Over the weekend, we got to spend some time with Brian’s childhood friend Zak and Zak’s lovely family. In the process of catching up, Zak made fun of Brian’s recent love for green tea, one that Brian so dutifully shared with everyone over here. As innocent and playful as their exchange was, it got me thinking about how green tea is still very much an acquired taste, and a wonderful flavor not yet discovered by the masses. So, this little roundup of green treats is my attempt to get more of you dancing on the matcha bandwagon. Here are some of my absolute favorites:
1. If you love matcha green tea, mochi and ice cream, then you’ll love mochi green tea ice cream. If you aren’t yet a matcha convert, then this is a good place to start. The little balls of ice cream covered in soft mochi (sticky rice cake) were Brian’s first introduction to the world of matcha and he’s been hooked ever since. You can get them at just about any Asian supermarket, and in the Trader Joe’s frozen desserts section.
2. Green tea Oreos are harder to come by, but if you ever see a box, I recommend that you grab one to try. They’re all the rage in China and for good reason too. Just imagine the well-known creme filling with a green-tea kick.
3. Green tea Kit Kats are my latest and greatest matcha obsession. I discovered them just last week on the recommendation of my friend Sarah, and haven’t stopped thinking about them since. Matcha and white chocolate taste great together (as evidenced here and here) and the combination is at its best on Kit Kat wafers.
4. Brian’s a big fan of Doublemint green tea gum. He loves foods that are perfumey in taste, and this gum packs some major green-tea floral flavors.
5. Perhaps the easiest way to try matcha is to order either a Green Tea Frappuccino or a Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. If you’re going with the latter, I recommend asking for soy milk and three pumps of syrup. If you can pass the drink test, the rest of these treats will be right up your alley.
6. Also from Trader Joe’s, their green tea mints are a frequent check-out line impulse buy of mine. Like with the Doublemint gum, the green tea acts as a great palate cleanser, and the antioxidants make these a much better choice of breath freshener. Three of these mints provide the same benefits as a cup of of the real thing. Altoids ain’t got nothing on green tea mints.
7. And finally, Green Tea Pocky, perhaps the most readily available Asian matcha snack there is. If you’re new to Pocky (biscuit sticks covered in sweet chocolate coating), start with the original chocolate flavor, and let that blow your mind for a little bit, then try the green-tea flavor and let that blow your mind some more. If you’ve never heard of Pocky, chances are you don’t have any Asian friends. It’s time we do something about that too.
I hope you enjoyed this little roundup and that it inspires you to give some of these foods a try. If you’d prefer to go the homemade route, because let’s face it, the idea of food imports from China probably doesn’t instill the greatest confidence, you can try your hand at my favorite recipe for Green Tea Sugar Cookies with the help of matcha powder. I don’t care how you get friendly with it, I just hope you do. If I can get just one of you to join me in the matcha mania club, this post will have been a success. Let me know if I win any of you over. I sure hope I do.