These mochi dango are among the most popular, often consumed in Japan.
An assortment of dango: an-dango (sweet), mitarashi dango (very sweet!), and nori-dango (savory)
Hanami dango come in three flavours - green tea, cherry blossom, and plain.
Dango usually consist of three white or colored balls. These balls are made of mochi, a glutinous rice paste, grilled and topped with an accompaniment. This is a very old sweet snack, and it used to be sold by street vendors near the temples along the old Tokaido road. Today, dango remain very popular with children.
Sweet or Salty?
The most popular of all is surely the an-dango, topped with a thick layer of red bean paste (azuki). There are also other versions such as mitarashi dango, topped with a thick sweet caramelised soy sauce. Hanami dango combines three flavors and three colors: green (tea), white (plain) and pink (cherry blossom).
There are also savory versions with teriyaki sauce or wrapped in nori seaweed sheets. They are typically sold in sets of two or three. Not to mention that most towns and regions have their own local versions of dango.
The Japanese taste
Dango go very well with green tea. What the Japanese undoubtedly prefer is the soft but firm texture of lightly toasted mochi. Try them, and you'll have a good sense of what is considered tasty in Japan.