Japanese Snack Food Review: Mikawaya Mochi (vanilla)

I need to stop reviewing Mikawaya mochi because there is a disturbing downward rating trend forming and there are three more flavors left! Way back in ought five I picked up a package of Mikawaya Chocolate chocolate mochi and it was to die for! If it weren’t for my aversion to the texturally odd rice pastry wrapper than Chocolate chocolate mochi would have certainly 5 pea pointed, no questions asked. Then in ought six, I picked up Strawberry mochi by the same company and was rather disappointed in its lack of fantastic strawberrines of ice creamage. Now I have vanilla and…well…lemmie tell you a story.

Way back a bazillion years ago, BASF had an ad campaign which went something like this: “We don’t make the [jacket/notebook/skateboard/air craft/whatever], we make the [jacket/notebook/skateboard/air craft/whatever] better”. Which, they don’t and they do since they aren’t a finished product manufacturer but a materials supplier. More or less. Now if Vanilla had an ad campaign, it could adopt the same concept and go with “I don’t make the flavor, I make the flavor better” because really? Have you actually ever eaten anything and thought to yourself “My, but this is an exquisite vanilla” or “They sure did get vanilla right in this!” My guess is no (unless you are chugging pure vanilla, in which case I have to ask…what’s wrong with you? Brandy will get you twice the buzz and tastes better).

Which makes vanilla both a deviously subtle thing and a mundane boring thing. I can see you vanilla lovers out there going “Whaaaaaaat!!!” but hear me out. The world is full of wonderful tasty flavors, most of which (and I say this because I haven’t had them all) can probably be enhanced by adding a little bit of vanilla. Maybe not meat (although I’ve never tried it), but certainly any sweetie thing can stand a touch of vanilla and become a much tastier sweetie thing. Vanilla on its lonesome though is just vanilla, which you can’t really add a dash of to itself to make itself taste more…like itself. I think just I hurt something with that line of thought.

So if you are going to offer me a vanilla something, your vanilla has got to be outstanding because already I can think of a thousand other flavors which would be much more interesting. Why should I choose a vanilla mochi when there is strawberry, green tea (oh like you didn’t think of it already) and chocolate chocolate? It’s not like I’m going to be having a peanut butter mochi sundae (in which case yes vanilla, dear god no strawberry) so wow me.

Which…this mochi didn’t. I’d say that it was better than the Maeda-en vanilla mochi by half a pea or so but the Mikawaya vanilla was more store brand ice cream than King or Earl of ice cream. I don’t know if I can say that the Mikawaya vanilla even made it to royalty but it is a darned fine average ice cream. In accordance, I’ll give Mikawaya a darned fine average

Rating of 3 wasabi peas out of 5.

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