Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mikawaya Mochi Ice Cream

So...I know this is cheating because technically this mochi isn't Trader Joe's brand, but if you're shopping at TJ's a lot, you need to try these, and I've never seen them anywhere other than Trader Joe's.

For those of you unfamiliar with mochi ice cream, it's a sort of soft, dessert-ish, rice-based shell filled with ice cream, and, ohmyfreakinggosh, it's good.

I guess Mikawaya is a Japanese company. It wouldn't surprise me if these puppies are imported from the Orient. They're a little pricey: in the ballpark of $3 for six little ice cream ball things...but trust me, it's worth it. If you buy them individually at a mochi ice cream restaurant in Little Tokyo, for example, you might pay $1 for each one. So six for $3 is a bargain. Plus, the quality is on par with ones I've had from an actual mochi parlor. They're amazing.

My favorite flavors are strawberry and vanilla. Chocolate is OK...only get the green tea flavor if you LOVE green tea. I've never had mango, but I hear it's not bad.

Next time you're in the frozen section of TJ's, pick up a box. They're scrump-dilly-icious. Bottom line: 9.5 out of 10.

14 comments:

  1. Update: Mango is indeed not bad. It's right under strawberry and vanilla in the flavor rankings.

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  2. Just so you know, Mikawaya is a Los Angeles company and they have a shop in Little Tokyo where you can get all kinds of new flavors. Yummylish!

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  3. I was in Trader Joes this past week and there were some newer boxes of the mochi's stating that they were made in the USA. I guess to calm fears about radiation contamination or something...

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  4. They actually have a factory in Little Tokyo near the Mikawaya store, which is where they probably make all of them. The mochi with gelato is the best imo. It's a must try if you're in Little Tokyo.

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  5. The mango is great, and the green tea is pungent (but great).

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  6. I love the green tea and mango ones. I find that I am just not interested in such pedestrian flavors as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry (perfectly fine flavors though they are) with such an exotic frozen treat! It seems to me the key with these, which I've also had at Japanese restaurants, is to eat them at just the right halfway point in between rock-solid frozen and squishy-melty. Mmmmm, so good!

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    1. I wish they made match green ice cream. That would be a delicious treat.

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    2. Japanese tea company, Maeda-en makes green tea Mochi ice-cream with top quality Matcha green tea. They are just superve♪(´ε` )
      I am from Japan and Matcha crazy(^_-)

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  7. I don't think so. I used to like the Mochi from Makawaya but will never buy from them again. The maker doesn't care about quality control and you could easily get sick if you got a bad batch. Calls to advise them via email or phone are unanswered. I guess as long as no one sues them, they don't care.

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    1. Ok, this is a crazy coincidence. I love Mikawaya mochi from Trader joes. I bought a strawberry and mango today. My wife and I finished a box of strawberry first and then I got the mango flavor out of the freeze. As soon as we put the mango one in our mouth, both of us were like...ewwww it tastes like cough medicine...something was really wrong with the mango flavor...we know it because we eat mango flavor almost every 2-3 days....so i googled the mango flavor mochi review and found your "quality control" comment...the thing that's crazy is I was telling my wife I don't think Mikawaya has quality control....Hopefully they have cause I love their product....I hope we don't get sick...

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  8. Green tea is my favorite! I could eat them all day. Strawberry's very sweet but yummy. Chocolate's good too, but I'm not a huge chocolate fan so ehh.. I need to try the vanilla, I just haven't. Cosco supposedly sells bigger, assorted boxes, not sure if it's the same brand or not. Unfortunately, Sam's Club doesn't sell these little pieces of awesome :( TJ's is a great store, but over an hour from my house, though I've taken numerous trips just for Mochi and Espresso Pillows, haha :)

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  9. You can find Mochi Ice Cream at all oriental grocery stores. They carry the Mikawaya brand as well as others. I have seen coffee and red bean flavour too.

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