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Dharma Kitchen

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Mochi: Now Playing at Whole Foods Near You

Carrie H

Have you heard? Did you know? Allentown Whole Foods now has a self-serve mochi ice cream bar. (Other locations have this, too.) It was installed right around Easter. 

I remember the first time I had this dessert; a red bean mochi at the Dancing Fish in Bethlehem. It's not the easiest thing to mass produce, so heretofore, it wasn't as commonly available in supermarkets.  

Mochi mochi mochi. Mango, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

Mochi mochi mochi. Mango, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.

Wait, what is this thing? How do you pronounce it? Well first of all, it's Japanese, and you pronounce it as moe-shee. It's a little ice cream nugget wrapped in a wrap of pounded sticky rice, which kind of boggles the mind that you could encase ice cream in something as soft and pliable as rice. It's almost like a smooth, pliable and slightly stretchy/chewy layer around ice cream. At Whole Foods, it's available in a handful of flavors, including Kona coffee, red bean, green tea (and green tea matcha) and black sesame, along with sweeter flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mango. (We have a problem with anything mango oriented in our house, so I had to buy two of those and forgo the Kona and matcha. Sorry! You'll have to try those on your own.)

Each little mochi runs at $1.50 and it's going to be a sweet indulgence this summer, I can feel it. I like that it's single-serve and so self-contained: when it's gone, it's gone. It's sweet enough to feel like you've had a treat, but it's not overwhelmingly indulgent. It's just right. 

Mochi: From top to bottom, left to right: Green tea, red bean, black sesame, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Front: half-eaten mango. So good.

Mochi: From top to bottom, left to right: Green tea, red bean, black sesame, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. Front: half-eaten mango. So good.