"Glutinous rice", dutifully recites every single Japanese guidebook
as its description of mochi, almost certainly without the
faintest idea of what on earth glutinous actually means, but not
willing to confess their ignorance publicly.
Mochi does not even contain gluten, for one...
Mochi is made by cooking a special type of rice,
placing it in a barrel of sorts, and repeatedly pounding it
with a giant mallet until it becomes one great big sticky blob.
The resulting stuff has a texture somewhere between smooth peanut butter
and chewing gum, but is almost entirely tasteless.
By tradition, every family prepares mochi on New Year's Eve,
and by tradition every year several dozen people choke to death on it.
Just the same, mochi forms one of the cornerstones of
Japanese confectionery, and it can in fact be quite
palatable if consumed in limited quantities and mixed with
something else -- preferably anko.