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  • Writer's pictureYasir Sheikh

Dango, Japan’s delectable sweet snack

Through the years, Japanese food has become popular around the world. Their high-quality ingredients, the intriguing combination of flavors and the refinement of each dish is an umami experience.

During my recent trip to Japan I savored some irresistible specialties that I have not seen nor tasted before. One of them was a sweet Japanese snack called Mitarashi dango. A delicious sticky, chewy and irresistible rice dumpling skewered per 3–5 pieces per stick and smothered in a sweet soy sauce glaze.

Within a 10-minute walk from my hotel in Kyoto to Gion (the historic city center)

there was a small shop where 3 old ladies were selling both Dango and Mochi balls.

The shop was open from early morning until late at night where people patiently lined up to buy their dango’s.

This delectable snack originated from the Kamo Mitarashi Tea House in Kyoto. The dango was thought to be made as an offering for gods and the name was given after the bubbles of the mitarashi, a fountain of purifying water placed at the entrance of a famous shrine in the city of Kyoto. Street vendors in Kyoto started to sell dango as a snack which later became immensely popular with many visitors.

What I like about this snack are the contrasting textures and flavors. The soy glaze makes it mildly sweet, gooey, and savory without making it too sweet. You will recognize it by its glassy glaze and slightly charred aroma. In Kyoto they serve this delicious snack with a cup of hot green tea.

If you like exotic sweets, this is a sweet snack to try when you visit Kyoto.

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