We used to have mochi for dessert every Friday at our favorite sushi restaurant before it lost its lease (so sad). The mochi we would have for dessert were rice flour balls filled with green tea, red bean, mango or coconut ice cream for dessert. You’ve probably had them many times yourself.
At the Brooklyn Flea two weeks ago, however, I encountered a different kind of mochi from Hanaka NYC. Owners Fujiko Aoki and Yukiko Hayakawa create beautiful, tiny flavor bombs with all natural, gluten-free ingredients. That day, their flavors included lemon rapini flower, raspberrry and chocolate, rose mame kofuku, elderflower and strawberry, and green tea tiramisu.
I had to try the green tea tiramisu mochi. It was sprinkled with green tea powder and served to me on a pretty bamboo boat. I popped the whole thing into my mouth. The initial flavor was the distinctly earthy and almost briney taste of green tea, a bit of a shock to my palate. That flavor gave way to the delicate flavor of the rice dough coating, which dissolved to reveal a gently sweetened mascarpone filling with a tiny hint of coffee.
This small, beautiful, handmade dessert offered a complex taste experience, from strong to subtle to sweet and creamy, all in one bite. The other mochi flavors looked equally compelling and pretty.
Weekend Market Picks
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Japan Block Fair: I’ve never been to this event, and I’m excited to see what it’s all about. It promises to feature Japanese handmade products and performance, including Samurai exhibitions and drumming. And then there’s the food, which I can’t wait to try. 12PM – 6PM, 6th Avenue between Washington Place and Waverly Place, Manhattan
Saturday & Sunday, September 6 & 7, 2014
Artists & Fleas: This indoor market in Williamsburg features one of the most diverse and interesting collections of handmade artistans, artists and vintage curators in the city. You’ll get a glimpse of coming trends in fashion and design when you stroll through this market. Visit their venue inside Chelsea Market too! 10AM – 7PM, 70 N. 7th Street, Brooklyn
Essex Street Market: Visit this market for a cup of coffee and a muffin, and I guarantee you’ll walk out with cheese, bread, chocolate and maybe even some heritage bacon. One of New York’s original indoor food markets, Essex is home to some amazing food shops. It is also a short walk to the Hester Street Fair! 8AM – 7PM Saturday, 10AM – 6PM Sunday, 120 Essex Street at Delancey, Manhattan
Hester Street Fair: It’s Pet Weekend at the Hester Street Fair. Finally a Fashion Week event for the four-legged natural beauties among us! Bring your furry or scaly friend for a portrait, or hang out together at the Pet Cafe. 11AM – 6PM, corner of Hester and Essex Streets, Manhattan
LIC Flea and Food: Enjoy Fashion Week at the Flea! The LIC Flea is now open on Saturdays and Sundays, since the Astoria Flea came to an end last weekend. Go to Long Island City this weekend for clothing and jewelry designers and fashion trucks! Not to mention the fabulous food vendors. 10am – 6pm, 5-25 46th Avenue, Long Island City, Queens
Mad. Sq. Eats: This lovely outdoor food emporium is back for the next month. It is the perfect place to enjoy the fall weather with friends for lunch, dinner, or for a beer after work. 11AM – 9PM, General Worth Square between Broadway & 5th, and 24th & 25th Streets, Manhattan
Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit: Every time I walk through this remarkable outdoor art show, I am inspired by the world class fine art, right out there on the sidewalks of Greenwich Village. WSOAE is an amazing opportunity to enjoy works of art and meet the artists who created them. Now in its 85th year, this event represents the history of creativity in the Village. 12PM – 6PM, University Place between East 12th and West 3rd Street, Manhattan
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Tompkins Square Greenmarket: I can’t but help but think about the 80’s whenever we walk through Tompkins Square Park, especially at night. But these days, it is quite a bit more savory than back then. The Sunday Greenmarket brings out the neighbors and makes me both happy and nostalgic. 9AM – 6PM, Avenue A and East 7th Street, Manhattan
Additionally the ID Pop Shop opens on Monday, September 8 for two full weeks inside Chelsea Market!
~Karen Seiger, Markets of New York City
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