Enjoy the luxury experience of raclette cheese made with moor hot-spring water poured over Tokachi-grown ingredients
Tokachi / Hokkaido
In Hokkaido, located at the northernmost tip of Japan, there is a unique local cheese made with hot-spring water.
The name of the cheese is Tokachi Raclette Cheese Moor Wash, which is washed-rind cheese.
Once you scrape off the bubbling, melted top layer of the raclette cheese onto fresh potatoes and other local vegetables, a delicious and luxury gourmet experience will amaze you!
Let us explain the raclette cheese, which you must try when vising the Tokachi area.
Flavorful raclette cheese, the result of cheesemakers’ passion and commitment to quality
The Tokachi Plain in Hokkaido.
Here is one of the most productive farming areas in Japan, blessed with long daylight hours, as well as soft and nutrient-rich volcanic ash soil. High-fat raw milk from cows raised on such fertile land is the main ingredient of Tokachi raclette cheese.
As everyone knows, delicious milk is essential for making delicious cheese. But can you guess another essential ingredient for Tokachi cheese?
Surprisingly, the answer is moor hot-spring water, which is designated as a Hokkaido Heritage.
Is there really a connection between hot-spring water and cheese? Yes, there is!
Washed-rind cheese is usually washed in a solution of salty brine during the maturing process, but Tokachi raclette cheese uses spring water from the moor instead. This water contains fermented extracts of plant origin, which can fully draw out the umami, or savory taste, of the cheese itself.
This unique maturation method was invented by cheesemakers in Tokachi committed to utilizing the local natural blessings. Their strong passion for cheese-making produced this special cheese made using hot-spring water.
Most people know that hot springs are very popular in Japan, but few people know that there is such a unique and interesting way of enjoying hot-spring water other than bathing.
Taking sufficient time during maturation in the cellar to make the most flavorful cheese
The taste of cheese gets better and better during maturation, which normally takes several months.
More than 30 cheese factories used to conduct this maturation process by themselves. But with the establishment of a joint maturation cellar in Tokachigawa Hot Spring in 2015, the process of maturing cheese curds of every factory is now managed collectively at the joint cellar.
This is a photo taken inside the cellar. All of them are moor washed-rind cheeses!
As such, traditional natural cheese born in Tokachi is still evolving with the latest technology and innovation.
Pouring the melting cheese over Tokachi’s ingredients
After approximately 3 months of maturing, you can finally eat the Tokachi Raclette Cheese Moor Wash.
Would you like to try this special cheese in Tokachi?
Once you get to Tokachi, there are many restaurants and hotels where you can enjoy local foods including Tokachi’s natural cheese. Above all, we recommend the raclette cheese offered at Garden Spa Tokachigawa Hot Spring.
Please look at this delicious-looking cheese!
The term “raclette” means “to scrape” in French. As its name suggests, you scrape off the melted top layer of the raclette cheese after heating it under a raclette heater, then eat it.
Don’t delay! The cheese soon becomes firm again.
After the very first bite, you’ll appreciate the true excellence of this cheese.
By pouring melting cheese over local vegetables such as potatoes, you can truly enjoy the gentle, mild taste of the cheese.
Even people who do not like vegetables can enjoy it as the taste of the cheese goes perfectly with the local vegetables of Tokachi.
The cheese also goes well with pasta, bread and wine, so you can try several different dishes at restaurants around Tokachi.
Warm cheese dishes are perfect for warming you up during the cold winters in Hokkaido.
Even in summer in Hokkaido, which is dry and brisk, it is wonderful to stay out in the sun and taste the flavorful cheese outside.
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