The Philosophy of Polo Kependem for the Javanese Society & Its Benefits for the Human Body

"People living outside Java may not be familiar with the term polo kependhem. These food sources refer to tubers, the source of carbohydrates for the local Javanese along with rice. Not only filling, polo kependhem also has a philosophy and benefits for health."

Published by : administrator  -  28/09/2020 08:46 WIB

3 Minutes read.

There are various polo kependhem, such as cassava, sweet potato, uwi (Dioscorea alata), gembili (Dioscorea esculenta), suwek (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius), taro, gadung (Dioscorea hispida) and others. Polo kependhem is not only available in villages, but in big cities such as Surabaya, Solo, Jogja and many others.


Image source: jybmedia.com

In the 1960s, this group of tubers became a staple food for almost all of the people of the archipelago, because at that time rice was scarce due to pests and rats. Meanwhile, in the modern era, this food is no longer cultivated as the main commodity by farmers. It must be because rice is easier to get at an affordable price. Polo kependem becomes a side plant which is then widely processed as a snack or traditional snacks.

For the Javanese people, polo kependem has a philosophy, namely “neteli barang sing olo” which means putting off bad things, while the tree or kaspe has the philosophy of “karepe sepi ing pamrih” which means intending to do something selflessly. Judging from these things means that humans living in the world can survive in the midst of modernization life.


Image source: elvinprasetya15.blogspot.com

Polo kependem is also used as a tumpeng (cone of staple food) for a dish during ritual ceremonies which is equipped with various other food ingredients such as boiled corn, boiled bananas, boiled soybeans and various fruits from vines such as papaya and pumpkin.  The shape of the tumpeng polo kependem is not the same as the tumpeng in general, but the shape is parallel, which has a meaning as equal human life and human origin, that there is no difference in degrees, let alone caste.

This typical Javanese culinary food is easily found in markets or stalls in villages. However, Solo residents can find it at Pasar Gede Solo which is a traditional culinary center. Not only that, various food dishes, snacks, drinks and many others also become tantalizing meals.

Meanwhile, in the realm of health, polo kependem is rich content of nutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein, phosphorus, vitamins and others. This makes this food source can overcome several health problems, including: losing weight; maintain eye health; improve brain performance; protects the digestive system, has the potential to fight cancer, treat diabetes, and many others.

Polo kependem can be processed easily as food sources, such as boiled, fried, and steamed menus and is used as breakfast menu. In fact, polo kependem is also made into chips, cakes, donuts and refreshing kolak for breaking the fast.