Gohei Mochi : The Specialty Rice Cake of Nagano, Gifu, and Aichi
When I go on a sightseeing trip to the mountainous Hida and Takayama region of Gifu Prefecture that is famous for its old streets, I will definitely buy a skewer of “Gohei Mochi (五平餅)” at a confectionery shop offering “Dango (団子)” dumplings.
Not only in the cities of Hida and Takayama, but if you have a plan to do some sightseeing in the mountainous area of Nagano and Aichi Prefectures, like the Kiso and Ina region of Nagano, you will also find Gohei Mochi being sold there.
Gohei-Mochi is the traditional rice cake locally eaten in the mountainous areas of Gifu, Nagano, Aichi, Toyama, and Shizuoka Prefectures.
By the way, Gohei Mochi appears in the big hit Japanese anime film “Kimi no Nawa (君の名は)”, or “Your Name” (Amazon.com), which has a scene modeled after the cities of Hida and Takayama.
It is said that the original Gohei Mochi was first made by locals of the Kiso and Ina region in Nagano in the mid Edo period (Edo period : 1603 to 1868).
Although “Mochi (餅)” usually refers to white plain glutinous rice cake, Gohei Mochi is made of non-glutinous “Uruchi (うるち)” rice.
- The Uruchi rice is steamed, pounded into a sticky cake, and wrapped around a bamboo skewer or a flat wooden stick.
- A sweet nutty sauce is applied on the rice cake, and then the skewer is aromatically grilled over a fire.
There are 2 types of sauces for Gohei Mochi, soy-sauce-based and miso-based. Both sauces are pretty sweet and often contain sesame seeds, walnuts, peanuts or wild sesame seeds.
There are various shapes of Gohei Mochi in Japan, but the rice cake mostly has a sandal-like shape or a flat oval shape.
(Reference Page : Wikipedia 五平餅 )