Anko Dama: Good Old Sweet Azuki Red Bean Paste Balls
Last time when I went shopping at a supermarket, together with other foodstuffs, I bought a casual Wagashi sweet for the first time in a while that brings back memories of my childhood, for I used to eat it as a kid.
Anko Dama (あんこ玉)
To get to the point, what I picked up this time for the blog article is the classic Wagashi sweet called “Anko Dama (あんこ玉)”, which is considered a kind of Dagashi and actually was sold in Dagashiya candy shops in the old days.
As in the name “Anko (あんこ)” refers to sweet Azuki red bean paste and “Dama (玉)” means ball in Japanese, the Wagashi (Dagashi), Anko Dama is made out of Anko paste that’s been packed together in a ball, which is further traditionally coated in “Kinako (きな粉)” roasted soybean flour or agar called “Kanten (寒天)”.
Based on the ingredient list on the back of the package, what I have now is a modern version of Anko Dama with a white sugar coating, so it is pretty sweet. But since the Anko ball has a refined sweetness characteristic of Anko (sweet Azuki red bean paste), the sweetness doesn’t linger in the mouth and its aftertaste is refreshing.
Anko Dama is one of the most beloved Dagashi sweets in Japan that have been around since the early Showa period (Showa: 1926 to 1989), so if you are interested in sweets with a very Japanese taste, I think it is undoubtedly a must-try Japanese confection for you.