I admire people who can eat mochi ice cream. Because while I love mochi and I love ice cream, I am cursed with sensitive teeth and if I try to bite into a cold food, I get tooth-freeze and everything hurts. But this new Trader Joe’s item might just be worth the pain.
Trader Joe’s—my nautical-themed buddy ol’ pal—has given us a fall-flavored mochi ice cream. And nope, it’s not the fall flavor you might expect! It’s Caramel Apple Mochi Ice Cream. Suck it, pumpkin spice! (Just kidding, I still love you, pumpkin spice, please don’t be mad.)
What exactly is Mochi Ice Cream, and what’s so unique about this new Trader Joe’s item?
If you’ve never had mochi, it’s a sticky, chewy, gummy-like dough made of starchy rice and sugar. Mochi is traditionally a Japanese food, but there are also many similar glutinous rice-based dessert/snack foods throughout Asia, such as Chapssaltteok in Korea, and Tang Yuan in China. Many people in the U.S. only know mochi as the delicious, powdery shell with ice cream in the center (like these new Trader Joe’s Caramel Apple Mochi balls), but you can also find many versions of it at Asian grocery stores—from pure little colorful balls, to pockets filled with anything from red bean to black sesame to sweet, fruit-flavored goo.
The point is, mochi isn’t new. But what is new is Caramel Apple Mochi Ice Cream. These balls of caramel apple ice cream wrapped in sweet mochi dough merge the novelty and nostalgia of fall with the sweet, creamy chewiness of mochi ice cream. This new Trader Joe’s concoction could be a revelation or a flop. I could see it potentially tasting fake caramelly and grossly sweet. But as a fan of caramel apple flavor and ice cream and mochi and Trader Joe’s, I choose to have faith that it will taste amazing,
You may be wondering, “Jessica, will you really inflict pain on your own mouth in order to try this?” Luckily, I have a workaround. I call it the “grandpa-lip” method, and it involves wrapping my lips over my teeth before I take a big ol’ ridiculous-looking bite of ice cream that I can savor without it ever touching my teeth. Works like a charm!
Editorial note: If you’re reading this, Grandpa, don’t worry, the “grandpa-lip” thing isn’t based on you, as you’re an ice cream-biting champ with very functional teeth.