Each area in Japan is known for a certain produce or confectionary, such as Ehime prefecture’s mikan or clementines, Aomori prefecture’s apples and Hyogo prefecture’s Kobe beef. In the huge northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, there are several kinds of charmingly delicious produce that the region is famous for!
Uber-expensive, perfectly spherical melons that are sold as gifts are usually from Yubari (夕張) in Hokkaido. A lot of effort goes into growing, cultivating and ensuring the best conditions for the melons before selecting the cream of the crop. Yubari melon has pale green marbled skin with a short part of the vine still attached. It has near-luminescent orange flesh that is rich, sweet and heavenly. It used to be known as the dream melon, as its quickness to ripen limited its availability exclusively to Hokkaido in the past.
Used in many Made-in-Hokkaido products such as chocolate, butter, cheese, bread and tofu, milk from Hokkaido cows are extra creamy and smooth. Many products in the supermarkets advertise milk from Hokkaido as an ingredient prominently on the label. Hokkaido cows graze in green grass, fresh air and a cool climate which provides a very healthy and natural environment. Could that be the secret to Hokkaido’s delicious milk?
— 藤山 大夢 (@JHiromu) 2015年7月21日
Producing two-thirds of all potatoes in Japan, Hokkaido potatoes are used to make snacks such as potato chips, and the famous Jagarico and Jagabee potato sticks. The dish, Hokkaido Potatoes, on the menu usually refers to fried potatoes with shoyu butter and is mouthwateringly delightful. Jaga-butter, steamed or baked potato topped with butter, is also a popular snack among the Japanese.
Sapporo is home to… Sapporo beer of course! It houses the Sapporo Beer Museum which brings visitors on a tour of the history and brewing process for free. Beer sampling comes at an affordable price of 500 yen for a sampler of the three beers on tap. The Sapporo Black Label, Sapporo Classic and the Kaitakushi, which was the first brewed beer when the company was established. To order a pint of draft beer, say “nama Sapporo” anywhere in Hokkaido!
The most well-known souvenir (o-miyage) from Hokkaido has got to be Shiroi-Koibito (白い恋人), or White Lovers. The name references Hokkaido’s snowy winter scenery. It is a Langue de chat cookie or a chocolate butter cookie sandwich. There is a Shiroi Koibito Park, or chocolate factory in Sapporo, which is extremely popular with tourists.
Now that you know a little more about the produce of Hokkaido, be sure to keep a lookout for them when you visit, or even from products found in many other parts of Japan!
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