Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy Year of the Tiger!
Happy New Year to all of my readers and thank you for following my blog!
Japan follows the Chinese convention of seeing each year as the year of an animal. This year is the year of the tiger, so you can get tiger figures everywhere. The item pictured above is a traditional New Year's mochi (pounded rice cake) decoration with the little plastic tiger on top instead of the traditional mikan (Japanese tangerine). I picked this up at 7-11 for about $4. Note that you can get similar mochi for about $1 at most convenience stores. I doubt there is a qualitative difference in the texture or taste of the mochi. I was mainly paying for the tiger.
Many Japanese families have freshly made mochi as part of their display, but I've been told that when they use the fresh stuff, it sometimes starts to grow mold before it is eaten and the mold has to be cut away before they can consume the remaining mochi. I'm not sure how I'm going to prepare or consume this mochi, but I'll give it a go.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable new year. :-)