If you're an ice cream devotee, chances are you've seen ube — the bright purple yam from the Philippines — on the menus of countless ice creameries. Once a traditional ingredient that was only found in Filipino cuisine, the bright lilac-hued tuber has now reached mainstream consumers with the introduction of Trader Joe's Ube Purple Yam Ice Cream. The purple-colored pints are only retailing for $3 for a limited time, so you're going to want to head to your closest TJ's to grab some of this millennial-approved treat before it's gone.
According to the grocery store's original Fearless Flyer announcement, it looks like new ice cream flavor officially launched at TJ's locations nationwide sometime in late June and early July. Per a blog post shared on Monday, July 29, the retailer teased its sweet twist on the purple yam, which is reportedly a "very popular flavor in jams, cakes, candies… and ice cream" in the Philippines and is pronounced ooh-beh. Even if you haven't tried ube before or you can't imagine swapping out your chocolate or vanilla ice cream for a pint flavored with purple yams, it's impossible to deny that this treat looks like it was pretty much made for the 'Gram.
Featuring soft, trendy hues of millennial lilac, the ube ice cream is almost too pretty to eat (the key word here being almost), and you'll definitely want to make sure your camera eats first if you're looking to brighten up your feed.
However, once you do get all the photo-taking out of the way, it sounds like you're in for an even better treat once you take a bite. If you've never tasted ube before, Trader Joe's explains that it's like "a cross between vanilla and pistachio, with hints of coconut mixed in," which sounds completely mouthwatering, IMHO.
In short, "it's creamy. It's sweet. It's nutty," per the blog post, and you can dig into your pint even more vigorously knowing that Trader Joe's offering contains real ube purée (unlike most ube-flavored ice creams, apparently). While I'll be the first to say that Trader Joe's attempts at recreating foods from different cultures can be a hit or miss, this fact makes it more likely that it'll be a somewhat more authentic depiction of the purple-tinted dessert you'd get in the Philippines.
Another thing I like about Trader Joe's Ube Purple Yam Flavored Ice Cream is that it amps up its natural lavender coloring with "grape extract and beet juice," not artificial coloring, according to the blog post. While the ube is naturally a bright violet color, many companies will add dyes into ube-flavored foods to further enhance the hue. With this sweet pint, you don't have to worry about any of that.
The best part? Instead of having to fly all the way to the Philippines to try this delectable dessert or peruse the aisles of a specialty store, all you have to do is go to your local TJ's and grab a pint (or five) for just $2.99 each, which is a complete steal. I'd recommend the latter, because unsurprisingly, people are losing it on Twitter over Trader Joe's latest addition to its freezer aisle.
According to several Twitter users, the limited-edition flavor has already sold out at a few locations, which only attests to its popularity. While the jury is still out on how authentic the TJ's version of ube ice cream is compared to its Filipino counterpart, customers are so here for the flavor and aesthetic of this unique product.
In short, if you see a few cartons of the Ube Purple Yam Flavored Ice Cream at your local Trader Joe's and are at all interested in trying it, I wouldn't sleep on grabbing as many pints as you can carry and stocking up your freezer before they all sell out.