The tebaloi, one of Sarawak’s traditional past time snacks

The tebaloi, one of Sarawak’s traditional past time snacks

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Do you enjoy your breakfast munching biscuits or cookies by dunking them into your cup of coffee or hot chocolate? Or your afternoon tea served with biscuits and butter? Maybe some of you enjoy eating snacks while hanging out with your friends. Then, try out the tebaloi.

The tebaloi, or sago biscuit, is one of Sarawak’s traditional past time snacks. It is also one of the proud legacies and a delicacy of the Melanau, one of the many unique races in Sarawak. The tebaloi often comes in a rectangular shape, yellowish in colour, and in thin slices.

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While most of the known biscuits are made of wheat flour, this one is made of sago flour; a main ingredient to make the tebaloi, also one of the products of the processed sago palm extract. Some other ingredients used to make the tebaloi, mixed together with the sago flour, include grated coconut, sugar, and some eggs. What makes it different from the usual wheat flour-based biscuits is that the tebaloi has this distinctive starchy-sweet taste. It comes in three flavours; original (sago), pandan, or chocolate.

Most of the authentic tebaloi products originated from Mukah and Dalat districts in Sarawak, mainly because both of the districts are the centre for the production of tebaloi and also other sago palm-based food products, which is due to the abundant source of the sago palms. They thrive abundantly due to the fertile peat soil, creating large tracts of sago palm plantations within its coastal regions.

If you have the opportunity to travel to the Land of the Hornbills (a title representing Sarawak), you can bring yourselves a box or two of this authentic traditional snack as a souvenir for your loved ones, or just munch them off whenever you feel like you need a light snack. You can also order online through alibaba.com.

/// Written by Galileo Petingi, Malaysia