Food is indeed a representation of history and culture. Around the world, the existence of certain meals must have views from a group of tribes or an individual. Especially in Indonesia where so many traditional foods enrich and identify specific cultures. Getuk, a traditional dessert from Magelang, Central Java, is one of them. It is known that Getuk was born in the Japanese colonial era. When the people struggled to find staples, they substituted rice with cassava for their source of carbohydrates. Cassava was opted as an alternative because of its easy plantation. They could cultivate cassava in a short period around their houses. Rather than waiting for weeks or even months to produce. That time the Japanese colonies also took over rice production and distribution, granting people with no rice for basic needs.
Innovation later departed from one figure from this region, turning cassava into a dessert named Getuk. It seemed that consuming cassava with no recipe only fried or steamed would make people lose appetite at some point. Therefore, he steamed the cassava and mashed it with sugar. Surprisingly, people loved it and started to produce more. The debut of Getuk crowded traditional markets as it had a local taste and local price. By the time, Getuk was also introduced by people who migrated from Central Java to other regions in Java and outside the island. The popularity of this traditional dessert is actually not only due to the cheap price and tasty flavors but also the nostalgia brought through every bite. The sense of home for those who are far away from hometowns. Those who work in urban cities with all western-influenced foods. Not to mention the philosophy of Getuk is another reason making it special. The presence of Getuk signs simplicity and creativity. It is a symbol of surviving through the obstacles that might happen in the middle of a fickle state of a nation.
Understanding certain values inside a piece of Getuk, Mandif Warokka the Head Chef of BLANCO par Mandif reinvented Getuk to adapt in the post-colonial era. Chef Mandif apparently has a special spot for this dish. He noticed that Getuk has its own side of elegance and finesse. Elegant in texture, a fine delicacy in flavor. Without reducing any less the traditional method of producing Getuk, he created a gastronomic version of Getuk. In the kitchen of this fine dining restaurant, cassava is still peeled, boiled and mashed. However, the secret is tucked in the mashing process. The Chef adds fine butter to elevate the elegance of its texture and vanilla to give delicacy. From the first time he recreated Getuk, the dessert has been transformed five times to escalate the taste and display.
Getuk 1.0, for example, was inspired by terrine underlined with raspberry jelly. The use of calamansi ice cream and raspberry jelly was to hint the taste of acidity balancing the flavors. Getuk 2.0, on the other hand, was inspired by Mont Blanc with additional dehydrated meringues and topped with peanut butter ice cream. Meanwhile Getuk 3.0, the shape was a little bit different. The Getuk was smashed and shaped like a classic cone sprinkled by almond crumble. Not leaving behind the tantalizing peanut butter ice cream. The transformation of Getuk 4.0 was a bit divergent in shape and ingredients. It formed a baked Alaska dessert, consisting of lemon meringue and filled with roasted coconut ice cream. Last but not least, the latest version called Getuk 5.0 is modified by cassava ravioli with palm sugar filling, coconut foam, grated roasted coconut, and peanut butter ice cream. A traditional recipe inside and a contemporary outside.