Japanese Snack Food Review: Mikawaya Mochi (mango)


[Editor’s blurbit: And still we roll on with the JSFR Guest Time Period. Who would have thunk that this project had the chutzpa to last all month? Keen! Anyway, today’s most excellent entry is brought to you by Bubbles (who y’all can read much more about here) who also has a link on the front page of the booniverse. I think. Lemmie check…yup. Bubbles likes GiD, pirates, ducks, pirate ducks and probably GiD pirate ducks. She also is one of my two meat-a-tarian friends and I find it interesting to note that both she and Badmovie hate wasabi peas (Badmovie being the other meat-a-tarian). Coincidence? Hmmmm!

Apparently, mango falls under the sub heading “meat” for Bubbles (don’t laugh, cheese does too and that makes a strange sort of sense. Mmmm, cheese), which is grand for me. Mango and I? We don’t see eye to eye digestively speaking. Therefore, Bubbles is doing both me and y’all a favor because I’d never review mango and only through the heroic efforts of her tasting and scribbling is this being brought to you. I think y’all owe Bubbles…well, something. OK! Enough blabber, here’s the review!]

When Her Booniness asked me to do a Japanese Snack Food Review, I was a bit skeptical at first. See, Japanese snack foods tend to be pretty high on my gross-o-meter, what with their tendency to incorporate things like squid, seaweed, natto, and any of a bazillion bizarre things that can only be eaten by people far more culinarily adventurous than me. Luckily, Her Booniness said I could pick a Japanese snack food that met my non-gross criteria. I found an excellent JSFR candidate in mango mochi.

Nestled in an efficient egg-style carton, protected from the harsh realities of the world, I found six mango mochi. The whole concept of mochi is ‘ice cream in a pastry type wrapper thing to keep it from melting all over the place. They’re cute little blobs of light orange, with some faint whitish powder on some parts of the outside. There is also a small orange stem-like protrusion on the top, which makes them look like little blobby monochromatic pumpkins. The size is a bit odd, since they’re a bit bigger than a golf ball, which makes them too big to really be a snack, and too small to really be a dessert. I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to eat mochi with my fingers or with a utensil of some kind. Fingers work fine, as long as the mochi is well-frozen. I tried one a bit thawed, and it was way too squishy to eat with my hands, though the pastry-ish outside layer still held everything secure.

The texture of my first tiny bite was filled mostly with the rice-based pastry-ish outer coating, which is not horrible, but a weird combination of grainy and chewy. It does have some mango taste, though I was so distracted by the weird texture that I barely noticed. When you are done chewing on that bite (it’ll take a minute), you will be rewarded with the delicious mango ice cream core in your next bite. It is very tasty, and the smooth-but-firm ice cream texture softens the outer core when they mix in your mouth. This time, the chewiness of the outer core didn’t bother me as much, because it just gave me extra time to enjoy the pleasant mango ice cream taste. So my advice is to take a big bite from the very beginning, so you get some of the yummy ice cream core. Despite the mango-filled mango setup, the taste of mangos is not too overpowering, but rather a pleasant mellow mangoness that doesn’t beat you over the head. Because who wants to be beaten over the head with mangoes? With the mochi thawed a bit, the center softens before the outside, so you get a burst of mango smoothness in each bite that spreads out all over your tongue and feels as good as it tastes.

There is nothing particularly scary on the ingredients list. The outer coating is based on rice flour, and the ice cream contains all the standard ice cream ingredients. And hey, each mochi has only 1.5 grams of saturated fat! Sweet! Also, mango mochi actually do contain mangos, though they’re kind of low on the ingredient list.

In summary, mango mochi are both cute and delicious, though the outer pastyish layer is chewy enough to warrant docking a point. Desserts and snacks should not be chewy unless they are either gum or gummy. While I generally protest the JSFR Wasabi Pea Rating System as being biased against wasabi-pea-hating people, I know it is a time-honored and proven system. So, despite my personal dislike of wasabi peas, I give mango mochi a


of 4 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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