Gohei Mochi: Specialty Rice Cake of Nagano, Gifu, and Aichi
When I go on a trip to the mountainous Hida and Takayama region of Gifu 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 sightseeing in the mountainous areas of Nagano and Aichi, for example, the Kiso and Ina region of Nagano, you will also find Goheimochi there.
Gohei-Mochi is actually a traditional Japanese rice cake snack that is 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)” with the English title of “Your Name”, which has a scene modeled after the cities of Hida and Takayama.
Gohei Mochi is said to have been first made by locals of the Kiso and Ina region of Nagano in the mid-Edo period (Edo period: 1603 to 1868).
Although “Mochi (餅)” usually refers to white plain rice cake made from glutinous rice called “Mochi-Gome (餅米)”, Gohei Mochi is made of non-glutinous rice “Uruchi-Mai (うるち米)”.
- The Uruchi rice is first steamed, then pounded into a sticky dough, and wrapped around a wide flat bamboo skewer or wooden stick.
- A sweet nutty sauce is applied to the rice cake, and then the skewer is aromatically grilled over a fire.
There are two types of sauce for Gohei Mochi, soy sauce-based and miso-based. Both are pretty sweet and often contain bits of sesame seeds, walnuts, peanuts, or wild sesame seeds.
Gohei Mochi comes in various shapes, but the rice cake mostly has a sandal-like or a flat oval shape.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 五平餅 )