Kibi-dango Dumplings

Kibi-dango Dumplings_1

Momotaro is a famous Japanese folk tale everyone has heard of or read about. Momotaro (which means Peach Man) came to Earth inside a giant peach, which was found floating down a river by an old woman who was washing clothes there. The woman and her husband thus named him Momotaro.

Momotaro eventually leaves his parents to fight a band of evil Oni (Demons with horns) in a distant land. On the way, he meets a talking dog, monkey and pheasant that agree to help him in his quest after they share the Kibi-dango his mother made for him. Momotaro and his animal friends later on defeat the band of demons, and the story ends happily.

Kibi-dango are a delicious treat made with millet flour, sticky rice flour and sugar.  Sugar being a great preservative allows Kibi-dango to keep its softness longer than most Japanese deserts. Therefore, it was a good choice of food for Momotaro’s long journey! Japanese sweets often use sweet bean paste, but Kibi-dango does not. However, in recent years, Some Kibi-dango come in new versions that add grape preservative or peach flavor syrup within the dough. Kibi-dango does not get hard when stored in the refrigerator either, another reason why it’s still a favorite in modern Japan.


Photo by Okayama Prefectural Tourist Federation

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