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Sejarah Cap Cai: Makanan Istana Yang Dibuang

Sejarah Cap Cai: Makanan Istana Yang Dibuang

KOTA TOEA — Tahukah Anda dengan makanan cap cai atau ada yang ngucap cap jai, tentunya bagi penggerma Sess Food sudah tidak asing lagi.

Cap cai selalu lekat di benak sebagai aneka sayur yang berkuah dengan cita rasa gurih.

Meskipun kondang di Indonesia ternyata makanan asal China ini justru tidak populer bahkan kurang dikenal di negerinya sendiri.

Konon dulu sejarahnya , dulu  cap cai  adalah merupakan upaya spekulatif koki istana memasak sisa-sisa sayuran.

“Di zaman dinasti, raja tidak mau makan makanan sisa,” ujar pakar kuliner peranakan Tionghoa, Aji Bromokusumo kepada KompasTravel Rabu (16/1/2019).

Akhirnya, daripada membuang banyak bahan sayur yang tidak habis, koki istana berinisiatif mencampurkan aneka macam sayuran tersebut menjadi masakan baru.

Lambat-laun, cap cai pun dipandang sebagai makanan murahan. Karena dibuat dari bahan-bahan sisa, cap cai tidak dianggap sebagai “masakan”.

Lalu, bagaimana orang-orang Indonesia bisa mengenal cap cai?

Kuliner cap cai.(Shutterstock)

Kemungkinan besar, cap cai dibawa dari daerah Fujian, wilayah menetapnya orang-orang Hokkian.

Dalam perkembangannya, orang-orang Hokkian inilah yang dominan secara jumlah dari etnis Tionghoa di Indonesia.

Menurut Aji, para imigran Tionghoa yang tiba di Indonesia turut memasak cap cai karena negeri ini kaya akan aneka jenis sayur-mayur.

Di sisi lain, pangan daging tidak begitu terjangkau. Tak heran bila cap cai yang berbasis sayuran dan mudah dibuat menjadi andalan dalam kondisi tersebut.

Hal ini pula yang membuat cap cai tidak punya pakem khusus menyangkut jenis sayur-mayur yang terkandung di dalamnya.

“Bebas. Terserah mau isinya apa, campurkan semuanya, sah,” tegas Aji.

Asal-muasal ini sekaligus mematahkan anggapan bahwa istilah “cap cai” bermakna “sepuluh macam sayuran” (cap: sepuluh; cai: sayuran).

Aji menyimpulkan, anggapan ini kemungkinan besar salah kaprah. Kesimpulan itu dapat diselidiki dari asal-usul kata pembentuk “cap cai”.

Istilah “cap cai” dibentuk oleh kata “za” yang berarti campuran dan “cai” yang berarti sayuran, dalam bahasa Mandarin.

Dalam dialek Hokkian, “campuran” disebut sebagai “cap”. Kata itu punya kesamaan lafal dengan “cap” yang berarti sepuluh, tetapi berlainan versi huruf kanjinya.

Sumber Ternyata Cap Cai Tidak Dikenal di China


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