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Unstoppable Ube!

There’s a new produce taking the culinary world by storm: ube (“oo-bay”)! This yam-like vegetable has won the hearts of chefs and customers all over the world, including NorCal. Keep reading for nine delicious, positively purple, ube-filled delights you can taste test at local eateries.

1. Donut Forget the Ube
With its naturally sweet and nutty taste, it’s no surprise that ube makes a divine donut flavor. To take a bite out of this sweet treat, head to Mochinut in Roseville for their Oreo Ube Mochi Donut. We’re sure the donut aficionados already know about these Japanese and Hawaiian-inspired desserts, but if not, imagine a donut shaped like a ring of bubbles with a light, crispy exterior and soft, bouncy inside. Delicious, right? And thanks to the signature plum hue of ube, it’s Instagrammable too. 4191 Thrive Drive, Suite 120, Roseville, 916-771-2276,

Oreo Ube Mochi Donut


2. Say Hello to Halo-Halo
A Filipino staple, Halo-Halo (which means “mix-mix” in Tagalog) is one of the best ways to enjoy ube. For those unfamiliar with this frozen treat, it’s a refreshing mash-up of crushed ice, milk (typically evaporated or coconut), and unique toppings that range from jellies and fresh fruit to sweet beans and more. Our favorite local spot for the texturally exciting, “uber” tasty dessert is Teriyaki Station ATBP. Their version comes with sweet white beans, jackfruit, coconut jelly, shaved ice, and evaporated milk with ube ice cream, flan, and Rice Krispies on top. Try it—we promise you’ll like it! 141 Iron Point Road, Folsom, 916-608-4567,

Teriyaki Station ATBP


3. So Matcha to Love
If you like your ube with a kick of caffeine, then Big Wave Coffeehouse has you covered. This family-owned Folsom café knows how to combine classic coffee shop staples with a taste of Hawaii. A prime example of this is their Iced Matcha Latte with an Ube Soft Top. It has that trademark earthy, matcha flavor but with a sweetness everyone can enjoy. The lightly whipped ube cream and sprinkles on top add a lavender hue and vanilla-like twist. 189 Blue Ravine Road, Folsom, 916-351-5889,

Big Wave Coffeehouse


4. Bread Winner
Craving a traditional ube treat? Look no further than the locally owned and operated Starbread Bakery in Roseville. Though you can’t go wrong with any of their classic Filipino foodie finds—from señorita bread to malasada to lumpia—we can’t resist shining a light on their simple but scrumptious Ube Bread. These little loaves of comfort are lightly sweetened rolls filled with yummy ube paste. Take home a dozen to share with your friends or treat yourself while they’re hot and fresh. 1251 Baseline Road, Suite 130, Roseville, 916-771-0372

Starbread Bakery


5. Oh, Hot Yam!
While ube’s popular in sweet dishes and desserts, it’s just as delicious with savory flavors. Taste this firsthand at the newly opened Adoboink in Roseville. For the perfect blend of sweet and salty, order their Chuwari-Waff: an ube waffle topped with arugula, lechon belly (pork belly), sliced apples, and a drizzle of apple butter sauce. Talk about mouthwatering! 1450 Lead Hill Boulevard, Suite 140, Roseville, 916-150-6581,   



6. Sweet & Soft (Serve)
What's better than a cone piled high with swirling soft serve? One with ube soft serve, of course! For that, take a trip to Devil & Angel in Folsom—a dessert shop known for creating innovative combinations, like their signature boba ice cream and “croffles” (a croissant-waffle hybrid). Our advice? Order an original, powdered sugar dusted Croffle with Ube Soft Serve. You can get it straight up or swirled with pistachio, chocolate, vanilla bean, or cookies & cream. 280 Palladio Parkway, Suite 929, Folsom, 916-817-1811,

Devil & Angel


7. When Life Gives You Lemons…
Looking for a little relief from the September sunshine? Quench your thirst with a tall glass of Ube Lemonade from Teaspoon. If you’ve been to one of their locations before, you might know them best for their boba-filled teas and creamy coffees, but for those days when you want something citrusy and sweet, their custom-made lemonade is here to save the day. Create your own with guava, pineapple, passionfruit, cucumber, matcha, mango, strawberry, or—of course—ube! 1171 Riley Street, Folsom, 279-666-4279; 4420 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 110, El Dorado Hills, 916-932-4071; 2030 Douglas Boulevard, Suite 16, Roseville, 916-899-5698,

Ube Lemonade from Teaspoon


8. Crazy for Coconut
Just when you thought ube couldn’t be better, boba joined the party. For this cooling delight, visit Rove Boba Tea in Placerville and order a Marble Ube Coconut. Ready to start drooling? This drink swirls together an airy and light ube puff cream with a tropical coconut slushie for the ultimate refreshment. You can always customize your drink with jellies or popping boba, too; if you want our recommendation, you can't beat their original black boba. 4370 Golden Center Drive, Suite C, Placerville, 530-306-8609

Rove Boba Tea


9. A Tokyo Dream
Don’t worry, coffee lovers—we didn’t forget about you! Thanks to ube’s soft yet earthy flavor, it’s a perfect match for a cup of joe. But don’t just add ube on top of any old pour-over. Instead, treat yourself to a cup of specialty Japanese coffee from Tokyo Cream, specifically their Japanese Ube Coffee—iced espresso topped with a generous helping of eye-popping purple ube cream. It’s the perfect midday pick-me-up, especially on a toasty afternoon. 1906 Taylor Road, Roseville, 916-918-1121,

Japanese Ube Coffee



Ube is more than just a delicious food; it might also be a health juggernaut! Some of the same compounds found in these yummy yams have been shown to reduce the growth of human cancer cells.

True or false: ube and taro are the same? False! While both are root vegetables, taro only turns purple when cooked and can’t be consumed raw.

Did you know there’s a city in Japan named Ube? But this port city on the western side of the country doesn’t produce ube; it mostly produces industrial metals and chemicals.

by Pauline Arroyo
Adoboink photo by Cel Chavez-Sotirhos. Teaspoon photo by Kevin Ha. Other photos courtesy of their respective companies or organizations.