Yum of the Week: Bubbies Mochi

mangobubbie.jpgAlmost a year ago in August of 2006 I first read about Bubbies Ice Cream Mochi at the Celiac Chicks Web Site. I was tempted, and very excited when I found them in Whole Foods, but because they were a bit pricey, I couldn’t bring myself to buy them. Sadly, even though the idea of ice cream wrapped in mochi (pounded sweet rice) came from Japan, I could never have them there because they always seemed to contain wheat flour. Luckily, the Hawaiian version from Bubbies was only made from rice flour. Somehow though, it wasn’t until today that I finally broke down and bought a box at our local Nob Hill grocery store. There are many flavors available at the Honolulu location, but here in Mountain View it seems we’re confined to passion fruit, chocolate, strawberry, espresso, vanilla and mango. I accidentally bought mango mochi, but when I tried it I was glad. A thin sheet of soft, slightly chewy mochi, a beautiful orange color, was wrapped around sweet vanilla ice cream, creating wonderful contrasts and flavors in the mouth. Mmmm mmm, tasty. It definitely qualified as a yum- and DH emphatically agreed when he tried one later. If you haven’t tried them yet, go for it- if you don’t mind a new, delicious summer dessert addiction, that is. As another poster at CeliacChicks commented, “It really makes being gluten free not that bad!” I couldn’t agree more. If there aren’t any stores selling Bubbies in the ice cream department in your area, never fear- you can order them online at Gourmet Food Mall. They were also featured in Oprah, Bon Appetite, and the New York Times. Personally, I’d give them an emphatic ten stars out of ten.

Enjoy a video of the Bubbies shop in Honolulu:


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5 Responses to “Yum of the Week: Bubbies Mochi”

  1. Hey! So glad you broke down and bought them! MMM…

  2. They were delicious, for sure. Don’t you want to go to the shop in Hawaii?? Yum!!!!
    -Sea

  3. [...] Bubbies Ice Cream and Desserts should be high on your list for gluten-free snacking since Bubbie’s mochi is a favorite summertime snack of Kim from CeliacChick Blog. Kim as well as Yum from the Book of Yum Blog both swear by the deliciousness of these ice cream balls rolled in pounded sweet rice which are available at Whole Foods Markets across the US. The best part? At the Honolulu shop, you have your choice of flavors including lychee, strawberry, mango and 15 other flavors to tingle your tastebuds. Check out their location at 1010 University Ave which is about 1.2 miles from your hotel. [...]

  4. Hi there, so I am in the midst of posting an article on Mochi, and i just wanted to let you know that Mochi is NOT a japanese dessert, it is a traditional Hawaiin Dessert that was created and launched in Hawaii. I did the research i made the calls actually a few years ago when I first saw them. Every Japanese restaurant carries them which is maybe why you got confused, I did too, until I made the calls. Just letting you know. Happy GF eating!

  5. Hi Julie,

    Mochi IS a Japanese dessert that became popular in the Heian period (794-1185) but was mentioned much earlier in literature and government edicts.

    “In the Fifth Century AD, in Fushimi, near Kyoto, we find Hata no Irogu (????), a chieftain of Korean descent, head of the Hata clan using mochi to test his skill at archery. ”
    “During Prince Shotoku’s regency, (573–621) people went so wild about mochi that he had to publish an edict to stop the extravagance. ”
    “By the Heian period, (794–1192) mochi was frequently used as ‘Food for the Gods,’ in Shinto rituals by the aristocracy.”
    (source: http://www.discovernikkei.org/en/journal/2009/12/31/mochi-food/ )

    A more general article:
    “Japan and Korea both have similar pounded glutinous rice foods, known as mochi and tteok, respectively. The exact origin of mochi is unknown, though it is said to have come from China. The cakes of pounded glutinous rice appear to have become a New Year’s treat during Japan’s Heian period (794-1185)”
    (source: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Mochi)

    You might be able to make the argument that mochi originated in China, but I do not think you can make the argument that mochi originated in Hawaii. The method of making mochi using rice flour rather than whole sticky rice that is ground in the mochitsuki ceremony (which I have observed in Japan) could possibly be a Hawaiian adaption, but I have not researched this. Further- I lived in Japan for several years and did not often see mochi in many Japanese restaurants. They are sold at most in sweet shops or in grocery stores.

    Hawaii has a large Japanese population and has been influenced greatly by that culture. I’m sure that many customs were refined or developed there, and I certainly appreciate the fusion foods that have developed. However, mochi has a long and well-documented history in Japan that would support my understanding of it as a Japanese tradition. Mochi is also a Japanese word.

    -Sea

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