May 01, 2006

Boy's Day Treat

This is kashiwa mochi. It's available around Boy's Day. It is glutinous rice filled with sweet bean paste then wrapped in an oak leaf. Sounds yummy, huh? It actually is. Especially with green tea.
Kashiwa is oak. Mochi is the round "cake". I've heard people call it a rice cake when they are translating or explaining it in English. That sounds better than glutinous rice, but Americans know rice cakes as puffed crunchy rice. (I've seen that sold here, but you put it in a bowl of boiling water to make a hot cereal.) Mochi is rice that has been pounded until it is soft and sticky. The bean paste is made from adzuki beans that are sweetened. Mochi is sold throughout the year and is presented in different ways. The oak leaf is special for Boy's Day. The leaf is not eaten.

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