The Ubi or Purple Yam (Dioscorea alata) is an essential and healthy crop in the Philippines and is considered a high-value root crop. Bohol, with its agricultural lands, grows many varieties of this expensive root crop. Sandy loam or silt loam fertile, well-drained soil areas with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C are ideal zones for growing ubi.
One famous Ubi variety that is abundant on the island is the Kinampay, which is grown and harvested with round, smooth roots. Considered the Queen of Philippine Yams, the Kinampay is famous for its distinct aroma and taste. This root crop is best grown during the start or right after the end of the wet season. It needs sufficient moisture within six to eight months during the growing season. Once its foliage starts to appear yellow or dry up, harvest can start. Before transporting, the healthy harvest must be divided from the diseased ones. Moreover, the crops must be arranged in a manner in which rubbing of tubers can be prevented.
The Ubi is a versatile ingredient and can be prepared in various ways but it is the Ube Jam that is Bohol’s well-loved and prized delicacy. Other than that, this tuber can be served boiled, baked, or roasted. Ube flakes and chips are also available. And of course, shriveled slices of the Purple Yam are used for ice cream, cakes, and pastries. Lastly, its peeling serves as a raw material for food coloring.