After reading an enticing review from San Francisco’s very own food connoisseur, Mika Takeuchi, of the Food Fashionista, I finally made the trip to the famous Benkyodo in Japantown. The purpose of my visit was to try the strawberry mochi and hopefully, to photograph them!
These mochis are a special treat, but they are not overly sweet which is exactly why I love them! They are not the ice cream version that you will find at your local Trader Joe’s. These are traditional Japanese mochis, meaning that they are rice cakes made of glutinous rice that has been pounded into paste and molded into shape. These delicate handcrafted desserts are melt-in-your-mouth soft in texture and have a fresh piece of strawberry embedded inside. The Benkyodo confectionary also offers a variety of other desserts, in addition to an assortment of mochis, but the fresh strawberry mochi flavor is seasonal and very popular. To ensure that you get your hands on the chewy Japanese treats be sure to visit early in the day as they sell out by afternoon.
Also, it is important to remember that these sweet confections are best when enjoyed the day of purchase as the sticky rice cake exterior will begin to harden after a day or two.