Japan country of Cheese
My first Japanese cheese was a baffling experience. It was in a small snack where I was enjoying wine, sake and karaoke with other customers. Of course, among the usual questions, they asked where I am from?
And because I was born in France, Mama san (snack owner) offered me a piece of cheese.
I made the mistake to eat blindly and really got taken by surprise, the taste was everything but cheese (mostly something sweet with strong chemical strawberry taste).
Even my host could read on my face how much I disliked it, fortunately they turned it on the joke side.
One the other hand, it’s not really difficult to find some decent cheese in any supermarket, just do not expect a wide selection and fair price.
Except from very few cheese shop, the best places to buy cheese are wine shop. In one of those shop I got my second encounter with local dairy product.
Among the cheese, one displayed a ribbon with the mention of a gold medal in France!
Named Sakura / さくら, it’s a flavoured soft cheese matured on top of cherry blossom leaves and garnished with a cherry blossoms.
In fact, it has been recognized at least two times in Europe. First in 2004 gold medal at the Mountain Cheese Olympics in Switzerland then in 2015 another Gold Medal at Mondial du Fromage in France.
Another version is available, this one is matured for 10 months.
Does the exception proves the rules? Or something is changing in Japan?
Part of the answer is in this shop : Voice of cheese チーズのこえ
1F Daiichi Kondo Building, 1-7-7 Hirano, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Providing a wide variety of dairy product only from Hokkaido