We eat mochi (rice cakes) at New Year’s. Mochi is made by steaming, pounding, and kneading sticky rice. Mochi are made at the end of the year and displayed in the house to wait for the deity to dwell. After that, we celebrate longevity and health by eating it on January 11. The deity inhabiting it brings blessings and happiness for the New Year.
Every January, there is no end to the number of people who choke to death on them. About 100 people are transported to hospitals emergently a year.
It is a traditional Japanese food, but not so popular nowadays. This is because the young worry about getting fat and the old worry about choking. The companies that sell them continue to sales efforts, such as creating paper mochi that can be eaten simply by dipping in hot water and developing recipes for desserts.
I had some mochi in my freezer. I grilled them in a pan, poured soy sauce, and covered with nori (seaweed). Looks delicious, right?