Indonesian Traditional Use of Cassava

Who doesn’t know cassava? Every parts from its roots to its leaves can be processed into various food, which make it very popular in Indonesian dishes and snack. The root has a delicate flavour and can be turned into flour that can be used in cookies, cakes or bread. Cassava is the third largest source of food carbohydrates in the tropics, after rice and maize.. Indonesia is the third largest producer of cassava, hence it is widely used in the local market as well.

For Indonesians, cassava is commonly used as a main source of carbohydrate to replace rice. Cassava can be turned into tiwul, which is made from dried cassava called gaplek. This was especially important during Japanese colonization in Indonesia when Indonesians mainly eat tiwul as the main source of energy.

The leaves of cassava is rather popular in Padang cuisine, to simply be blanched and served with sambal or turned into curried cassava leaves. Every Padang restaurant will have these dishes if you want to try.

If you ever go to the traditional market and see food vendor selling traditional sweets, you might came across sawut. This traditional sweet food is made from grating cassava, combining it with palm sugar and steaming it to achieve the final result. Usually it is served with grated coconut to balance the flavour. Another popular sweet food would probably be getuk, which most of you might know already. Getuk is rather popular in Java as a sweet snack. Its soft texture is created by mashing boiled cassava roots into a doughy batter.

Apart from that, a unique food that can be produced with cassava would be tapai or peuyeum in Sundanese language. Tapai is a kind of fermented cassava, which usually is used an ingredients for sweet dessert and alcoholic beverage.

Who would have thought that such a humble root vegetable plays a very important part in Indonesian society. Cassava itself is rather easy to grow and we have some at Blueboots Farm, which our farmers turn into yummy fried cassava when we harvest them.

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