

Ube (Purple Yam) today! Next comes Quezo (Cheese), Macapuno (Sweet Coconut), Mais (Sweet Corn), Langka At Kasuy (Jackfruit & Cashew), Halo-Halo (mixed fruit/preserves/beans), Durian, Avocado, etc.

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