Have you ever heard of Mochi? Have you ever been out to a sushi or Japanese restaurant where they serve small circles that look like doughy balls filled with ice cream in the flavors of Red Bean, Strawberry, Mango, Chocolate, Green Tea, Lychee, Vanilla and other flavors? They are often referred to as bubbies and they are colorful and pretty. They almost look like frozen french macarons.
I was dining out at Sushi Seki tonight, one of my favorite amazingly divine sushi restaurants on the Upper East Side, exactly at 63th and 1st. A small dive one would say as they walk by, but inside this small dive is an amazing chef and a great waitstaff. Not every waiter understands the gluten-allergy at this fine establishment, but I have been there so many times, they are used to me, and the language card I present. (I purchased two sets of Triumph Dinings Gluten Free Language Translation Cards, and I use them at restaurants that I know do not understand my allergy unless I present something in Japanese in this example describing my intolerance/disease. Now I have gone so many times, that the moment I pull out that long rectangular orange and white laminated card, they know. They remember.
At the end of our amazing dinner enjoying a cup of hot green tea, my friend mentions that she wants something sweet. She says let's get a round of Mochi.
I came home to log in my food diary what I ate, and thought I didn't know how many calories were in a Mochi. I really thought I had done a post on this already, but when I searched my own blog for this post and could not find it, I realized I had done the Mochi research well before I started this blog. And so, I felt compelled to write this now, this very second.
The first time I ever found out about Mochi was at Poke. I asked them to ask the chef the ingredients. She mentioned it was boxed and that it was not made there. I asked for the box. The outer shell was all rice flour, absolutely no flour or gluten ingredients. I was still hesitant. I figured that the ingredients might not be gluten, but the cross contamination might. So I held off.
The next day I had a mission. Find out about Mochi Ice Cream. So I googled it. So after viewing a List on Yelp.com I called a spot in Honolulu to ask my questions. The other person on the phone answered Aloha. And then I asked if there was gluten or wheat ingredients in their foods. The lovely person on the other end mentioned that these were in fact gluten-free. I even got the manager on the phone. They were so nice and receptive to my questions.
So then I googled where I could buy it here in NYC and came across two of my favorite markets Westerly Market and Whole Foods. They had over 8 flavors behind those freezer doors and from my research there are MANY MORE! And they were completely gluten-free. It was right there in writing. No way!
And if you happen to ever be in Hawaii check out this list of locations and menu items, you'll be blown away by the hilarious sundae options like The Bathtub Toilet Sundae, or The Bill Clinton Years; Great Balls Of Ice Cream and others...LOL! There are also several locations in Hawaii that sell Mochi.
Also check out the history behind Bubbies and the launch of Mochi Ice Cream at Bubbies. Mochi is now carried world wide and has been featured on Oprah and in New York Times.
Enjoy!! xoxo Julie