? Goheimochi might be a brand new experience for your tastebuds. If you've only tried mochi outside of Japan, your image of this traditional treat probably includes an ice cream filling
, or perhaps some sweet red bean paste. But mochi (餅) refers to a wide variety of products, all called mochi because of their base ingredient: pounded rice. Many of these foods aren't even sweet!
Goheimochi is a specialty of Japan's Chubu Region
, a collection of prefectures in central Japan, meaning you'll find it in cities like Nagoya
. It's not just a regional name, though―what makes goheimochi so unique is that it uses ordinary short-grain rice instead of the special glutenous rice that makes up normal mochi. This change in rice gives it a totally different texture from your average mochi―less smooth and elastic, but with more of a firm bite! It's sometimes compared to kiritanpo
, another rice cake eaten in Akita Prefecture