March 15, 2022

Mochi: Gluten-Free and Fun to Eat!

One would think while meandering through the snack section of any local supermarket, that they could find about any type of textured great. Sadly, this just isn’t true. Mochi, a traditional Japanese rice cake, has a taste and texture that can’t be found with any other type of sweet. What’s more, is that due to the strange mouthful of wonderment being made from rice flour, it’s actually gluten free! 

Mochi is a sticky rice cake with a chewy center filling. Traditionally, the naturally gluten-free rice is ground down by hand into a powder. After this process is complete, the rice dough is kneaded over and over again until the proper texture is obtained. This process of creating the steamed rice paste is said to have originated in China, and creates a food that contains good sugars, fats, and proteins. 

So how do we describe the texture of this traditional snack? Truthfully, there is little to compare to mochi in western culture texture-wise, nor is there anything like Mochi in actual flavor. Imagine a fig wrapped in sugar cookie dough, slightly silky and chewy at the same time. Depending on the type, mochi is often rolled in peanuts, sesame seeds, or sugar. The bean-filled filling is sweet and chewy and offers a unique experience when one bites into it. 

Nowadays, with growing concerns for gluten allergies and intolerance, Mochi’s popularity is on the rise. As long as there’s no cross-contamination with the cooking process, and the proper oils are used, people searching for the delicious textures need not fear the gluten! What better way to enjoy the uniqueness of a traditional dessert, then to do so without the fear of discomfort? 

So, the next time you have a craving for something new, gluten-free, and that is more nutritious than other treats, consider Mochi. Literally thousands of years of tradition have seen this treat served at New Years, weddings, and other important celebrations throughout many Asian cultures. It’s texture and flavor are sure to surprise you, and you’ll be able to eat your fill without fear of gluten intolerance or allergy. Enjoy!