Habutae Mochi: A Specialty Wagashi Sweet of Fukui
Yesterday, after finishing work, my co-worker gifted me this Habutae Mochi (羽二重餅) as she visited Kanazawa for sightseeing on the last holiday and got it for me.
As you might already know, the Mochi confection or Mochigashi is a specialty of Fukui, but it is actually also available at souvenir shops in neighboring prefectures such as Ishikawa.
Habutae Mochi (羽二重餅)
For the unfamiliar, Habutae Mochi is a Wagashi confection similar to Gyuhi (求肥), made from steamed Mochiko (glutinous rice flour) kneaded with sugar and starch syrup.
Based on Gurutabi, its originator is Matsuoka-Ken (松岡軒) (Google Maps), located about a five minutes walk from JR Fukui Station, whose founder created the Mochigashi, inspired by the top-grade silk fabric called Habutae (羽二重) that Fukui boasts.
Habutae Mochi is now a well-known sweet of Fukui, and many confectionery shops (in and around the prefecture) are producing it.
By the way, the one I have on hand is from Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, which prides itself on Kaga-Yuzen (加賀友禅) and gold leaf crafts, and this gift-wrapping is associated with the former.
Unfolding the wrapper, you can see five pieces of Habutae Mochi inside. The golden circle design and red Kanji characters 金箔 on the packaging suggest that these treats contain gold.
But the amount is so little that I couldn’t find where it’s used (please look at the picture below and check it for yourself).
Nonetheless, this rice cake is pleasantly soft and smooth (like the traditional Habutae fabrics), and the texture and appearance would remind many people of Mochi ice cream.
In fact, according to the article 羽二重餅 on Japanese Wikipedia, Habutae Mochi greatly influences the Gyuhi wrapper of Lotte’s Yukimi Daifuku, and they are actually so close in many ways.