Friday, January 27, 2012

Lotte Fresh Chocolate Yukimi Daifuku Ice Cream

Remember on Monday when I said winter is the time for chocolate? That applies to ice cream, too, though I'm guessing that this is not due to a lack of refrigeration in the supply trucks as I speculated about other types of chocolate snacks in the previous post. Maybe chocolate is a winter food because it tends to make you fat if you eat a lot of it and being fatter when it's cold provides much needed insulation and padding on the posterior for those who park themselves under the kotatsu for warmth.

The fact that all of the chocolate comes out to play in winter coupled with the fact that it's about a million degrees and there is sauna-like humidity in summer make me feel that, if you're going to come to Tokyo, winter is definitely the time. Sure, if you're a big sissy about a little chill in the air, you might find it less than optimal, but the chocolate, which all appears to be marketed as "limited edition" is worth wearing a scarf and bringing a big coat along.

Yukimi daifuku is a dollop of ice cream (or sometimes, ice milk) wrapped in a thin mochi (pounded rice cake) shell. The mochi is stretchy and fairly flavorless and provides a nice textural contrast to the soft, creamy ice cream. These are usually sold for about 100 yen ($1.24) for two small (47 ml.) balls of mochi-wrapped ice cream. The outside is dusted with flour or starch to keep them from sticking to the packaging, but it has no effect on the eating experience. Each is 92 calories and I split this with my husband. They are best when you allow them to sit for several minutes to allow the ice cream to soften a bit. That reveals more of the creamy nature and for a better texture.

The chocolate flavor comes mostly from the dollop of bittersweet syrup at the top/bottom of the little ball of ice cream. The mochi is brown, but doesn't seem to have any more flavor than standard mochi (which is to say, very little). The flavor is very good with a deepness to the chocolate that you don't always find in cheap consumer-grade ice cream. The unique part, of course, is the outer wrapper which adds a lovely textural quality. Lotte has a technique for keeping the mochi soft while still being frozen which makes this very similar to eating fresh daifuku.

This is my second encounter with Lotte's daifuku ice cream and it did not disappoint. My previous experience was with the vanilla variety which left a very favorable impression on me. This one similarly did so and I am keen to try all flavors on offer through time. If you have an Asian grocery that stocks these or live in Japan, don't hesitate to try these. They are delicious, unique, and provide excellent portion control.


Connys World said...

omg!!!!! it looks so yummy :)

Japan-Australia said...

Looks really good and Lotte do some great Japanese Snacks :)

Japan Australia

Lisa said...

I ate the caramel version just the other day. As it was 40-something degrees, I didn't have to wait long for it to soften up a little and found the mochi coating kept the icecream and caramel centre nicely contained. I could've easily eaten both but one was enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

gossip_bangkok said...

Ohhh! I haven't seen these in my local supermarket yet. I usually don't really like the Daifuku ice cream, but because of the nama chocolate, I'm willing to try! :)

TordyClarkinTokyo said...

The current flavour is Tiramisu. FLavours are thus: a soft chocolate caramel inside the midle, very creamy and almost rum-like, with a shaprish aromatic tang. The vanilla sweet cream surrounding ball, and the outside a chocolate daifu rice wrap. It is utterly delectable.
It replaced the best flavour ice cream I have ever taster- the triple berry cheesecake daifuku. That one, exceeded anything I've ever imagined in an ice cream. The chewy soft rice flour surround, yeliding to the white sweet cream cheese interior then the middle, rich tangy raspberry and cranberry tart jam. I've never imagined an ice cream can hit so many powerful levels of taste and satisfaction. It was the best. This current flavour is second best. I keep trying to buy more types of ice cream, but stop too easily at these. They are fantastic. I wish the caramel version would be re-issued.

Orchid64 said...

There seems to be a real rotation of flavors going on with these and I've never had a bad one. I want to try the mochi ice cream marketed in the U.S. to compare it to this as I think this was delicious.