Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Terengganuspeakers are familiar with the sentence
Makang sekkuk pak seggi atah sejjid
(Eating square biscuits on the mosque)
This is more of a tongue-twister of sort although I would not recommend it to anyone with a mouthful of crackers whether you are in a mesjid, misjed or sejjid.
Sekkuk pak seggi (square biscuits) are what some Terengganu folks call the cream crackers. Some of my West Coast friends morbidly call the crackers biskut mayat probably due to the fact that these crackers are usually served at funerals by neighbours of the deceased.

Some Terengganu folks also know those crackers as biskut/sekkuk tawor simply because they are not sweet compared to another ubiquitous biscuit - Biskut Marie. Apparently, Marie is not a brand. It is a type of biscuit that is round and sweet. Probably like a Marie that you might know. Whoever makes the Marie biscuits (Khong Guan, Arnott etc.) will have the word Marie in the middle and a design around the edges.
Marie biscuits were perennial in the dining room when I was in STAR, Ipoh for my Form Six. I am sure it is the same with other school hostels. 48 odd years down the road, I still see biskut Marie rescuing hungry children everywhere.

What I do not see is biskut cottek. Biskut chottek is a thumb-sized oval biscuit with a dab of sugar-flower twirled on top. This is the reason they were also called sekkuk bunga. When I was a small boy and I had some coins with me, I used to dash to Kedai Bunga opposite the Kuala Terengganu Fire Station and bought some biskut cottek. They were sold by weight and they were always displayed in big square tins with a glass window. Modern packaging came very much later.

I also remember other stuffs sold in those windowed tin cans.There were those delicious crispy sticks, which, if not for their stick-like shape would be considered biscuits too. We used to bite each end, dunk them in our tea or coffee and used the stick as a straw. We call them sekkut kerah.
Alas, there are no native biscuits to speak of. The closest thing to a homegrown biscuit is something made of sago flour and nissang (palm sugar). It is not as big as sekkut Marie but just as round.Unlike sekkut Marie, there are no letters on it but if you look underneath, you can see imprints of the pandanus mat where it last sat before being baked. Terengganu people call it kerepek sagu and this is one of the occasion where I beg to differ. Kerepek sagu is not like kerepek ubi, kerepek minja or kerepek pisang. For all intents and purposes it is a biscuit and not a kerepek. I hope this injustice is put right.

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