I cannot believe that I missed this during my first go-around of the ridiculousness that is Mango Mania. If not for that
Frequent Fearless Flyer, I would not have seen this for weeks. And yes, I'll be the first to admit that Mango Mania is actually kind of crazy. I expect to be assaulted with pumpkin spice down every aisle in the fall. I expect to bleed sweets during holiday season. I was not expected to be inundated with mango, literally everywhere. But here! A breath of fresh air! Perhaps the one ring to rule them all!
Trader Joe's does carry my favorite mochi ice cream, which I have seen at Mitsuwa (for a little bit more money! You're getting a deal on these babies at TJ's!). They aren't "Trader Joe's" brand, which technically means they aren't reviewable for this blog, but these mango mango mochi are! If you've never tried mochi ice cream, it's basically ice cream wrapped inside a sweet, chewy, rice flour dough. A perfect summer treat!
Unlike some other Mango Mania products I've tried, this appears to contain real mango as opposed to mango powder or something like that. Also, this has a mango sorbet center vs a mango ice cream, which would be more cream-based. Perfect for mango purists.
Each box comes with six pretty generous-sized mochi ice creams (or mochi sorbets if we're getting technical). They're certainly bigger than the TJ's macarons. I like to let them sit for a minute or two after taking them out of the freezer to let the mochi soften a bit, but don't leave them out for too long otherwise the sorbet will melt. Melted mochi sorbet is messy and no good!
A tried these and made a very unimpressed comment -"they're just mango." HE'S EXACTLY RIGHT. My dear friends, THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE MANGO. True mangoes are so deliciously sweet that they don't really need to be doctored up to be enjoyed. It's like pouring cream and sugar into coffee that is meant to be taken black. Or slathering a quality piece of steak in some cheap A1 sauce. Or dousing any Chinese food in soy sauce. It's a matter of personal choice but really quite gratuitous.
Maybe if you're a normal person, you might think, "hmm. This just tastes like mango." But if you're like me and you LOVE LOVE LOVE sweet juicy mango, this is a dream. The mango sorbet, which is conveniently sold in 1 liter tubs for solo consumption, has the perfect amount of sweetness and tang. The mango jam in the center is a bit too sweet to eat alone but when paired with the sorbet adds an extra infusion of mango sweetness that you would only find in a perfectly ripe mango. By the way, I have yet to taste a mango from any supermarket in the United States that matches any fresh mango I've tried in Taiwan. This mango mochi reminds me of Taiwan's famous mango shaved ice, which is why I cannot recommend this enough!
My only critique here is regarding the mochi wrapper. I like a thicker and thus chewier mochi to encase the ice cream for a nice mouthfeel. It's not quite as thick here, but it still works as a vehicle for the sorbet. I don't mind that actually. In fact a thinner mochi is probably more palatable to people who aren't used to the mochi taste or texture. The mochi taste here is pretty neutral, negligible, and therefore background to the mango frontman.
The fact that TJ's called this "mango mango mochi" (repeated twice) vs "mango mochi" (singular) should clue you in. Mango emphasis means big mango flavor! A mango lover's dream! Manifested! Fulfilled! I can stop scouring the shelves for the best Mango Mania product. Drop the mic. This is the one. $3.49 for a box of 6. Worth every penny. Take my money.
TL;DR: Trader Joe's Mango Mango Mochi. Chewy mochi wrapping a sweet mango sorbet center. I crown this Holy Grail, King of Mango Mania. 9.5 out of 10.*
*Why not a 10? The outer mochi as mentioned above, and A neglected to give this a perfect rating. Boo.