purple sweet potatoes & lumpia trucks

I just had a revelation (received from a post on thekitchn.com). I always assumed that the bright purple sweet potatoes called ube are native to the Philippines. It turns out they are native to the Americas! Yet they are found in dishes in both Japan and the Philippines, and, I suspect, in other regions of Asia too. Why? No doubt, the geographic distribution of ube comes from the Spanish galleon trade.

So, trade creates all kinds of interesting combinations. Chef Marvin of Burnt Lumpia makes ube gnocchi. He manages a food truck in L.A. called The Manila Machine, where he dreams up exciting dishes like pork/pineapple adobo, escabeche (sweet & sour fish), sukang sili (spicy vinegar) and Spam sliders. Locally, I’m really starting to appreciate the local food on wheels — of which there is a lot. In fact, I suspect that Castroville (and maybe Watsonville) is the food truck capitol of the Monterey Bay area. At Pezzini Farmstand on Nashua Rd., I often stop at the Hwy. 1 Express truck to pick up lumpia, Filipino style tacos, or fried artichokes. Yum. More on food trucks later…

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  1. Pingback: Deliciosos Tacos | Local Nomad

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