My experiences with "Yuki & Love" brand mochi snacks has been a very mixed bag. In fact, I started off flying high on their blobs of goo-filled rice cake with their taro mochi. It was all a thundering downhill ride from there. They even ruined peanut butter mochi for me. It was like one of those friendships that start out great and, not so slowly, you find yourself bored and then repulsed by the idea of spending time with a person. In the end, you're putting them off when they ask you to spend time with them because you're dreading the experience.
The truth is that I was treating this box of sesame mochi like such a bad friendship. It has been in my possession for five months and is currently past its expiration date of June 2013 by a fair margin. I feel obliged to say that because, clearly, I'm not having this at its best.
In fact, I may not even be having it when it is safe to eat. However, my feeling is that these packages are sealed pretty well and there are little oxygen absorbing packets in them. If I don't go blind or projectile vomit, then it probably is okay to eat. Mind you, I would only do this with a sealed product. If it had been open for five months, I wouldn't be eating it now. Suffice it to say, this is not a "do as I do" sort of thing. I don't recommend anyone eat expired mochi. Don't try this at home, kids!
Fortunately, there were no infestations of insects in the package and I couldn't perceive visible growth on them. In fact, it looked pretty innocuous in there. My main concern was that the mochi would have gone very, very stale. That being said, the other Yuki & Love mochi snacks which I didn't care for tasted stale even when they were supposedly on the fresh side.
I'm happy to say that this was actually pretty good, especially given its status as aged mochi. In fact, the mochi texture was better than my previous two experiences. It was relatively soft and easy to chew. No, it was not like fresh, handmade stuff, but this is shelf-stable and much cheaper - not to mention the fact that I can get it at Ranch 99 Asian market any time rather than make a special trip to the nearest Japan town.
The mochi was pretty pleasant cold, and downright pliable and almost fresh when popped in the microwave for a few seconds. I tried it both cold and (too) hot and I preferred the filling cold and the mochi warm. The sesame coating on the outside added a nice nutty quality as well as the unique flavor that comes from the roasted black seeds. The interior is a little on the milder side for sesame, but still quite flavorful. It lacks intensity and richness, but is not bland.
I would absolutely buy this version of Yuki & Love's mochi again. In fact, I'd say that it is very serviceable and a good variety to keep around for emergency mochi cravings. Yes, I realize that only I actually have those... well, me and possibly pregnant Japanese women. Each little blob is 130 calories, which is not low for the size, but is pretty good for something which contains seeds (which are fatty and high calorie relatively speaking).
It seems that sometimes you avoid a "friend" because you expect to have a bad time, but then you discover that good times can be had after all. Next time, I'll try not to wait until the snack is two and a half months past its expiration date to give it a go.