I was intrigued when I saw these Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Rice Nuggets on the shelf at my local Trader Joe’s. What could they possibly mean? The only “Mochi” I knew was the sweet mochi rice cakes that are such a good treat. I get mine from a local Japanese market and they come in many interesting colors and flavors.
This is also not to be confused with the frozen Trader Joe’s mochi ice cream treats which my kids absolutely love. They also come in a wide variety of colors and flavors.
These are completely different than anything “mochi” you might have had in the past (unless you had these in Japan already). I’m not sure I get the whole Japanese band theme they are trying to push on the packaging here but what the hell! Since they kinda look like rocks, they are trying to make a connection to rocks and a rock band.!?!? Trader Joe’s has to constantly come up with some new and interesting ideas and they just grab whatever they can and run with it. Most of these products like this have a pretty short shelf life, but you never know. They could be the next Cookie Butter. Can you say Pumpkin Spice Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets?
More to the point, what do they taste like and is it worth it to buy them? According to the Trader Joe’s website, these are made with Rice, Palm Oil and Salt. Looking at them it looks like they are made into these cube like forms and then dropped into a fryer where they puff up slightly. Then they are tossed with salt.
The aroma when you open the bag is not unlike that of popcorn. Popping one in my mouth, they were harder then I expected, but had a nice crunch and they had almost that buttery, popcorn flavor with a nice salty bite! They are quite a bit heavier in the mouth than popcorn, but kind of serve the same purpose. A salty snack to go with your cold beer. I would easily put these out on game day for everyone to snack on, although one bag won’t last very long! One problem I had with them is that when chewing them up, the get kind of gummy and stick to your back teeth…
My kids really like them so they passed the crucial “child test” at my house. I put them in their school lunches and they ate them all so that is good. I don’t think they are considered Gluten Free because they are made on equipment that also processes wheat products but for all purposes they really are gluten free.
I am disturbed by one thing I read on the back,
INGREDIENTS: Rice, Palm Oil, Sea Salt, Sunflower Lecithin. MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF WHEAT, MILK, SOY, MACKEREL.
Anyway, I am probably going to buy them again just for a different snack for the kids. Other than the minor issue of sticking to your teeth, I will rate them 8 Bells!