Hyaluronic Dango

Food for Thought

Every time I cook, I’m reminded of the fact that cooking is essentially a chemistry experiment. I got hyaluronic acid (HA) in a powder form and tried eating it straight. Well, don’t try it at home; you might end up choking to death. HA is the gooiest substance I have ever eaten. Like a honey badger, it does not care how much water you throw at it; it stubbornly insists on sticking to everything. The inside of my mouth was covered with it like some creature in the film Alien.

So, I asked myself: What food would benefit from this extreme characteristic? Being Japanese, my answer was obvious: mochi. One of the problems with mochi is that it gets hard after a day. Adding sugar to the sweet rice flour helps a bit, but not for two days. Well, now the world has a solution: hyaluronic acid. I won’t win the Nobel Prize for this, but it works. I made two separate batches, everything being equal except for HA. The one with HA remained nice and gooey, while the other got hard after a day.

It’s a substance your body produces naturally, so it’s not some strange chemical. And, it has no taste. The flavor of my dango was unaffected but improved the texture—a win-win.

But, there is a catch, of course. HA is pretty expensive. So, don’t expect to see this on the shelf of Sunrise Mart anytime soon. You might, however, see it at the cafeteria of SoulCycle for $10 a stick (if they have a cafeteria. I have no idea.) I believe many women know hyaluronic acid as something you put on your face to remove wrinkles. I think eating it works also. If you eat a stick of this every time you work out, you won’t need Botox. This is not a scientific claim. To be honest, I have no idea if cooking would destroy any benefit it has for your skin. After all, I’m not a scientist.