Join us as we taste the unique limited-edition treat, with lots of sweet details and mouthwatering photos.
Last year, we were salivating over the announcement of an unusual watermelon dango sweet, but by the time we got around to placing an order, the frozen dessert was so popular it had already sold out! Determined not to lose out again this year, we got our pre-orders in early and were thrilled when the cool package arrived on our doorstep on a hot summer’s day. Not only do the unusual limited-edition Japanese sweets look spectacular, their unique flavour makes them absolutely delicious too!
▼ The tag on the cute three-pack says “Naka wa Akai yo!” or “The insides are red!”; giving us an idea of what to expect from the watermelon-flavoured treat.
The sweets come from Yagumo Dango, a traditional confectionery company based in Aichi Prefecture, who’s been making and selling dango (skewered Japanese dumplings made from mochiko glutinous rice flour) for nearly 70 years. While a lot of their range uses traditional flavours like red bean, green tea, kinako roasted soybean flour, and black sesame, the unusual watermelon flavour is one of their best sellers, available only for a limited time in summer.
The outside of each sweet is covered in matcha green tea chocolate and drizzled with dark chocolate, making the round dumplings look like miniature watermelons.
While dango are usually served at room temperature or warm when freshly fried from the grill, the watermelon variety needs to be kept frozen, which makes for a perfect treat on a hot summer’s day.
▼ Before biting into the dango, we couldn’t help but admire all its decorative details.
While the outside looked beautiful, nothing could prepare us for the wonderful bright red flesh inside. Suddenly, the sweet looked even more like a plump, juicy watermelon, complete with tiny black sesame seeds playing the role of dark seeds.
The round glutinous rice balls were an exquisite shade of vivid red, glistening with moisture and just begging to be eaten.
We bit into the first dumpling and were blown away by the flavour. The mellow taste of the crunchy outer chocolate broke away in the mouth, revealing an intense flavour of watermelon that covered the tastebuds with a fresh, juicy fruitiness. The slight crunch and earthy aroma of the black sesame seeds provided a nice contrast to the fresh sweetness, and the icy cold sensation made this seem like an unusual hybrid dango-ice cream dessert.
The real star of the sweet, as you would expect from the esteemed decades-old traditional confectionery company, is the glutinous dumpling. The small sesame seeds and the dark and matcha chocolate-covered coating here play a minor, supporting role to the fruity red flesh, which sings with the addition of real juice, packing every mouthful with a punch of vibrant watermelon flavour. It’s an absolute taste sensation, and one we’re eager to try again, year after year.
▼ Round, smooth and jelly-like, the dumplings provide a pleasant aftertaste, making it feel like you’ve just had a delicious serving of cold watermelon.
The three-pack treats are available to purchase online from their official website or from shopping site Rakuten for 850 yen (US$8.45), plus nationwide postage. If you’re in Japan during the hot summer season, these are definitely worth a try!
Photos © RocketNews24