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Mochi

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Are you familiar with the Japanese dessert mochi? Mochi desserts are a very popular in Japan; they eat mochi just as much as we eat cake. Mochi can also be found in the United States. Mochi has several different flavors such as strawberry, mango, chocolate, green tea, kona coffee, red bean, vanilla, black sesame, cookies and cream, and plum wine. Those are just a few of popular flavors. The taste is also very unique, and it has a doughy outside with a cold creamy inside. It tastes like that because the outside is made of rice dough. Mochi can be made in the weirdest flavors, but it is still a popular and delicious dessert.

If you have never eaten mochi, I would recommend mochi ice cream which has a gooey outside, and there is ice cream in the middle. Theo Paley states, “The inside is the best, and the outside is gross.” This is just one opinion. The sweet rice dough is made of 1 cup of rice flour, and ¾ cup of sugar. If you have ever seen mochi, it has a white substance on the outside. You may of thought it was flour, but really it is cornstarch! There is cornstarch on mochi to make it is easier to pick up, and so it does not stick to you! Mochi can melt within 10 minutes if it is not in a freezer because the rice dough soaks up the ice cream causing a blob of melted ice cream and a sticky substance. Mochi has a lot of flavor, and many different kinds you can choose from.

Some mochi is made in a traditional way. The traditional way that mochi was made is from whole rice, in a very long and hard process. They have a traditional mochi-pounding ceremony which takes place in Japan. First, polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and then steamed. Second, the steamed rice is mashed and pounded with wooden stick in a traditional mortar. A mortar is a Japanese stamp mill, that is used to pound rice. The work needs two people, one person pounds the rice and the other turning and wetting the substance of the mochi. They must keep a steady pace or they may accidentally harm the other person with the heavy kine. Lastly, the sticky mochi substance can be eaten immediately or formed into a sphere or cube.

There is also another way to prepare mochi, the modern day process we use today. It is prepared with sweet rice flour. The flour is cooked with a microwave or over the stove. You cook the flour until it is sticky, and makes a white substance, kind of like a blob. The process has to be done twice, and stirred occasionally until it becomes moldable. Today we have a machine that replaces the labor intensive dough pounding. There are normally two types of machines that work together to produce mochi, the first one prepares the dough while the other one molds the dough into shapes unfilled or with the filling which is normal ice cream. The first machine is in charge of the temperature which is “62 degrees celsius,”according to Wikiwand.

We first thought that mochi was a rice dough filled with ice cream but it started off just the rice dough until an american women named Hashimoto. Mochi ice cream was first invented by Frances Hashimoto. Hashimoto was an American businesswoman and community activist. Hashimoto was Japanese, causing her invention to be so popular in Japan. Also the mochi without  ice cream but other fillings was already popular in japan. Hashimoto met her husband while attending University of Southern California, also known as USC. Hashimoto’s parents owned a traditional bakery in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Hashimoto’s parents were forced to move to Jaston, Arizona due to World War 2. While they were in Jaston in 1943, Frances Hashimoto was born. Hashimoto moved to L.A. after World War 2 was over and she took over her parents bakery in 1970. She made over 13 million dollars a year. The bakery expanded to include additional locations in Torrance, Gardena, and Honolulu. The company’s original store is located at the Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo. The bakery didn’t just sell mochi, but other traditional Japanese desserts.

If you didn’t know there is a variety of mochi. There is Kagami Mochi, which is two mochi cakes. The smaller cake substance placed on top of the larger mochi which the larger one is on the bottom. Then a Japanese bitter orange with an attached leaf is on top. Another type is the Sakura Mochi, which is a sweet pink-colored rice cake with a red paste in the center and wrapped in a pickled cherry blossom sakura leaf. One other kind is Kashiwa Mochi, which is white mochi surrounding a sweet anko filling with a Kashiwa oak leaf wrapped around it. There is also Hishi mochi, which is mochi with layers of red, green, and white. The white represents the snow and the cleansing actions.The red represents a plum flower. The green is supposed to improve the blood. The three layers of this mochi are colored with jasmine flowers, water caltrop, and mugwort. There is also a mochi called Kuzumochi, which are mochi cakes made of kuzuko.  Kuzuko is a starch powder made from the root of the kudzu plant. This type of mochi is normally eaten in the summer because it is served cold. Kuzumochi is topped with Kuromitsu, which is a japanese sugar syrup, and Kinako, which is a roasted soybean flour. Hashimoto was the one who had the idea to fill the rice dough with ice cream. All these different kinds of mochi weren’t just made by Hasimoto but made by other bakers as well.

Since mochi ice cream is a sweet dessert, it still contains calories like an other dessert would. Mochi has density like a bowl of rice. According to Wikiwand, “Japanese farmers were known to consume mochi during the winter in order to increase their stamina.” Mochi can be eaten by people who have Celiacs Disease, which is known as being gluten free, and also consumed by colostral free people. Also a single serving of mochi is 44 grams, has 96 calories, 1 gram of fat, no trans or saturated fat, 1 milligram of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Now that you are familiar with the Japanese dessert mochi, you know that there is an assortment of flavors and many different kinds of mochi. Mochi most likely can be found at your local grocery store, but not in as many flavors as we describe. I love getting mochi at Trader Joe’s, or Vons. They most likely will have the normal and most common flavors of mochi, which are mango and strawberry. Collin Purcell states, ”Mochi is legendary.” We suggest you try mochi today.

 

Bibliography:

 

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018195-sweet-

mochi-with-red-bean-filling

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mochi_ice_cream

 

https://www.tofugu.com/japan/mochi/

 

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mochi

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Hashimoto

 

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sdut-mochi-ice-cream-producer-frances-hashimoto-dies-2012nov07-story.html

 

http://www.ebisufoods.com/ecatalog/

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=how+many+types+of+species+are+there+in+mochi&rlz=1CAHPZS_enUS745&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiJuoTFi_rTAhVP2GMKHVn0BxkQ_AUICigB&biw=1366&bih=630#imgrc=MEh7sP2EGmWtGM:

 

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Mochi

 

http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Kagami_mochi

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hishi_mochi  

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=kashiwa+mochi&rlz=1CAHPZS_enUS745&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjA_7a6z_zTAhVU22MKHdIFD_0Q_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=630#imgrc=KbXrvZHwsIPieM:

 

https://en.pimg.jp/015/107/859/1/15107859.jpg

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/vGp17lT2jYA/hqdefault.jpg

 

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Mochi