I was just a casual passerby and almost missed them. Their delicious fragrance, wafted over and pulled me in search of the source. I was lead to a neat little Japanese tea shop called, Kissako.
There they were, velvety white spheres dripping with amber syrup, skewered over thin wooden spikes. The cheerful, round faced waitress told me they were Mitarashi dango. Rice flour dumplings, covered with syrup made from soy, sugar and starch.
I purchased two skewers for a couple of bucks and took a tentative first bite. There was an eruption of flavor, as the delectable dumpling melted in my mouth. Its sweetness wasn’t cloyingly saccharine, but wholesome in a way that made me crave more. I ate slowly, savoring each morsel.
After licking the syrup off my fingers, I went online to learn more about these goodies on a stick. Apparently, there is a different variety of dango for each season. That just means, Kissako’s chairs are going to see my ass quite often. The Japanese have a saying ‘ Hana yori dango‘ meaning, ‘Dumplings over flowers’. A proverb that declares a preference for practical things over aesthetics. I intend to try every single variety of dango out there, while concurring wholeheartedly.