Getting to Know Kasbi, the Name for Cassava in Raja Ampat – Besides having a beautiful underwater charm, the Raja Ampat Islands, West Papua also has a variety of unique culinary delights. What’s that?

When staying in a resident’s homestay, a traveler will be served breakfast of tea, coffee, fried bananas, or fried cassava. During the day, the traveler will serve papeda, yellow fish sauce with stir-fried vegetables with papaya flowers. What a delicious it is!.

Cassava in Raja Ampat is called kasbi. Besides being fried, cassava in Raja Ampat is processed to extract its starch or better known as sago kasbi which is whiter than the starch from the sago tree. The starch from the sago palm is white, slightly cloudy and yellowish. Cassava (Manihot esculenta) is not native to Indonesia, cassava was first cultivated by the Mayans in Yucatan, Mexico.

Cassava is a type of tuber plant from the Euphorbiaceae family, native to the tropics of Latin America. Cassava is cultivated for its tuber roots which produce cassava flour.

Historically, the cassava plant was first introduced to Congo, Africa by the Portuguese in 1558. The Portuguese introduced the cassava plant to Maluku in the 16th century, the Portuguese brought cassava seeds from Brazil. Apart from the Portuguese, cassava was also introduced to the rest of the world by the Spanish.

Cassava is very popular in Indonesia. In Indonesian, cassava is known as Ubi or Ketela Pohon. While the Sundanese call cassava with Sampeu and the Javanese call it Pohung or Telo Kaspe.

Telo Kaspe is a combination of two words from Spanish and Portuguese. Telo in Javanese or Ketela in Malay. The word of ‘Ketela’ comes from Spanish, from the word ‘castilla’ it is read castile. Castilla itself is a region in Spain. The Castilla people participated in the voyage to the Maluku islands and introduced the cassava plant.

Cassava [Singkong] in the Sangihe language is called Bungkahe, by the people of Gorontalo and Tolitoli it is called Kasubi. Butonese call cassava Kaopi.

In addition, the people of Maluku and Papua call cassava by the name Kasbi. Kaspe, Kasubi, Kasbi, Bungkahe, and Kaopi come from the word cassava coming from Portuguese. “Cassava” in Portuguese was also adopted in English as “cassava”.

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