Having recently discovered Asahi Grill, the home of famous oxtail soup, Max and I were not surprised to learn that the K Streets are home to other gustatory delights. Today we found the home of Ube Pancakes.
Ube (Dioscorea alata in the words of Livia Drusilla) is a Filipino word for a type of purple yam.
It is used extensively in the Philippines in all sorts of treats from cakes and buns to ice cream and jams.
People sometimes confuse the yam with the Okinawa sweet potato which is also purple. This is a grave error, punishable by extra servings of purple yam paste.
Wikipedia provides a somewhat nebulous definition of ube: “In English alone, aside from purple yam, other common names include greater yam, Guyana arrowroot, ten-months yam, water yam, white yam, winged yam, or simply yam.”
Thanks, Wiki. How about you explain why a purple yam is sometimes called a “white yam?”
What is this, Lewis Carroll day at Wikipedia? ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.” I get it: snark, slithy, jabberwocky and purple yam.
As befits the mixed up, blended, swirled, shaken and stirred ethnic recipe that is Honolulu itself, the home of good old American pancakes made with Filipino purple yams is…wait for it…a Korean restaurant.
Yes, we can now reveal that the home of ube pancakes is a place named Yogur Story. As far as Max and I can determine, “Yogur” means “Didja lose the “t” from your keyboard, Mr. Kim?”
Come to think of it, yogur does sound like something you’d read in “Through the Looking Glass” so maybe Wikipedia had the hang of it after all.
On the other hand, yogur sounds like something described under the heading “Distressed Bowel Syndrome” in The Lancet. But I digress
Ube pancakes get rave reviews on Yelp: “Light, fluffy, purple.”
Max and I might have stopped in for some of this goodness but, alas, Yogur Story is not open during our early morning prowling hours.
So again we trudged with empty bellies down the K Streets in search of things strange and wonderful.