Have you ever been in a situation in which someone tries very hard to convince you of something and the more they try to get you to believe them, the less you do? If your friend was trying to get you to go on a date with another friend, you'd probably become suspicious if they used too many superlatives. "He's a great guy, really. He works hard, has a great job, and is trustworthy. He's the best cook I've ever known. He's great, really!"
By the second "really," your suspicions are going to be aroused and you won't be shocked when you meet him and find he has an enormous horned toad tattooed on his face and is still living at home with his mother. He probably also has a collection of pet reptiles in his basement "bachelor pad," and an unabashedly displayed collection of adult diaper pron. No, I'm not speaking from real life experience, fortunately.
I think that there is an inverse relationship between how good something actually is and its claims of how good it is. This not only applies to dates, but also to food. I should have thought of that before buying this mango mochi, but Asian food so often has such claims earnestly displayed on it that I've learned to tune it out. This one says, "Tastes good, absolutely delicious products." If that weren't enough, there is a little crown on it that says, "King of the Tawiwan mochi." That was the one that should have told me that this was a potential toad-faced loser with a stack of diaper porn.
Perhaps I'm being a bit too harsh on this, but I did have somewhat high expectations. I found this at "Ranch 99" Asian market for around $2.00 (200 yen) and was happy to find a new flavor among the more common taro, sesame, peanut, brown sugar, and green tea. I wished I'd tried the green tea instead.
The mochi itself was actually quite good. It is tiny - about the diameter of an American quarter or a little bigger than a Japanese 100-yen coin - and only 90 calories per serving, but it manages to pack a little funk into its petit package. The mochi is soft, fresh, and nicely chewy, but the thick jelly-like center which is supposed to be mango has a strange taste to it.
This starts out okay with a bland flavor that becomes sweeter as you get more of the center flavor. It is definitely mango, but the finishing flavor is polluted by something which tastes like melon, but not any melon that you'd want to eat. I'm guessing this flavor comes from the cassava starch in the ingredients list, but I've never had cassava so I don't know what it actually tastes like. All I know is that something ruins a fairly promising mochi and I'm going to say the cassava is the toad tattoo on an otherwise decent-looking face because most of the other ingredients are sugar (maltose, water, sugar, cassava starch, mango juice, gelatine, glucose, sorbic acid, natural flavor, and a bunch of artificial colors). The weird thing is that that is mochi, but there's no rice listed!
I may choke down one or two more of these, but chances are I'll spring them on unsupecting visitors or throw the rest out. Life is too short for weird-tasting fruit mochi. I'm sure you'll see that on a bumper sticker one day, just as I'm sure you'll meet someone with a toad tattooed on his face (likely sooner rather than later given how many people tattoos there are in America these days).