Hi, My Name is Mochi.
Hi! I’m Mochi, short for Mochigome.
You may have seen me at your local grocery store, or even sprinkled on top of a scoop of ice cream. I’m small, round, and packed with rice.
But don’t judge me by my size! There’s so much more to me you should know.
T H E H I S T O R Y
Rewind to 794 AD, Heian Era Japan.
Some say that mochi first came to be before 784. However, it was during the Heian Era that the steamed rice ball began to fully integrate itself into Japanese culture as a whole.
Japanese farmers heavily depended on their rice fields for survival. Every year, the farmers would offer what was called Kagami mochi to deities in hopes for a plentiful harvest. The spiritual sacrifice later transformed into a holiday token, as the Japanese would celebrate the New Year with two giant mochi cakes.
The small, rice packed sphere holds immense significance in Japanese culture, a symbol of both life and soul.
Spiritually, mochi was all about the soul.
People thought of the dense rice ball as the embodiment of all the benefits rice provided: sustainability for the body and energy for the soul. Thus, to continue growing and enjoying the greatness that rice has to offer, mochi was ritually given to higher divinities.
Socially, mochi translates to life.
Life is divided into two concepts for the Japanese: time and strength. During each New Year’s celebration, mochi is presented and eaten to symbolize the passing of last year and also as a representation of strength to enter into the new year.
Mochi may be tiny, but it sure means a lot!
T H E N O W
Soak, steam, smash.
Trailing from hundreds of years ago, this triple S technique is still used to make the dessert today.
First, the process begins by letting the rice expand in water. Then, the rice is placed into a fabric lined box, waiting to be steamed. Now it’s time for a workout!
Pounding the rice over and over again, the exhausting exercise is complete when the rice grains fully transform into one, chewy rice ball.
What’s so unique about mochi is that it’s a creative playground.
A few years back, ice cream mochi made its debut. Flavors ranging from traditional vanilla and strawberries all the way to green tea and red bean fill the stretchy rice cake for a sweet, textured experience. Consumers can also find mochi in an even smaller form! Usually sprinkled on top of shaved ice dishes, mochi adds a surprising and heavenly tastebud adventure to any dessert.
T H E F U T U R E
Mochi is moldable.
Its stretchy nature gives the rice ball the ability to be so much more than what we have now. Will we see the sweet rice cake in different shapes? Or maybe an innovator will break through the traditional fillings with something mind-blowing yet brilliant!
The future of mochi truly ranges all over the spectrum, and we’re excited to find out what’s to come!