Mochinut Tampa employees say the store offers cultural inclusion.
TAMPA, FL – Trendy mochi cakes have made their way to the Tampa Bay area, and they’re a dessert for you Should attempt.
Mochinut is a popular company that sells donut mochi in many locations across the country and abroad. Now, its first location is opening in Temple Terrace at 11401 N 56th St.
You may be wondering, “What are mochi cakes?”
According to their website, “A donut mochi is a donut that originated in Hawaii and is a blend of American donuts and Japanese mochi. The Mochinut is gaining in popularity due to its unique shape and great texture; a light crunchy layer with a soft, chewy interior.”
From the second you enter the donut, the unique aroma of the donut is what drives you in.
“You go in first, you’ll look at all the different flavors and we’ll explain how they taste, and what exactly you want,” Mochinut employee Louis Lee said. “A lot, you know, kind of like a different take on your regular donut. It’s more like mochi, kind of like a fluffy donut.”
Sammie Richards, also a Mochinut employee, describes the donut as being just like regular donuts, but softer with Mochinut dough, which makes them extra chewy. The flavors of the mochi donut will change every three days. Some of the flavors you can look for are: Biscuits and Cream, Caramel Churro, Strawberry Funnel, Biscoff, Choco Churro and Raspberry.
But the mochi donut isn’t the only item waiting for people in line to walk out the door. Sausages made with Korean rice flour are another big hit.
“In addition, we also have Korean korndog, which is also a popular ingredient,” he told me. “It would be either cheese or sausage or half and half and we could cover it with 10 flavors.”
Hot dogs are coated with rice flour mixture with several options: hot dog, mozzarella cheese, half hot dog and half mozzarella. Toppings also range from fries, spicy cheetos, crunchy ramen noodles, and crunchy breakfast cereals.
“So everyone loves Korean corndogs, especially cheese,” Richards said. “We as Mochinut are expanding the idea of corndogs by having different flavors every day.
But food companies like Mochinut do more than just introduce new dishes or desserts to the Bay Area. They open doors to Asian-American representation and help shape what it really means to be Asian-American through food.
“I feel like people are very used to plain donuts, you know, Dunkin’ Donuts and all the other brands. But I feel like Mochinut definitely opens the door to such an Asian community as well,” Richards explained.
With the help of social media, the popularity of Asian cuisine has continued to grow to leave people curious. Curious to go out and try authentic or re-created dishes with traditional flavours. But it also presents cultures that are less representative of areas where society is not as widespread as in larger cities allowing for greater cultural inclusion.
“And then it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s not your typical American cake, the glaze is like chocolate mixed with different flavors,'” he told me. We also try to incorporate different Asian aspects into it. But for people who have never tried it, it’s a way of expressing Our culture and expression like a new type of food. And not only if they enjoy it, they can go out and try different Asian foods.”
Mochinut opens doors for more Asian-American representation
Mochinut expands its flavors with Asian flavors: rose lychee, manna, obi kuro, black sesame, passion fruit, Hokkaido milk tea and more. Providing flavors offers more opportunities for those who have never tried Asian flavors or may live in an inaccessible area. It showcases the diversity of cultures and flavors to offer a better customer experience.
“I grew up in a city where not a lot of cultures are represented, especially Asian,” Richards said. “Moving in here was really nice. And I think in general, the Asian community has gotten really big here.”
The Tampa Bay area continues to grow and has a cultural shift with its food scene.
“We have different cultural aspects because it’s not like exclusive Asia, anyone can participate but it just originated from Asia or any particular country from Asia.”
Mochinut Tampa will soon be adding boba tea to their menu. Follow their Instagram for updates about their trip.