|Strawberry Mochi. YUM!|
I became fascinated with the beauty of Japanese packaging and culture back when Hello Kitty invaded elementary school.
The darling little pink and white kitty-cat emblazoned scented(!) erasers and other teeny-weeny-yet-useful school items (tiny pencils, pads and itty-bitty crayons!) with their sheer adorableness captured our kid imaginations. It almost nonsensical they were so small, and certainly surreal to look at -- but that's what I loved about it all. It was like little girl princesses-dress-up-and-unicorn dreams packaging on everyday items.
Still love the stuff.
Visiting Japanese restaurants followed in my mid-teens. My friends had interned at Marvel Comics, and there was an editor in the Epic Comics division that had befriended us. She was cool and amazing and knew Japanese and would translate Japanese comics into English. She introduced us to a really great Japanese restaurant a few blocks away from the Marvel Offices back when they used to be located down on Park Avenue South. I became quite the fan of sushi and sashimi. Wonderful food!
At my most recent visit up to see my folks, my sister and I walked over to a Japanese grocery store specifically to pick up some mochi. Heavenly-tasting are these rice-doughy-filled-with-sweet-bean-paste dessert delights. My favorite is the pink-colored strawberry flavored exteriors.
I recently found a cute little Japanese grocery store here and they have strawberry mochi! Happy dance indeed!! I've bought 4 or 5 each time I've stopped in. What a treat!!