"Hana yori dango", says a terse Japanese saying. A literal
translation would be "dumplings are better than flowers", but the
implicit meaning is that during the cherry blossom season, the point
of sitting under the trees is not looking at the flowers, the point is
eating dango and getting blotto on cheap sake.
Alas, dango 団子 aren't all that exciting either: they're
little grilled balls (less than an inch in diameter) of pounded rice
(mochi), almost entirely tasteless and all too capable
of choking you to death. To alleviate the tedium, the dango
are covered with either sweet anko (red bean) paste, or
tare, a soy-based sauce that can be sweet or salty.