Sunday, September 20, 2009

What is Mochi?

First it's this: A Japanese rice cake made of glutinous rice pounded into paste and molded into shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi is also a prominent snack in Hawaii and Taiwan.

Then it's this, which is what I eat. Comes 6 to a package and usually I get one or two before the boy polishes them all off. Expensive but a nice treat for me since I can keep one down.

Small balls of ice cream are wrapped inside a mochi covering to make mochi ice cream. In Japan this is manufactured by the conglomerate Lotte under the name Yukimi Daifuku, "snow-viewing daifuku". In the United States the grocery chains Trader Joe's, H Mart, and Mollie Stone's sell mochi ice cream in flavors of chocolate, mango, green tea, coffee, vanilla, and strawberry. It is popular in California; Hawaii; Washington; Atlanta, Georgia; and Portland, Oregon. Mikawaya, a Japanese-owned company operating in Los Angeles, manufactures the variety that is sold by Trader Joe's and Mollie Stone's. The New Central Market in Anchorage Alaska provides a variety of mochi and mochi ice cream products throughout Alaska. The Pinkberry and Red Mango frozen yogurt chains also offer mochi as a "secret menu" (or in Red Mango's case, regular menu) topping on their desserts, available upon request from customers. The CeFiore frozen yogurt chain and Mr. Yogato and Cali Yogurt in Washington, DC also offer it as a regular topping.

It can also be used in soup and you can make dumplings with it... but the ice cream is to DIE for! I've never gotten to try the vanilla or coffee Mochi because for some reason my local Trader Joes does not carry those 2 flavors.

If you have the opportunity to try Mochi Ice Cream, do. Mochi is a pasty type substance even frozen around the ice cream and the two together are an odd combo, but it's yummy!!

Go on, you know you're dying to try some. Do it and leave me a comment, I'd love to read what you have to say about it!

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