Tebaloi the Sarawak traditional biscuits . What is happening to it .

24Mar10

A sample of Tebaloi. Thanks to the supplier for this picture

“Tebaloi “is a snack associated with the Melanau people of Sarawak.
In the past it was a traditional biscuit in Sarawak. Nowadays Tebaloi is sold as a souvenir item for tourist and is sold in most Sarawak’s souvenir shops and airports. It is also not cheap .

Tebaloi, is a brittle snack, made of sago flour, eggs and sugar (very unhealthy I must add) . It is produced by many cottage and 6 small factories which are mostly located in the sago belt of Sarawak, Melanau areas mainly in the Mukah and Dalat areas.

Interested how to prepare your own Tebaloi? Read here: http://pejalai.blogsome.com/2006/06/26/p258/

The State Government has made many attempts to promote the Tebaloi industry. But this has never taken off and is still produced in a small scale. Just a few days ago , a Government Minister was a witness to a statement issued by a small local “ Hornbill Skyways “ that is considering adding Tebaloi to its onflight passenger’s menu .

I am sure if there is a wider market for Tebaloi the local biscuit factory such as Borneo Biscuits would have been producing it by the tons. But no. Something is not correct .

To appeal to the wider market a lot of things would have to be done . Such as improving the texture and taste of the snacks—make it more healthy ; it is too brittle and breaks up into small pieces. To reduce production cost is another as the present cost renders the biscuit too expensive to be eaten by the household . To increase production is also a must and this requires the technology to be improved as the present technology is at least 20 years old. And there is a need to promote this product to the wider market .

I would suggest that the entrepeneurs concerned should interest the Government Offices to buy a case each per month and either sell them to the staff or give Tebaloi as a present to their out of State visitors and this should boost the demand by another at least 30 %.

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