Popular Sweets in Aso, Ikinari-dango

Good day everyone!

Have you heard of Ikinari-dango and do you know the origin of how did the name of these sweets came by?

It is a traditional local sweets of Kumamoto prefecture, made by wheat flour kneaded into a dough sheet filled with thick sweet bean paste and steamed sweet Japanese potato.

It has an exquisite taste which taste slightly salty and has a sticky texture on the dough, the sweetness of Japanese sweet potato and the sweet bean paste are commonly serve as a popular snack as well as a souvenir.

By the way, Sweet potatoes are nutritious, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and vegetables high in carotene.

History of Ikinari Dango

During the Edo period, a feudal lord who visited the foot of Aso Mountain ate Ikinari dango and was surprised and delighted with the exquisite taste, that was how Ikinari dango came to be widely known.

And in Kumamoto dialect, “Ikinari (いきなり)” which refers to easy, simple or immediate.

In the olden days, quick simple method in preparation of this traditional Japanese steamed confectionery, using merely Japanese sweet potato wrapped with a dough, steamed hot to serve them to the guest who came suddenly, unexpectedly. Ikinari (いきなり- which means suddenly in Japanese, was the origin source of Ikinari Dango. And it is traditionally served on many occasions. These days, the dough besides wrapping with sweet potatoes, it is also filled with azuki red bean and can be in fine-grained bean paste(Koshi-an-こし餡) or whole red bean paste (Tsubu-an, つぶ餡).

Each specialty store has their own unique taste and variations handmade by the locals in Aso, if you come to Aso, why don’t come by Michi No Eki Aso and try a few varieties to make a comparison?

There are also frozen ones which can be kept for a longer period and it’s best to consume it hot and you can purchase them it here in Michi No Eki Aso at the frozen products, sweets corner.

Thank you for taking time to read our blog.


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