While not everyone in Japan quite knew what to expect from Disney’s newest hit Big Hero 6 (or Baymax, as it’s known over here), it hasn’t stopped audiences from loving the film. Or sobbing through half of it like big babies. (That wasn’t just me, right?) So, it was hardly a surprise when I spotted Baymax mitrashi dango at convenience store chain FamilyMart. And, being the curious person I am, it also wasn’t really a surprise when I found myself buying a pack just to see what they taste like!
Check out our review of the Baymax mitarashi dango and see if you’ll want to pick up a pack for yourself before you head to the theater!
You’re likely already familiar with dango, the rice-flour dumplings popular in Japan. You can find the little white balls sold on skewers at festivals and stores around Japan, often with different sauces. Perhaps one of the most popular varieties is mitarashi dango, which is dango with sweet soy sauce. Of course, the sauce is brown, which hardly matches Baymax’s creamy complexion, but the producers of Baymax mitarashi dango found a simple solution though–they put the sauce inside! But is it actually worth its 198-yen (US$1.64) asking price?
Well, we suppose that depends on whether or not you like dango!
▼Sadly, it does not come with a lollipop.
If you do decide to pick up a pack, be sure to chew thoroughly and eat slowly! We weren’t joking with the title of this post: dango are notorious choking hazards, and the wrapper of this product even warns consumers to “Be careful of choking, as dango are soft.”
▼Just like mochi, the old people killer!
Obviously, the selling point with our Baymax dango is the fact that they look like the titular robot: white, round, and squidgy. So, how did they do on that front? To be honest, it could be better. Honestly, if no one told you these were Baymax dango, would you have made the connection? Possibly, though the simple face outline on the dango looks more like a twirling baton to me.
▼Maybe Baymax moonlights as a cheerleader?
▼Or maybe these are actually supposed to be albino frogs?
▼Still, I guess it does look Baymax-y enough to be acceptable.
Sadly, it looks like there’s only one Baymax per package. There are three dango in each pack, but only one of them has the robot’s face. They could have at least made the other two look more like his body, instead of half-melted snowballs.
▼It’s more like Bay-minimum-effort…
Okay, so the presentation could be a bit better, but the important thing is how it tastes, right? Let’s split one of these bad boys open and see what’s inside!
▼Not-a-plot twist: It’s mitarashi sauce!
▼Baymax has tasty-looking innards! Why wasn’t that in the movie?
So, how are the dango? Well, it depends on your standards. If you’re used to super-sweet pastries, you’ll probably be a bit disappointed–but that’s not a failing on the part of the mitarashi. After all, Japanese sweets tend to have a very subtle sweetness, so the sauce was definitely what I expected. If you’ve never had sweet soy sauce before, it really does taste like what you would imagine–slightly salty Kikkoman soy sauce with a hint of sweetness. It’s very well balanced, though, and the whole flavor is quite mild. As for the dango shell, the rice taste was distinct, but, again, quite mild.
Overall, the most noticeable thing about the Baymax mitarashi dango was the texture–it was like soft taffy with a jelly filling. Whether or not that sounds appealing is going to be depend very much on personal tastes–if you don’t like gooey food, stay away! If you do like gooey food, I would definitely recommend picking a pack up, but don’t expect a mouth full of explosive flavor.
▼Just be careful eating those things…
Baymax mitarashi dango is available at FamilyMart locations across Japan until December 29.