This week I feature a cheese that has travelled over 6,000 miles to get to me! For that I must thank my Auntie Donna & my Cousin Johnny who recently returned from a two week adventure in Japan. Taking in all the sights & sounds that Japan has to offer from culture in the ancient temples to the modern innovation of robotics this holiday was truly awe-inspiring.
They have had the most amazing time and have managed to hand me the cheese in complete form which is quite a feet. Now on to the cheese itself.
The NEEDS Cheese or Natural Cheese Tokachi is made in the Hokkaido region of Japan and uses premium milk from Nitta Farm their neighbours. The milk is certified ‘Premium’ by Milk Authorization Officials from Japan, and like any dairy product using the highest quality milk will allow for the best tasting product possible. One of their slogans is ‘Passing on the blessings of the earth’ and I can taste that in the cheese. With no prior knowledge of Japanese cheese the flavour of this cheese relays an aura of mountains & grass with a vast freshness to the milk that I wasn’t expecting. The Nitta Farm sits next to the volcanic group Nipesotsu – Maruyama which actually would explain the pale white hue in this cheese, in very simple terms the darker the grass colour the more golden the cheese. The grass here is really pale and so the paler the cheese. As you can see it is fairly pale in colour and lacks a golden edge that is found in Swiss & French soft cheeses but it is delicate. It melts in the mouth almost like a butter and its richness could be described like butter also. I can’t find it described as a washed rind but it does have a pungency that can only be found in those types of cheeses, another sign is its orange flecks on the rind. It may not be and just down to the fact that it has done a lot of travelling in its cheesy life. Overall I loved the buttery richness of this cheese and it truly was a different take on a type of cheese I have had many times over. It is fairly intriguing as information about this cheese is sparse and I have had to come to my own conclusions about location, cheese type etc. but hey that makes it more fun! I will have to visit Japan myself in the future to travel & try more cheeses and see the differences between them.
Once again thank you to Donna & Johnny for bringing this cheese
back to me,