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10 Gorontalo’s Best Local Foods that You Must Try

by Vina Krisna Yanti
Bilenthago (Photo by by Phinemo.com)

Travelling for foods always sounds great. Especially if you’re travelling to be able to get a taste of the local foods. And since Indonesia is so diverse with more than 17.000 islands to visit, you can just simply call it a heaven of local foods.

Every region in Indonesia has their own specialties of local foods. Local foods in Medan, local cuisines of Aceh, local cuisines of Bangka Belitung, and tasty Maluku foods.

You name them all. There are countless local foods that can’t even be mentioned here. And out of them all, we’ll discuss about Gorontalo’s local foods now.

Even though the local foods in Gorontalo is not as well known as the other regions’, the taste can’t be underestimated. The local foods have been passed down and passed on over the years, creating an authentic recipe that’s unbeatable. To introduce you to another episode of Indonesia’s culinary taste, here’s a list of 10 Gorontalo’s best local foods that you must try.

1. Binte Biluhuta

Binte Biluhuta

To start your Gorontalo’s local foods tour, we have Binte Biluhuta. This food can be consumed anytime. It’s a perfect dish for those who can’t enjoy vegetables as it adds seafood like shrimp and skipjack tuna in its recipe. The name Binte itself means corn while Biluhuta means watered.

The ingredients reflect where the name comes from. It’s made from glutinous white corn, grated coconut, shrimp, shredded skipjack fish, which are then poured with various kinds of Gorontalo’s typical spices. It tastes sweet and savory, a perfect combination that makes you want more plates after another. It becomes even tastier with a few drops of lemon juice.

2. Bilenthago

Bilenthago

Bilenthago is another Gorontalo’s fish based local food. It’s made from cleaned tilapia fish that’s given spices such as shallots, red chilies, pecans and tomatoes. It’s then wraped in a banana leaf that’s then fried. The use of banana leaf gives unique aroma that makes it tastes even greater.

The use of the banana leaf in the process of frying the Bilenthago doesn’t only give certain aroma to the food. But, it also prevents the Bilenthago to be overcooked. If you want to eat like a true Indonesian, you can try eating this local food with a plate of warm rice. It’ll be super delicious.

3. Ilabulo

Ilabulo (Photo by Indonesiakaya.com)

Next, you have a rather familiar looking dish if you’re a fan of Indonesian foods. Yes, the next local food on our list, Ilabuo, somehow looks like pepes, a grilled food that’s wrapped in banana leaf. However, the ingredients of this food is different from the usual pepes in Indonesia. It’s because Ilabuo is made of sagoo and chicken’s liver, may be that’s why it’s black in color.

The sagoo and chicken’s liver are mixed with coconut milk and various Gorontalo’s local spices, creating a dish with wonderful taste. It’s said that Ilabuo has been consumed since 15 BC and was consumed by the royal family. So, if you want to get a taste of the Gorontalo’s royal food, have a bite of this Ilabuo.

4. Saraba

Saraba (Photo by Ensiklopedi.dapurrakyat.id)

After 3 savory foods, you must be quite thirsty. Here, have a sip of your Gorontalo’s local drink, Saraba. It tastes sweet, warm and healthy as it’s made from palm sugar and ginger.

This is a perfect drink to drink during a cold day or night. The locals of Gorontalo also believe that this drink can help you regain your energy. So, make sure to have this on your cold night.

5. Iloni Chicken

Iloni Chicken (Photo by Portal Wisata)

Let’s continue your savory journey. Here. we have Iloni Chicken, a traditional Gorontalo’s grilled chicken. The specialty of this food lies on the use of spices that spice up the taste of the chicken. The spices include onion, garlic, turmeric, candlenut, and many other spices that makes it tastes rich and powerful.

The spices is also combined with coconut milk, making it tastes savory. Eating Iloni Chicken with a plate of warm rice will be super enjoyable. Plus, if you want, you can also have sambal and some raw vegetables to level up your local foods experience.

6. Putungo

Putungo (Phoyo by by @rayana_anastasya on Instagram)

To keep you healthy, here’s a vegetable-based Gorontalo’s local food called Putungo. It’s a simple and daily Gorontalo people’s meal that’s commonly eaten with a plate of warm rice

. It’s made of sliced banana heart or banana blossom. The banana heart is mixed up with grated coconut, shredded fish and chillies. It’s also served in many ways according to your preference. You can have it stir-fried or as soup.

Just keep in mind that Gorontalo people love spicy foods, just like the majority of Indonesian. This also applies to this food. Therefore, if your spicy tolerance is low, you better prepare some glasses of water. Since this food is a kind of daily meal, you can easily find it on local food stals beside the roads.

7. Sabongi

Sabongi (Photo by Cookpad.com)

Now, after a row of main savory foods, it’s time for desserts! To begin with, we have Sabongi, a local dessert of Gorontalo. It tastes sweet and soft in your mouth, giving you the pleasant feeling when eating a dessert.

It’s made from casava and banana, giving it natural sweetness. It’s said that this food is a favorite dessert of the Gorontalo king in the past. Well, if you want another royal-family-like-experience, try this Sabongi!

8. Popolulu

Popolulu (Photo by Cookpad.com)

With its cute round shape, Popolulu is a sweet, traditional dessert that’s made from sweet potato. This dessert is favored by many Gorontalo people from across age differences. From children to the elderly. Almost everyone enjoys having this popolulu as their dessert. That’s why you can easily find it being sold by the local food vendors on the street.

9. Tili Aya

Tili Aya (Photo by gorontalofamily.org)

Tili aya is also liked by many Gorontalo people. However, this food is rather special. It’s because it’s usually sold around the moment of Ramadan, the holiday of Moslems.

It’s made from palm sugar, eggs, and coconut milk. The dough is ten placed on banana leaf and shaped into a square shape with the banana leaf. It’s then steamed until it’s fully cooked.

10. Brenebon Ice

Brenebon Ice (Photo by Semangat45.co)

Finally, to top all of your Gorontalo’s local foods journey, we have this super appetizing dessert called Brenebon ice. It’s a refreshing, sweet ice which sweetness comes from red beans.

But, as time goes by, there are more combinations for the toppings of this brenebon ice. People now add syrup, chocolate ice cream, pudding, avocado and even durian onto the ice. Well, if you have this, what would you like as the topping?

After giving your tummy some happiness and yourself some energy, you can have a tour in Gorontalo. Actually, there are many things to do in Gorontalo. But, as our recommendation, you can start by exploring the beautiful beaches in Gorontalo. And of course, anytime you’re hungry, you can just have one or two local foods on this list.

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