Japanese Snack Food Review: Mikawaya Mochi (strawberry)

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This is the strawberry flavor from the company that brought you the tasty mango and chocolate chocolate. I didn’t taste the mango (guest reviewed) but I have tasted the chocolate chocolate and let me tell you, that was the bomb of chocolate ice cream rice pastry wrapped treats. I am assuming the mango was also the bomb of mango ice cream rice pastry wrapped treats so I was especially excited about the strawberry. Mmmm, strawberry.

To start, this strawberry mochi, like its brethren, is wrapped in a nice, delicate, like flavored outer skin of rice pastry. I like that touch. The rice pastry is a soft, creamy pink pastel color and tastes very faintly of strawberry. It’d be so much easier to slap a plain ricey rice wrapper on the ice cream but Mikawaya has, so far, chosen to flavor the outer shell to each of the three kinds of mochi tasted in the JSFR. It makes me want to keep coming back for more, although I could do with a little less rice flour dust on the outside. Not that I’m overly complaining but the strawberry mochi must have gone back for an extra roll in the rice flour.

After the stretchy outer shell comes the ice cream. I like ice cream. Strawberry isn’t on my list of top favorite ice cream flavors of all time, but it’s a nice dependable flavor. Sure it’s not as glitzy as Igneous Caramel Swoop Delight but really, what is igneous caramel swoop delight? It has caramel in it but what flavor is swoop? Good? Bad? Evil? I don’t know. Meanwhile, strawberry is as strawberry does so while you may be sorely or disgustedly disappointed in ICSD, strawberry will always have your ice cream back. I guess what I’m trying to say is that strawberry is rarely filled with surprises and gets the job done. And get the job done is what the blob of strawberry ice cream is doing for the mochi.

That’s where I’m a little disappointed. The ice cream is good and strawberry sweet with a nice edge of creamy to it (and even some red inclusions which may indeed be actual strawberry) but I expected more. I expected the king of strawberry ice cream, perhaps with a knock your socks off flavor and texture, but what I got was more the duke or earl of ice cream. Duke or Earl isn’t bad…heck it’s still royalty but to me the strawberry just wasn’t at the level of the chocolate. Way back with the chocolate ice cream mochi, I compared it favorably to Haagen-Dazs, what with the incredible creamy, dense ice cream and fantastic chocolate flavor. With the strawberry, Haagen-Dazs would win hands down. The strawberry isn’t as richly creamy or as off the vine berry fresh, although it does have a wicked strawberry shake flavor to it. If I were reviewing strawberry shakes instead of ice cream mochi bits, I’d give this strawberry mochi a very high rating, but as ice cream…well it gets the job done in a tasty fashion I guess.

The eating of the mochi was the same as the other past mochi experiences with the firm but stretchy outer shell and the frozen ice cream center. I’m still at odds with the gooey rice paste and firm chilly ice cream but that’s just me. Your mileage may vary. Mikawaya strawberry mochi was certainly not the be all and end all that the chocolate chocolate was but it certainly was a good eat and better than the vanilla Maeda-en. Ergo, I’m going to give the strawberry a nice, well deserved

rating

of 3.5 Wasabi Peas out of a possible 5.

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