One of the fun things about exploring ethnic grocery stores is finding all sorts of new treats to sample.
This box caught my eye. I thought it was a cookie with some sort of a honeydew flavored cream center.
Very pretty, isn't it?
But it is no cookie!! Gelatinous but not really sticky. Firm but very soft.
It springs back to pokes by finger or fork.
Here's one cut through.
I have never eaten anything like this! The texture is soft... almost silky. But as you chew, it does not readily come apart. Just like when it is poked ~ it bounces back!! You really have to work on it.
The flavor is unique and appealing.
At another shop I found a different brand in Green Tea flavor. Again excellent. Less sweet than the melon flavor.
Cut away view. This type was slightly better quality.
I had to learn more about these tasty little treats.
They are made of gelatinous rice which is traditionally pounded (and pounded and pounded...) into a "paste". Modern prep uses rice flour that is cooked. It is then somehow molded. Various forms are special treats for holidays such as New Year's. During cherry blossom time, pink ones are popular.
There is a dark side to mochi... Remember how I said you really have to put some chewing into eating one of these? They are a big choking hazard in Japan, especially among children and elders. Because of the texture, they are also very difficult to get out of the airway. It is recommended to cut them up before eating.
It's good advice.
Below is a video of mochi being made using the traditional method.