Ube has become popular across the globe in recent years for good reason. Long popular in Filipino cuisine, the tasty purple yam is delicious and gorgeous, and its vibrant hue has made a splash across social media in cupcakes, donuts, ice cream, and more.
As much as we love ube, though, it’s far from the only distinctive flavor used in the Philippines; here are some Filipino flavors that should be in the global spotlight.
Often described as “floral” and “sweet,” pandan’s stunning color makes it as pretty as it is tasty -- just like ube. A popular Pinoy dish using this flavor is buko pandan, a chilled dessert that combines pandan with coconut.
Another key ingredient in buko pandan, buko (also known as coconut) lends itself well to sweets. Buko pie is another beloved Filipino dish with this ingredient as the star, while a refreshing glass of buko juice makes for a lightly sweet treat on a hot day.
The Philippines is home to some of the best mangoes in the world. While there’s nothing like biting into a juicy piece of fresh mango, dried varieties are also delicious, and a bit of mango extract makes for a delicious cake.
This bright citrus fruit gives you a healthy serving of flavor and Vitamin C. Often used to marinate dishes, calamansi is a key ingredient in foods like sinigang and kinilaw and is also served as a beverage.
Invented by Maria Orosa during a tomato shortage in the Philippines, banana ketchup is a sweeter take on tomato ketchup. Delicious as a dipping sauce, it can also be used in a variety of dishes such as barbecue and spaghetti.
Mung beans might not sound tasty, but this versatile flavor packs a punch in a variety of dishes. It can be found in soups like ginisang munggo and sweetened for desserts like hopia munggo.