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Mochi bars are coming!
It’s hard to improve on plain ice cream, but wrapping it in soft, spongy mochi does the trick. The marshmallow-like Japanese rice paste has popped up in a few popular forms stateside in boba tea shops, Pinkberry locations and even the Trader Joe’s frozen desserts section. Now Whole Foods is giving mochi fans and newcomers alike a bevy of new options with the addition of mochi bars—self-serve cases filled with multiple flavors of the ice cream-filled treat.
The organic grocery chain posted a photo on Instagram of the new “mochi bunker” in its Wheaton, Illinois store near Chicago and there also appears to be a mochi bar in a Fremont, California location. From other users’ social media posts, the price looks to be $2 per mochi or $20 per dozen.
The move toward mochi isn’t surprising, considering the list of potential 2017 trends that Whole Foods released late last year. Amongst the food categories to watch were “Japanese food, beyond sushi.”
Super excited for our #Wheaton store that relocated today in #Chicago! The new store almost doubled in size and features a wood fire pizza oven, a coffee & #beer bar with 24 beers on tap and a beautiful self-serve #MOCHI bunker! Check out more photos @wholefoodschi. #dessert #sweettooth #sweets What's your fave mochi flavor?
The list specifically mentions mochi and its many flavor variations making a transition from restaurants to customers’ kitchens, along with other Japanese staples such as ponzu, nori and azuki beans. The traditional mochi-making process is fascinating to watch, as it involves incredibly quick hands and very large hammers.
If your local Whole Foods hasn't been blessed with a mochi bar, you can always make your own using our simplified method.