Which Mochi Flavor is Truly the Best? 

A trip to Whole Foods proves fruitful

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Chris Hernan and Meaghan Murray

Mochi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of a ball of sweet rice dough that encloses a scoop of rich, premium ice cream. Mochi has recently become more popular in the United States, being featured in grocery stores such as Trader Joes and Whole Foods. Being strong fans of mochi and Whole Foods, we decided to hit the nearest Whole Foods at Hingham Derby Shoppes, buy all nine flavors available in the self-serve mochi freezer, and rank them from worst to best. 

  1. Pumpkin (4/10)

Meaghan: Being a self-proclaimed fan of pumpkin-flavored foods, I was highly disappointed when this flavor did not deliver. While the flavor was intense and the dough was considerably thicker than some of its opponents, the taste was similar to that of the gingerbread flavored treat. This is a flavor for the adventure seeker — those who do not value a quality pumpkin flavor. 

Chris: This flavor to me was immediately repulsive. It tasted similar to the gingerbread flavor, which is in the no. 8 spot, with all of the worst qualities of it amplified tenfold. Rather than tasting like a pleasant pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks, it was more similar to eating the raw guts of a rotten pumpkin. Do NOT eat this mochi flavor.

  1. Gingerbread (5.75/10)

Meaghan: Even though the taste of this mochi was the exact taste of gingerbread, that does not mean it was good. The flavor was intense — almost too intense for my personal liking. The subtle spice of this flavor did not mix well with the sweetness of the ice cream, creating an overall unenjoyable product. Out of respect for the genuine gingerbread flavor, I have awarded this mochi with a 5/10. 

Chris: Despite the score it received, I actually enjoyed this flavor quite a bit. The dough offered a subtle spice, and the ice cream had a balanced sweetness–the two complemented each other well.  It truly made me feel like a lil’ boy opening my presents on Christmas day! 🙂

  1. Green tea (6.5/10)

Meaghan: Green Tea had an extremely strong influence of matcha present in this mochi, recognizable from the first bite. It tasted as if I was taking a big sip of a venti iced matcha latte, a luxury that I do enjoy. Notably, the dough of this treat was especially thick and provided adequate contrast between the rice dough and ice cream. This mochi earned a 6.5/10 in my book. 

Chris: Understandably, this flavor tastes more like matcha than green tea. It definitely checks off all the boxes for a matcha flavor of mochi, but I’m personally not a big fan of matcha in the first place. If you like matcha or green tea, chances are you’ll enjoy this flavor.

  1. Red velvet (6.75/10)

Meaghan: This flavor was most definitely a highlight in my mochi journey. The ice cream within the dough was significantly more flavorful than the rice dough itself. I’m still unclear on exactly what red velvet flavor is, considering I thought for the longest time that it was just chocolate with red food coloring. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed devouring this sweet treat. 

Chris: Personally, I gave this flavor a 5.5, but Meaghan scored it higher, which offset the total score. The rice dough was sweet, but the chocolate on the inside was subpar and the dough/ice cream combo did not taste good together. I’m not a fan of red velvet in general, so I could be biased, but I thought it was, all in all, a low-quality mochi.

  1. Mango (8.25/10)

Meaghan: To be truthful, I am not a fan of anything mango flavored and was definitely skeptical upon taking the first bite of this mochi. However, I was indeed pleasantly surprised. The sweet and fruity flavor paired with the vibrant orange color proved my mango bias to be in poor taste. The ice cream was thicker than I perceived it would be, making my score a solid 7.5 for me. 

Chris: Again, I scored this flavor a 9, but Meaghan’s low score offset the total, landing mango at the no. 5 spot. For me, this is one of the best flavors that Whole Foods has to offer. The mango ice cream was immaculate–rich, creamy, and the perfect amount of sweet. I was expecting it to be a sorbet; instead, it was the best fruit-flavored ice cream I’ve ever tasted. However, the dough doesn’t really carry its weight, which it’s why I scored it a 9 instead of a 10. 

T3. Triple Chocolate (8.5/10)

Meaghan: Even though this mochi was one of the truest to its flavor, the chocolate chips gave the ice cream a strange texture. When I look forward to eating mochi, it’s the smooth and creamy ice cream mixed with the chewy rice dough I think about — the addition of chocolate chips threw off this balance for me. I definitely still enjoyed this flavor, coming in at 8/10. 

Chris: The triple chocolate flavor offers a delicious tribute to chocolate. It’s a pretty standard option but definitely does not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my expectations — the dough is yummy, the chocolate ice cream is rich and savory, and the extra chocolate chips in the ice cream is a pleasant surprise. 

T3. Strawberry (8.5/10)

Meaghan: Though I usually don’t like strawberry ice cream, this flavor was a sweet revelation. Although it did taste artificial, the exceptionally creamy inside the delicious dough made for an overall solid mochi, earning a 9/10. 

Chris: Usually I don’t like fruit-flavored ice creams, but this mochi blew me away. For starters, the dough was sweet, which is pretty uncommon for most of the mochi. The ice cream was top-notch, tasting just like a strawberry. Strawberry mochi is just as reliable as vanilla, but it’s sweeter and more adventurous.

  1. Vanilla (8.75/10)

Meaghan: If I could only eat one mochi for the rest of my life, this flavor is what I would choose. The perfect texture, consistent flavor, and sweet dough make this mochi one of the best options. Even though Whole Foods does offer a great vanilla mochi, I think the Trader Joe’s vanilla flavor may be even better. For me, this is the only 10/10 — call me boring, but I will never turn down an offer for some vanilla mochi. Sorry. 

Chris: The vanilla mochi is able to maintain reliability while simultaneously being absolutely delectable. The combination of the vanilla ice cream and dough offer reliability unlike any other on this list. This is the only flavor on this list that I feel like I could eat a dozen of without getting sick of it. 

  1. Chocolate espresso (9.5/10)

Meaghan: As a coffee lover, I was very excited to give this flavor a try — I am pleased with our decision to do so. The solid taste of espresso combined with the mocha rice dough is an iconic combination of two tremendous flavors that compliment each other flawlessly. The only reason this wasn’t a 10 out of 10 for me is because the rice dough could have been more flavorful. However, this mochi still comes in at an admirable 9.5/10. 

Chris: Meaghan and I unanimously agreed that this was the best mochi flavor out of the bunch. Chocolate espresso offers a certain premium quality unlike any other. The ice cream in the center maintains a rich mocha quality without the bitterness that it often comes with. The dough is somewhat flavorless, but the ice cream is simply unmatched.