Where Does Cassava Come From?
Cassava is a plant that is familiar to Indonesians as “village food” because it is often considered lower-class food. However, not many people know that cassava is not a native plant from Indonesia. Cassava comes from South America which grows wild in forests that were then developed in pre-historic times in Brazil and Paraguay. Furthermore, the Portuguese nation spread this plant throughout the world.
The first time cassava entered Indonesia in hundreds of years ago around the 16th century which was brought by the Portuguese to Maluku during the Dutch East Indies colonial era. Not only bringing cassava, but the Portuguese also made a program to grow cassava and began to be grown commercially in 1810. This was done because this plant had great potential to be produced.
Cassava began to enter East Java Regency in 1852. But at that time it did not get much attention because cassava was not very popular in Java. It took a long time for cassava to spread to other areas, especially to Java. Even until 1875 the consumption of cassava in Java was still low.
However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the consumption of cassava began to increase rapidly. Not only is consumption increasing, but cassava cultivation is also getting more and more popular. On the island of Java, cassava has become the prima donna and its productivity has increased dramatically. Increased cultivation of cassava is in line with the rapid population growth of Java Island and coupled with rice production that has lagged behind population growth. Until now, cassava has made a big contribution to society. No doubt many farmers choose this plant to be planted because of its high demand.
The Benefits of Cassava Plant
In the song lyrics, cassava has the nickname of “a wooden stick” that can become a plant. This is because cassava is a plant that is easy to grow, even in barren areas where the soil is poor in nutrients. To plant cassava, it is enough to stick the stem of a certain size into the soil. This plant does not require special care and usually has a fairly large yield after a planting period of approximately 9 months.
The potential for exploiting all parts of this plant is also great. The leaves are rich in iron so they are often used as a vegetable. Tubers are high in carbohydrates and have more calories than rice, so cassava can be used as a staple food. Cassava is the third-largest staple food after rice and corn for Indonesian people.
Is Cassava Called Low-Class Food?
The history and advantages of cassava above should be able to prove that cassava is not a low-class food. Especially now that there are many processed cassava foods that are delicious, nutritious, and have an attractive appearance for consumption. The way the Indonesian people consume cassava generally is by doing simple processing, namely by boiling, steaming, or frying it. Cassava is often served with hot tea as a meal for breakfast or when relaxing.
In Indonesia, there are many other ways to consume cassava, namely by processing it into a distinctive traditional food. Various traditional food creations from processed cassava that are often found in the community include getuk, tape, tiwul, combro, misro, sawut, and many more. The variety of cassava processing can add to the taste to be more delicious so that more people are interested in consuming cassava. Of course, the processed cassava can be used as a snack that will fill your stomach.