One can find various authentic treats in various shapes and tastes at every corner of this country. During a recent trip to Makassar, I came across so many choices of local delicacies that made my excursion an even better experience – for both the mind and the tummy.
It’s hard to find someone who’s unfamiliar with the sweet-tasting Pisang Epe (grilled and flattened banana covered in palm sugar syrup), which has become somewhat of an iconic delicacy in Makassar. Usually sold using pushcarts by the side of the road, you can find many Pisang Epe sellers in Pantai Losari.
This yellow-coloured cake may have a similar appearance to your common Kue Bolu (sponge cake), but you’ll notice the difference once it nestles inside your mouth. Its soggy texture gives off a creamy yet zesty trace to your taste buds. Trivial fact: Cucuru Bayao (egg cake) is a compulsory dish at every wedding in Makassar.
Barongko (steamed dough made from ripe banana, coconut milk, and egg wrapped in banana leaf) is a traditional cake that features a velvety texture and a mouth-watering sugary flavour. Its character has led it to also be known as Puding Pisang (banana pudding). Besides its status as a daily staple, Barongko is required to be present for any type of family or traditional ceremony.
Its peculiar name may not sound easy to our ears, yet its shape and filling leave us in no doubt that Jalangkote is indeed what we would usually call Kue Pastel (fried pastry with filling) in Jakarta. One of the locals’ most favourite snacks, Jalangkote is quite easy to obtain in Makassar due to the many shops and eateries that have it on offer.
From its rectangular shape, white-coloured dough and its pandanus leaf container, I assumed that Kue Pelita is similar to Kue Lampu-Lampu (rice flour cake with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk) from Manado. The differentiating factor is the filling or the bottom layer of Kue Pelita, which is made from a mixture of duck egg. Sweet and savoury in flavour, it’ll leave a long-lasting impression on your palate.
One of the most sought-after traditional delicacies in Makassar, especially during Ramadan. It has a unique taste and aroma that emanates from its banana leaf wrapping. Doko-Doko Cangkuning (rice flour cake with potato, sugar and coconut milk) is the perfect company to a cup of tea or coffee in the afternoon.