Dedicated to serving “Imagination in Every Bite,” Mochidoki’s culinary team is always on the lookout for exciting new flavors and ingredients. We find inspiration in all kinds of trends and traditions to take our mochi ice cream in new directions. Throughout the year, we introduce limited edition seasonal flavors so you can keep your menu fresh. How we come up with our seasonals is our secret sauce, but in this series, we invite you to take a sneak peek inside our kitchen.
This November, we’re excited to introduce Habanero Chocolate, our latest seasonal mochi now available to order!
What was the inspiration behind this flavor?
The holiday season and winter weather is fast approaching. Whether you live in New York or California, there’s something special and notoriously cozy about sipping a hot chocolate on a December night. When crafting this year's holiday seasonal mochi ice cream flavor, Habanero Chocolate, we kept this in mind.
Inspired by the first known form of drinking chocolate, Aztec xocōlātl, this rich, aromatic flavor features the highest quality cacao with a deeper layer of spice. Drawing on Mexican influences, we've bumped up the heat with the addition of the hot habanero chile, a pepper indigenous to the Amazon region, but now predominantly grown in the Yukatán Peninsula in Mexico. Dare to spice the holidays up this season and add our take on a Mexican hot chocolate to your menu!
What is a habanero?
A habanero is a small, hot variety of chili pepper. The short pepper is green when unripe but changes to a red or orange color once it matures. While not as spicy as a ghost pepper, a habanero rates 100,000-350,000 on the Scoville Scale which makes it hotter than the jalapeno or serrano pepper.
Where does the habanero come from?
Though it originated in the Amazon region of South America, the habanero mainly grows in Mexico and Central America. Its name, literally translating to, “something or someone from the city of Habana, Cuba,” suggests that the peppers made their way north by way of the Caribbean, where growing conditions were ideal.
Today, the Yucatan Peninsula, located in southeastern Mexico, is the top producer of the habanero because of its strong sunshine and drier soil, making for spicier peppers.
What does Habanero taste like?
While the habanero is undoubtedly hot, when you bite into this pepper, you may also notice floral and fruity notes. The heat profile of the habanero is also more unique than other peppers, because of the longer time to come on. When eaten by itself, the habanero is assertive and pungent. When cooked into dishes, the heat is more bearable and complex.
(Image Courtesy of Serious Eats)
How is the habanero used?
While they can be grilled or sauteed, habaneros truly shine when roasted, allowing their complex flavors to shine through. Because of their slightly sweet and citrusy flavor profile, habaneros are often paired with fruits like mangos, peaches and pineapples in salsas and hot sauces.
When creating our seasonal mochi, we kept this idea of sweet & heat in mind. Combining the highest quality of cacao with hot habanero chili, this seasonal flavor is aromatic, rich and full of spice.