I bid you welcome to Chapter 1 of ‘The Mochi Diaries’ (餅の日記)! In this segment of my blog I invite you to join me in exploring the world of delicious sticky Japanese sweets I am infatuated with, that are known as Mochi!!!
☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake made from glutinous rice that has been pounded and moulded into a variety of shapes (typically smooth balls) then usually filled with anko 餡こ (sweet red bean paste). However they come in a plethora of regional varieties and favours, mochi dough is endlessly versatile and some popular mochi dishes include dango 団子, daifuku 大福, chikara udon 力饂飩 and oshiruko お汁粉 all of which are meccha oishii. In Japan mochi is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki in which the glutinous rice is pounded into mochi dough usually in a similar fashion as to what is seen below.
The first chapter of our daifukalicious adventures I bring to you the squishy delicacy known as Kusa Mochi 草餅 (Grass Mochi) which also goes by Yomogi Mochi 蓬餅 (Mugwort Mochi) with mugwort being its primary flavouring.
Last Saturday after a long day of hiking in the wilderness in western Kobe I came across an onsen during my exhausted trek home, I entered the establishment and after browsing the wide array of Miyagegashi 土産菓子 ( a type of omiyage お土産, literally “souvenir sweet” made with the purpose of gifting it as a souvenir)
on offer, I decided upon a box of of Kusa Mochi not as a gift to anybody but myself as a reward for a hard day scaling near vertical muddy slopes!
Upon opening the box I was presented with 8 delicate looking green parcels, of which I selected due to their striking resemblance to my favorite Mochi yatsuhashi 八ッ橋 a meibutsu 名物 from Kyoto (Meibutsu being a Japanese term for famous product associated with particular region) of which I spent way too many yennies on during my last trip to Japan.
Let’s just say that after my first bite I was in love, it seems that the similarities between Yatsuhashi and Kusa Mochi aren’t simply limited to appearances, the texture was the perfect combination of delicate softness and a subtle stickiness, alongside a meccha ooshi anko filled centre.
My final rating for Kusa Mochi is 4/5, if you get come across a box of these delicious little green packages I certainly recommend the investment!!
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