Mochi (Japanese: 餅, もち) is Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, it is commonly sold and eaten during new year time. Mochi is a multicomponent food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains, and air bubbles. This rice is characterized by its lack of amylose in the starch and is derived from short or medium japonica rices. The protein concentration of the rice is higher than that of normal short-grain rice, and the two also differ in amylose content. In mochi rice, the amylose content is negligible, which results in its gel-like consistency. The exact origin of mochi has yet to be confirmed. The first mochitsuki ceremony occurred after the Kami are said to have descended to Earth, which was following the birth of rice cultivation in Yamato during the Yayoi period (300 BC-300 AD). Mochi continues to be one of the traditional foods eaten around Japanese New Year.
Seasonal specialities ~New Year
Kagami mochi is a New Year decoration, which is traditionally broken and eaten in a ritual called Kagami biraki (mirror opening).
-Zōni is a soup containing rice cakes. -Kinako mochi is a mochi dish that is traditionally made on New Year's Day as an emblem of luck.
~Spring time -Sakuramochi ~Children's Day
is celebrated in Japan on May 5. Kashiwa-mochi and chimaki are made especially for this celebration. ~Girl's day
Hishi mochi is a ceremonial dessert that is presented as a ritual offering on the days leading up to Hinamatsuri or "Girls' Day" in Japan.