Yum Yams — “a celebration of all things ube” — will return for another year at the end of September.
Ube — the pleasing, deep-purple potato originally cultivated in the Philippines — has taken the country’s culinary landscape by storm over the past decade. This bright starchy food has all the perfect makings for a viral food ingredient: It’s evidently a nutritious food with an exotic backstory, and its naturally rich purple hue comes from a hefty dose of anthocyanins, which is a purple carotenoid.
It’s little wonder why ube has morphed into a quirky, au naturel way to liven up everything from donuts and ice creams, to potato chips and sushis. Now in its third iteration, SF’s foremost food festival dedicated to the vegetable is slated to be held on Saturday, September 24th, from noon to 6 p.m. at Kapwa Gardens at 967 Mission Street, inside the SOMA Pilipinas Filipino Heritage District.
Started in 2019, Yum Yams is a product of Kapwa Gardens, an event and community space project from Kultivate Labs — the SoMa-based nonprofit helping bring economic opportunities for local businesses and artists, particularly those with Filipinox roots — and has grown into a calendar staple for all ages.
The idea behind Yum Yams isn’t only to signal boost SF’s thriving Filipino community, but to host a happening that also doubles as a metaphor for the importance of cultural diversity and offering a place for local makers to sell their purplish goods.
“Ube is a distinct Pilipino flavor with an equally distinct look,” Kapwa Gardens reminds us in a press release. “Made from boiled, mashed purple yams, its slightly nutty and vanilla taste can be found in an array of yummy sweet and savory foods, which we celebrate at Yum Yams.”
24 vendors (thirteen food ones and eleven retail businesses) will be participating in this year’s Yum Yams event. While each one of the participating bakers, makers, and artisans looks to have astounding offerings, The Bread Basket Bakery’s ube-filled croissants and Ube Area’s basque cheesecakes look *clutch.*
Tickets for Yum Yams are free, but Kapwa Gardens is accepting sliding-scale donations that will help them continue to host future events; for more information on this year’s Yum Yams event, including a full list of retail and food vendors, visit kapwagardens.com/events/yumyams-sept2022