A Shift in Bakpia Identity: Bakpia Zaman Now VS Bakpia Jadoel | By: Citra Sekarjati

04 May 2021 | media_cpps
Article, Essay & Opinion, Main Slide

YogyakartaApart from being popular with culture and education center, Yogyakarta is a province that is also known for its abundant natural and culinary. Therefore, it is not surprising that this area is one of the most visited tourist destinations, both domestic and foreign tourists, every year. The Department of Tourism of Yogyakarta noted that, before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019, the growth of tourist arrivals to Yogyakarta increased by 15.15% from the previous year.

Yogyakarta, with its culinary, has one of the most identical food souvenirs favored by tourists, namely Bakpia. Most of the tourists buy the Bakpia while they are going to come home. Bakpia is sweet bean-filled moon cake-like pastry that is coated with flour and shaped, then baked. Based on its history, Bakpia is a form of acculturation between Chinese and Yogyakarta culture.

In the 1940s, Bakpia was brought by Chinese immigrants who lived in the Pathuk area (Ameer, in Nihayati, 2020). In China, Bakpia is similar to pork-filled cakes. However, since the majority of Indonesians are Muslim and forbidden to eat pork, the Bakpia filling was then replaced with sweet green beans (Eriyanto, 2018). The Chinese-Indonesian families usually enjoy the Bakpia as a family snack (Nihayati, 2020). In 1930, however, there was an economic depression in the Dutch East Indies (now: Indonesia), thus some of these Chinese-Indonesian families sold the Bakpia to increase their income (Nihayati, 2020). As time goes by, many home industries in the 1980’s started to sell Bakpia. This is indicated by the number of Bakpia that are sold under the brand according to the house number of the producer. 1992 was the peak of the rapid development of the Bakpia industry and began to be popular as a typical food souvenir of Yogyakarta.

Bakpia has many flavors over time. The flavors of classic Bakpia (known as Bakpia Jadoel) are green beans and red beans. Meanwhile, the modern Bakpia has more flavors, such as chocolate, cheese, nuts, green tea, coffee, fruits, etc. Currently, there is one modern Bakpia brand named Bakpia Tugu which is very different from that of the Bakpia Jadoel. The modern one is a steamed-mini bun like Bakpia with a filling of green beans, chocolate, cheese, chocolate brownies, and so on, that texture can melt in the mouth. Today’s young people call the Bakpia Tugu “Bakpia Zaman Now”. The Bakpia Zaman Now is no less in demand than the Bakpia Jadoel. Moreover, in one of its stores located in Jalan Kaliurang, there is often a long line of the buyers coming from outside the city who just want to enjoy it. The people carrying grocery bags from the Bakpia Tugu is easy to see at Yogyakarta airports and stations. The Bakpia Tugu has opened six branch stores within three years. It indicates that the innovation is successful and able to attract many tourists.

The phenomenon on typical culinary innovation in Yogyakarta confirms that there is a shift in the Bakpia identity along with the social context that always shows its change. The question that may come up is will the Bakpia Zaman Now shift the position of the Bakpia Jadoel among the typical culinary enthusiasts in Yogyakarta? or will this Bakpia Zaman Now dissolve the historical values inherent in the Bakpia Jadoel?

>An innovation must be interpreted in a positive way. Quoting Robbins and Coulter (2010), innovation is the result of creative ideas into useful products. Therefore, these typical culinary innovation products are creative products of the nation’s generation that must be highly appreciated, especially if they are able to improve the values of tourism sector as well as the regional economy. However, the historical value inherent in the typical culinary riches should not be neglected. In the next few years, there will be many variations on the shape, even the new flavors of Bakpia. Regardless of the shape and flavor of future Bakpia, it is a product of mutual respect among people with different cultures. Therefore, this attitude is what we need to protect and preserve.

So, which Bakpia team are you in? The Bakpia Zaman Now or the Bakpia Jadoel?


Dicky Eriyanto, 1310658032 (2018) Bakpia sebagai Salah Satu Identitas Budaya Yogyakarta dalam Penyutradaraan Film Dokumenter “Bakpia” dengan Gaya Ekspository. Undergraduate Thesis, Indonesia Institute of the Arts of Yogyakarta.

Robbins, Stephen P. dan Coulter, Mary. 2010. Tenth Edition Management. Jakarta: Erlangga

Nihayati, L. (2020). Dampak Sosial Perkembangan Bakpia dalam Industri Pariwisata di Pathuk Yogyakarta. Pringgitan, 01(01), 40–47. http://ejournal.stipram.ac.id/index.php/pringgitan/article/view/10

“https://bakpia25.com/sejarah-bakpia-pathok/article/sejarah-bakpia-pathok”>https://Bakpia25.com/sejarah-Bakpia-pathok/article/sejarah-Bakpia-pathok retrieved 30 January 2021

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*Citra Sekarjati, M.P.A. | Research Assistant at CPPS UGM  | Illustrator: M. Affen Irhandi/CPPS UGM