Mochi ice cream
Mochi ice cream in green tea, vanilla, and strawberry flavors
|Place of origin||Los Angeles, California|
|Main ingredient(s)||Mochi, ice cream, powdered sugar|
Mochi ice cream is a small, round dessert ball consisting of a soft, pounded sticky rice cake (mochi) on the outside and an ice cream filling on the inside. It is then dusted with corn starch. There are many flavors to choose from, but the most popular are green tea (matcha), vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and red bean (azuki).
More recently, a modification of the mochi has been introduced. Instead of using ice cream, gelato has replaced it as the new filling. The term coined for it is “Mochilato”. They are richer in flavor and creamier in texture. These can be found at restaurants with its namesake, located around Southern California.
Japanese daifuku and manjū are the predecessors to mochi ice cream, commonly featuring azuki bean filling. However, due to the temperature and consistency of mochi and ice cream, both components must be modified in order to achieve the right viscosity that will remain constant regardless of changes in temperature.
An early, predecessor form of the dessert was originally produced by Lotte, as Yukimi Daifuku in 1981. The company first made the product by using a rice starch instead of sticky rice and a type of rice milk instead of real ice cream.
Frances Hashimoto, the former president and CEO of Mikawaya, is credited as the creator and inventor of mochi ice cream and introducing the dessert to the American consumer market. Hashimoto's husband, Joel Friedman, initially conceived the idea of taking small orbs of ice cream and wrapping them in a Japanese traditional mochi rice cake. Frances Hashimoto expanded on her husband's idea, inventing the fusion dessert now popular in the United States and elsewhere. Hashimoto would introduce seven different flavors in her mochi product lines.
Mikawaya began production of mochi ice cream in the United States in 1993, becoming the first American company to manufacture the dessert. Research and development took over a decade to realize the mass production form utilized today, due to the complex interactions of the ingredients.
Mikawaya's mochi ice cream products are now sold in major American supermarkets, including Albertsons, Trader Joe's, Ralphs, and Safeway. Mochi ice cream now accounts for the majority of Mikawaya's sales.
See also 
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Notes and references 
- Lee, Wendy (2012-11-07). "Frances Hashimoto, creator of mochi ice cream, dies". KPCC. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- Watanabe, Teresa (2012-11-07). "Frances Hashimoto dies at 69; Little Tokyo leader, mochi ice cream creator". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- "Mochi Ice Cream Recipe". House of Japan. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Eto, Masa, Pursuit of Innovative Food, "Masa's Message", A&D Company Ltd., March, 2004. Technical information on Yukimi Daifuku. URL accessed August 10, 2006.
- Japan. Japan Patent Office. Trademark Application From File: #s56-64587. Tokyo, 1981.
- Endo, Ellen (2012-11-05). "Mikwaya CEO Hashimoto Passes at 69". Rafu Shimpo. Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- Jablon, Robert (2012-11-07). "Frances Hashimoto Dead: Inventor Of Mochi Ice Cream Dies Of Lung Cancer". Associated Press (Huffington Post). Retrieved 2012-12-02.
- Mainstream America Embraces Mochi Ice Cream, sushiandtofu.com, All Japan News, December, 2001. History of Mochi Ice Cream and Mikawaya Bakery-Confectionery. URL accessed August 10, 2006.
- About Us, Mikawaya, 2005. . URL accessed January 18, 2007.