Purple Passion: The Vibrant Food Movement That’s Sweeping Social
Purple is (still) coming in hot.
Sweets made with ube—a naturally purple yam common in the Philippines—have been brightening up social media for the past few years. But the vibrant violet trend is far from slowing down.
Along with ube, other global ingredients, including taro and butterfly pea flower, are having their moment in the edible purple spotlight. The result? Richly colored purple foods are popping up everywhere. Eateries around the world are showcasing various shades of the color in everything from desserts to dumplings. And our Instagram feed has never looked prettier.
Here are some of our favorite ways to get down with this oh-so hot hue:
‘ABC’ – Shaved Blue Pea Flower Ice, Bubur Cha Cha and Taro Ice Cream. SERIOUSLYYY! 😍😍😍 As good as the first time, and equally as majestic. Love finding gems like this in the most unlikeliest of places, you’ve got to try it! 💜💜💜 | #Dessertified x #LuckySuzieSydney | #Darlinghurst #Woolloomooloo #KingsCross
Lucky Suzie, Sydney, AUS
Purple overload down under. At Sydney’s Lucky Suzie, this eye-catching dessert boasts the purple trifecta: shaved ice flavored with butterfly pea flower, bright taro ice cream, and rich ube sauce.
Ube Ice Cream Taco
Sweet Cup, Orange Country, CA
Move over, Choco Taco. This Cali sweets shop is dominating the ’gram with its brightly colored waffle shells filled with vibrant flavors like this purple yam ice cream roll topped with whipped cream, coconut flakes, and ube drizzle.
Ube Bae Donuts
Manila Social Club, NYC and Miami
The first NYC spot to put Filipino ube sweets on the map (and creator of the world-famous 24K Gold Cristal Champagne ube donut) is Manilla Social Club. Though they recently closed their Brooklyn and Miami outposts, you can still order their freshly-made “Ube Bae” donuts online.
Magic Noodle Salad
Thaimee, Brooklyn, NY
Chef Hong Thamiee is taking purple to the savory side—in a magical way. At her new Thai restaurant in Brooklyn, she soaks standard vermicelli noodles in pea flowers to infuse them with color. The gluten-free strands have a blueish tint when they arrive at your table. But, wait for it… a squeeze of fresh lime juice makes these color-changing noods transform to vibrant violet. Mind blown.
Ube Soft Serve
Soft Swerve, New York City, NY
This Lower East Side ice cream parlor churns out picture-perfect, gravity-defying swirls of soft serve. After opening in late 2016, their pretty purple ube flavor was an instant hit (and became a social media superstar). It’s fantastic on its own, or you can jazz it up with toppers like mochi, Fruity Pebbles, and dried strawberry dust. Foodgōd is a big fan, too.
Ubae Hawaii, Honolulu, HI
With a motto of “ube before anything else,” Ubae Hawaii has a serious passion for purple. The purple yam stars in the pop-up shop’s colorful creations such as halo halo, ube jam, ice cream, pastries, dessert fillings, and their signature ube cheesecake. Delectable, rich, creamy, and savory all at once. U-be needin’ us to say more?
Ube Leche Flan Cupcake
Café 86, Pasadena, CA
If you need an ube fix, look no further than Café 86. This cute shop in the heart of Old Town Pasadena offers several tasty twists on purple yam sweets like these house-made ube cupcakes. The beautifully-colored treats get topped with creamy leche custard, instead of frosting, and are simply flan-tastic.
Purple Blossom Dumplings
The Nuaa, New York City, NYC
This Upper East Side Thai restaurant’s signature chicken dumplings are almost too pretty to eat. The delicate dumpling skins get their vibrant bluish-purple hue from the butterfly pea plant, and each one is meticulously handcrafted to resemble flowers in bloom. These sweet and savory show-stoppers are sure to amuse both your eyes and tastebuds.
Ube Cookie Sandwich
Hood Famous Bakeshop, Seattle, WA
Seattle’s Filipino pop-up bakery loves to play with purple. Ube shines in a range of elegant, eye-catching cakes, desserts, and their best-selling cookies. For the ultimate sugar rush, Hood Famous fills two soft and fluffy cookies with ice cream, then throws a slice of ube cheesecake in there, too.
Yogurstory, Hawaii, HI
This casual Asian-inspired bistro in Honolulu serves the most vibrant purple pancakes in all the land. Coconutty, smooth, and not overly sweet, the fluffy ube pancakes are smothered with flavorful ube sauce. This stunning stack’s deep, rich color will definitely wake you up in the morning.
As purple continues to reign supreme, ube-tter believe we aren’t complaining.
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