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Hokkaido Graffiti Candy - “Uroko Dango” (“Fish Scale” Dumplings??!!)
Located in the northernmost section of the Sorachi area is Hokkaido's leading rice producer, Fukagawa City. The representative treat from this area is the delicious "Ukoro Dango", which has been sold at Fukagawa Station since 1913.
Fukagawa Station opened in 1898 and is located on the Kamikawa Line, which connects the greater Sorachi area and Asahikawa. In 1910, when the Rumoi line opened and allowed greater transport between cities, the importance of the Kamikawa line increased tremendously. On the third anniversary of this opening, a commemorative treat was released to mark the occasion. That treat was the "Uroko Dango."
Originally this treat was known as the "Tsubaki Dango" after a similar snack from the creator's hometown. However, the head of Fukagawa Station asked them to change the products name. Why would he make such a request, you ask? It turns out that the station head's name was actually Tsubaki, and he was getting tired of hearing his name being called only to find out that it was just hungry customers placing an order!
The station head, Mr. Tsubaki, thought long and hard about what the name could be changed to. Coincidentally, at that time freight cars running on the Rumoi line were transporting herring from the Sea of Japan inland, and fish scales (or uroko) would often stick to the sides of railcars, causing them to glitter in the sunlight. The Tsubaki Dango treat was triangular, like a fish scale, and so the station head, Mr. Tsubaki, chose this name for the treat.
The manufacturing process of the Ukoro Dango hasn't changed since it was first made. The recipe is simple, using only rice, flour, and sugar. These three ingredients are kneaded together into a 40 centimeter flat square of dough and then steamed. After cooling the square is then cut with a wavy edged kitchen knife and the dango is complete!
A delicious treat, with a fun history behind it. If you’ve never tried Ukoro Dango before, and find yourself at the Fukagawa station, be sure to give them a try!
◇ (株)高橋商事 (Takahashi Shoji)
5 5-Jyo 8-Chome, Fukagawa, Hokkaido
TEL : 0164-23-2660
★ 9 Piece Box - 565 Yen
★ 10 Piece Vacuum Packed Box - 630 Yen
＊ For more detailed information check out the book “Confectionery Graffiti in Hokkaido” by Toshinobu Tsukada.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Tetsu)