The article, “Mochi:New Year’s Silent Killer”, posted on The Wall Street Journal 5 years ago was controversial beyond the border between Japan and USA.
The sound of the word, Killer, was a bit strong expression against traditional stuff, but the shocking headline was based on the fact that some people pass away every new year by eating Mochi.
Many Japanese eat Mochi in a soup on New Year’s Day
The traditional soup dish, “Zoni”, has deeply penetrated as indispensable food culture in Japan, but it always has a risk of death by suffocation especially for elder people.
Mochi, made of a short-grain japonica glutinous rice, gets really strong stickiness after baking, and they choke on a bite of Mochi like a chewing gum bigger than your thumb while swallowing.
Reportedly, 7 people have passed away in 19 people who were taken to a hospital for 3 days from the New Year, and the fact ironically proves that Mochi could be a Silent Killer.
Please remember to take a small bite and chew well before swallowing, and it’s a simple way not to give birth to a killer in your throat.
Thanks for reading.