For the last year, I've seen various people post videos and pictures of purple-hued desserts. And now Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream is available for a limited time Those confections weren't all artificially colored. Nope, they were made from a tuber called Ube.
Now, this isn't a comparison between brands of any sort. I've only seen maybe another brand or two of ube flavor on shelves at my local H-Mart.
Nope, this review will only focus on Trader Joe's take on Ube Ice Cream.
The first thing I noticed is that this Ube is more of a lilac hue rather than the intense purple that I've seen elsewhere. Likewise, the taste of the ube is subtle as well.
Trader Joe's uses puree to get the flavor of the ube. Many other companies use ube purple yam extract which will yield a far more purple product in terms of both color and taste.
The next thing I noticed after trying this was how hard it is to describe what Ube tastes like. It isn't a classically sweet flavor. At best it's like a cross between vanilla and pistachio with hints of coconut. If you've ever been to a restaurant where flavors like Red Bean or Green Tea are offered, it's pretty close in sweetness to those flavors.
And while I've had green tea and red bean ice cream in sushi restaurants, ube is a staple dessert item in the Philippines to which the purple yam is used quite a bit.
And those flavors it is really the ice cream base that is driving the sweetness. So minus the sweetness, what you are left with is a lightly nutty-tasting base.
And speaking of the base, I'm sorry to disappoint those of you who are dairy-free. This is a classic ice cream base with cream and eggs. However, if you are team dairy-free then the new almond ice cream is pretty solid.
Other ube products
Trader Joe's has carefully branded their ube line and they have used similar packaging on all of them. Unfortunately, none of the ube products is available year-round. So far the ube products that have been offered are:
Frequently asked questions
The following are common reader questions about this product
Yes, however the ube ice cream is available seasonally at the end of spring and early summer.
Trader Joe's ube ice cream is a custard based ice cream with ube puree. If you've never had ube then it is like vanilla and pistachio.
For $2.99 this is reasonably priced but be warned, this appeared last summer and disappeared with the season. So if you love it, I'd stock up because it seems to only appear in the summertime.
Would I buy this again? For me, Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream is a once-a-year purchase. I enjoy it, but there are other flavors I enjoy more.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
The pint of Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream:
The nutritional information and the ingredients
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream
Product Name: Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream
Product Description: Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream is seasonal ice cream with a classic Philippines dessert flavor.
Trader Joe's Ube Ice Cream is a nutty and contains a classic Philippine flavor to basic ice cream.
- A unique, nutty flavor profile for those of you who are new to ube
- A pretty color ice cream that makes people go "ooo...what's that?!"
- Seasonal, so if you love this then it might disappear off of store shelves by the end of summer