Monday, November 7, 2016

Glancing Back to Local Food Displaced by Rice

For those who are in elementary school around the 1980s must have memorized the staple food in some areas in Indonesia. Maize is the staple food of the Madurese. Sago is identical with the people of Maluku and Irian Jaya (now Papua). Unfortunately, a number of local food is slowly but surely eliminated by the rice.

Rice, which is prepared from rice, it then became a national staple food-producing carbohydrates. During a visit to Papua few years ago, paddy rice plants become a common sight.

Eating rice has become imperative so that if the stomach not conceded rice, we are often told not eaten. Though already eating bread plus fruit. Or fill the morning with boiled cassava or cassava fries plus a cup of sweet tea.

Luckily, there are still some areas that sustain local food as a substitute for rice. Local knowledge about this food was able to ward off the rice crisis that hit some areas. If the government would give more attention to this case, broke down like this chaotic season when the rice is no longer an issue.

In Kampung Cireundeu, Cimahi, West Java, people already accustomed to eating rice cassava constellation alias. Although berembel-frills rice, but did not contain a constellation of products processed from the rice plant. Pure raw materials of cassava thrives on Elephant Mountain Langu, Gunung Jambu, and Mount Peak Salam surrounding Kampung Cireundeu.

Cassava grated and squeezed to take the starch. Having kept overnight and then dried in the sun. After drying, the cassava pulp milled and sieved so as to flour. Flour is still shaped coarse grains is called constellations. Then, where frills rice?

To eat, the constellations were given water and steamed for about 20 minutes. Rasi replacement was ready to eat rice with side dishes such as vegetables and fish or meat. Although so children cassava, but the level of education and public health are not much different from other regions.

Another Cireundeu, others also with Sigedong-Tretep village in Temanggung regency, Central Java. Here people replace rice with corn. The opposite of those penyantap rice, in Sigedong-Tretep people have not said that yet to concede a corn meal.

In fact, according to them, did not give them rice nasi power. 07.00 eat rice rice, two hours later was feeling hungry. Unlike the durable kenyangnya corn rice. In addition, corn rice is also durable. Can last up to three days.

To cultivate rice, corn depleted mengasapinya plucked dried on the stove for 2-3 months. Do not imagine that this corn smoked continuously. Kitchen villagers normally use a wood-fired stove. Now, on top of the stove is installed-the place to put the corn. Smoke from burning wood that is used for drying corn.

So, while cooking for daily needs, they simultaneously drying corn. Drying can also be done by drying in the sun. But, since this region is often rains because it is located in the mountains then this method is less practical.

Corn that has been dried and hulled seeds dipipil. Then the seed is milled or ground to separate the corn husk with its contents. Corn kernels and then soaked for three days. After that milled until smooth and creamy. Be cornmeal are ready to eat. Locals call sekelan.

To eat, sekelan brewed with warm water and stirred. Can also be steamed. To be durable, this sekelan steamed dried for 2-3 days and then stored. Well, sekelan who has undergone a process like this can last for three years.


There are many other sources of carbohydrates that can be used as a substitute for rice. Sago has been popular in Maluku and Papua despite the presence slightly shifted rice. In Papua, sago processed into papeda or sago. This porridge eaten while hot with a yellow sauce made of tuna or fish bumu mubara with turmeric and lemon.

As a substitute for rice carbohydrate sources, alternative food is not inferior in terms of numbers. Even higher carbohydrate content than the sago rice (84.7 g per 100 g compared to 78.9 g per 100 g). the problem is, the content of other nutrients defeated. Protein, for example, corn only contains 0.7 g per 100 g of rice while 6.8 g per 100 g.

To overcome this, inevitably have to complete it from a friend side dish that alternative food. If when eating rice rice accompanied with fish one piece, while eating sago added into two or three pieces of fish.

More scientific way is to add certain nutrients through methods of bio-fortification. Although still leaves about the GMO debate, but studies done in terms of food will produce a variety of alternative food which is equivalent to rice.

As a team from the University of Freiberg in Germany are trying to engineer things so that cassava contains beta-carotene which is more than natural cassava.

Beyond that, of course the problem of habituation. However, do not we already have a history of consuming alternative food? (Digest-online / Agus Surono)

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