“Dango”, Round Dumpling, is a Japanese traditional confection made of rice flour. Rice flour is rounded to a bite-sized balls and boiled or steamed. They are often served on “Takegushi”, bamboo skewers, which are are called “Kushi-Dango”. (串団子)
“Dango” is flavored in various ways. Popular ones are:
- Dipped into sweetened soy sauce based sauce and grilled with charcoal, – called “Mitarashi-Dango”.
- Served with “Azuki Anko”, sweetened red bean paste, toppings, as in the second picture.
- Served with “Kinako”, roasted soy bean flour and sugar, toppings.
“Dango” is enjoyed throughout the year, but especially popular at the “Tsukimi”, moon viewing party, as an offering to the moon, and at “Hanami”, cherry blossom viewing party. “Dango” served at “Hanami” is often prepared as “Sanshoku-Dango”, colored in three colors, as seen in the first picture.
The old Japanese saying “Hana yori Dango” (Dumplings rather than flowers) came from this “Hanami” situation. It means that people are actually more interested in taking the practical (enjoy “Dango”) rather than the aesthetic (cherry blossom viewing).
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