Habutae Mochi (羽二重餅) is a sweet that originates from Fukui. A lot of travelers buy this as a gift.
In Chihayafuru, a well-known Japanese comic about competitive karuta, Wataya, who was born in Fukui, gives Chihaya the heroine Habutae Mochi as a gift. (If you don’t know about Chihayafuru, see my previous post: What is Chihayafuru? and what is karuta?)
The name of Habutae Mochi is taken from habutae silk, a specialty of Fukui Prefecture. The textile industry was one of Fukui’s main industries. In particular, a lot of habutae silk was made in Fukui. It’s one of the best silks in Japan and has a beautiful glossy colour and provides an excellent feel.
The name Mochi means rice cakes in Japanese.
Habutae Mochi has an elegance like habutae silk.
You can buy Habutae Mochi at a gift shop area named Prism Fukui in Fukui Station, Happiring, Matsuokaken, and other shops. (I wrote about Fukui Station in a previous post, so please read it.) (Fukui Station: a major hub of Fukui prefecture)There are lots of kinds of Habutae Mochi, like Strawberry Habutae Mochi, Chocolate Habutae Mochi, Habutae Walnut, and so on at Prism Fukui.
I went to Matsuokaken, where you can walk to in about 15 minutes from Fukui Station. (Operating hours: from 9:00 to 18:00. Closed: during the New Year holidays.) In the shop, you can buy Habutae Mochi, Habutae wafer cakes, Habutae pancakes, Castella cakes, and other things. I saw some Chihayafuru goods in the store. I bought a pack of six Habutae Mochi and ate them at home.
They’re best eaten within about seven days. They’re not so big, and they’re very thin. They’re made of sticky rice flour, starch syrup, granulated sugar, and potato starch.
They have a silk-like coloration. The texture is so soft that when you chew on one 20 times, it’ll dissolve in the mouth. Because this is mochi, it’s very stretchy like melted cheese. They were sweet but not too sweet. I felt content after eating them. I liked the appearance, the texture, and the flavor at the same time.
Habutae Mochi is symbolic of Fukui’s sweets. If you come to Fukui, have some Habutae Mochi and buy some as a gift.