Trader Joe's Just Introduced A Versatile New Ube Product

The aesthetically-pleasing purple ube is a staple in Filipino cuisine. However, in recent years, it's captured the attention of many, including one U.S. grocery store chain by the name of Trader Joe's. Adding to their collection of one-of-a-kind goodies, the brand just unveiled a new and limited edition ube spread.

Since Californian entrepreneur Joe Coulombe opened the doors of the first Trader Joe's (TJ's) in 1967, the chain has been wildly successful. Tapping into a market of well-traveled consumers that Coulombe thought mainstream grocers were ignoring (via CNN), TJ's is a fan-favorite thanks to its quirky vibe and unique private-label items, such as the new ube spread. 

A riff on Filipino ube halaya, Trader Joe's version is made with puréed ube, butter, cream, coconut cream, sugar, sea salt and a splash of purple carrot juice to give it that extra purple hue. Undoubtedly beautiful, the confection also promises to deliver on flavor. Reminiscent of vanilla and toasted pistachio, the mellow tasting tuber brings a luxurious, buttery richness to the spread, making it a super versatile ingredient.

How to ube-ify anything

While the ube spread is creating a buzz through the Trader Joe's community, it's not the first time the brand has welcomed ube-flavored treats. It previously carried purple pretzels, waffle mix, ice cream, tea cookies and even mochi. But unlike the products that came before it, TJ's ube spread is a ready-to-use item, allowing it to be transformed in endless ways.

Taking to Instagram, fans were quick to offer ways of how the spread could be used. Beyond dipping fruit or topping yogurt and oatmeal, some suggested using the ube mixture to fill mochi, macarons, hand pies, and even stuffed French toast. Swirling a dollop into baked goods like cakes and brownies was also mentioned, in addition to creating ube-flavored ice cream.

For a slightly savory take, other Instagram users mentioned folding the ube spread into whipped goat cheese that could be used to top crostini — but that's not all. Pretty purple beverages were also suggested. Think: lavender-coloured hot chocolate, smoothies, milkshakes, and maybe even a frozen cocktail. 

If you're still at a loss for inspiration, Serious Eats advises drawing inspiration from Filipino cuisine and to use TJ's ube spread inside of brioche-style ensaymadas, on top of crispy coconut latik, or mixed into halo-halo. How's that for versatility?