Listen up, everybody: this is the best thing I’ve put in my mouth in recent memory.
When I opened the package, I was expecting a solid ball of moderately sweet rice candy. What I found instead was the apotheosis of the concept of “two great tastes [tasting] great together.” Everyone knows that peanut butter and chocolate are natural partners; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are among my favorite candies for this reason.
Peanut small mochi, however, offers something entirely different. Rather than the lush flaky crumble of firm peanut butter inside milk chocolate, this candy pairs a dense, velvety filling with a supple, yielding outer layer.
This combination of textures seems distinctly Asian; I’m hard-pressed to think of a single American food that pairs something spongily gelatinous with something creamy and smooth. The result is exhilaratingly weird and satisfying.
My exploration of mochi (read: a giddy trip down Uwajimaya’s candy aisle) also led me to marshmallow mochi with a soy-sauce jelly center(!). This too, was a beguiling confection: resilient rice candy wrapped around airy marshmallow and brown, salty jelly. Not as uncomplicatedly delectable as small peanut mochi, marshmallow-soy-sauce mochi none the less offered a pleasingly metallic savor and enough textural oddness to keep me excited.