“Mochi” … a dessert that the Japanese have known for over 117 years

Rice dough served with ice cream melts in the mouth … and in the food culture in Egypt

With spring colors and an attractive taste that melts into ice cream balls, the “Mochi” dessert has spread throughout Egypt, in an experience from the heart of the Asian continent that embodies a world that no longer cares about borders and the convergence of cultures help. .

This type of dessert is a Japanese folk ritual, and a few years ago it appeared on social media, especially through the use of short video clips “Tap Tok.” Now it’s possible to eat mochi balls in Cairo and Alexandria thanks to a promising project on which a young woman is based. She loves the experience. This is Bastian, the founder of Mochi Egypt, who is described as the first to experienced the mochi industry in Egypt about a year ago, and it has achieved a tangible resonance.

Bastian told Asharq Al-Awsat that her passion for food and the introduction of cultures from around the world to the Egyptian market was the motive behind the experiment.

And about the nature of mochi, she says: “It is a sweetened rice dough, which contains ice cream with various flavors, such as vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, watermelon and other common fruits in Egypt, as well as some Japanese flavors such as (matcha), and more. a well-known flavor.In Asia it is called Obi, which is the Japanese potato distinguished by its blood-red color, also known for its very sweet taste; Yuzu, a Japanese lemon with a sour and sour taste, is also included in the list of well-known (mochi) flavors. ”

Regarding the arrival of mochi sweets in Egypt, she says: “It is an Asian dessert, and to be more precise, it is linked to Japanese origin, to the extent that the Japanese hold popular celebrations for it in the squares.”

In a report published two years ago in the travel edition of the British Broadcasting Network “BBC Travel”, it was reported that this dessert has been known to the Japanese for more than 117 years, and consists of a sticky, sticky cake which is made of soil. rice, usually served during the Japanese New Year in a celebration known as the “Mochi Tsuki” celebration.

Mochi dessert … A Japanese blend of rice and ice cream

For years, “mochi” has remained far from the Arab culture, specifically Egypt, because it consists of a very special type of flour that is not available in the Middle East, glutinous rice flour. Bastian says that the move of “mochi” to Egypt initially provided the ingredients, and she mentions: “It is prepared in professional ways to turn it into a dough that is steamed to a certain extent so that it is not too sticky. does not become, and then the chef spreads it out and wraps it around the ice cream filling. ”

Although Bastian is Egyptian, she has noticed, thanks to the cluster network, that “mochi” has become a “trend” or trend in modern food, while there is a lot of searching for places to supply this Japanese dessert, and she says: “I like to follow everything that is modern, especially with regard to Food, I prepare it as a kind of cultural development, and I noticed on the Tik Tok application that the millennial generation is talking about this dessert and the places around it. and because I am already importing food, I decided to go through the experiment to meet the needs of consumers and at the same time enter a new experience in the field of food that I master it. ”

Regarding her efforts to prepare the Japanese dough, she says: “In the beginning it was an individual attempt to prepare (mochi), I learned the recipe online from his professionals, and I had my first experience , and it has the admiration of friends who ate (mochi) in her native Japan. ” She adds: “From here, the idea began from a mere individual experience to a project aimed at mixing cultures, as we are in the era of no boundaries.”

“Mochi” is a sensitive product in its preparation, says the founder of the project, and despite the simplicity of the idea, it needs a professional, because the ingredients are based on soft dough and ice cream, and she adds at: “It needs specialized cooling places, and despite the difficulty of the steps, the reactions were impressive, which drove us to move forward.” .

It is true that the “Z” generation, leading with its ideas “Tik Tok”, was waiting for the “mochi” dessert, but there was another team that was not considered to participate in the experiment , says Bastian: “There are generations who do not know (mochi), especially these. We are not interested in Asian culture, so we had many questions about ingredients unknown to Egyptians, but the taste was the license to to enter the luxury market in Egypt. ”

With 19 branches in Egypt, “mochi” has become a popular dessert, and Bastian explains this popularity: “The Egyptians have a passion for experimentation, and perhaps that’s the secret of the restaurant market’s momentum here, and the overlap of eat cultures in a way that can transcend markets beyond the borders, despite the lack of fame (mochi) in Egypt. In the beginning, as soon as they tasted the sweets, the customers increased the orders in large quantities. ”

Bastian concluded that the success of “mochi” and its assimilation in the food culture in Egypt is increasing, saying: “We still offer (mochi) in a manual way. A modern machine designed by China for we are designed to make Japanese sweets in an easier and faster way, which makes it possible to supply larger quantities of the product in large markets. ”

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