First of all, let’s start off by figuring out where Hokkaido is located.
Hokkaido is Japan’s second largest and northernmost prefecture. It’s largest city is it’s capital, Sapporo, which is home to close to 2 million people. Sapporo is well known for their Sapporo Brewery and annual Sapporo Snow Festival.
Hokkaido is known for their cool summers and snowy winters. This makes for a great climate for farming and agriculture. Hokkaido is one of the fishing centers of the world and Japan itself is home to a $14 billion commercial fishing industry.
However, aside from their well-known fish industry, Hokkaido’s claim to fame is their acclaimed Hokkaido 3.6 Milk.
The true secret behind the milk is unknown to us outsiders although it must be due to the fact that the cows there are raised in a stress-free environment; with fresh air and free space to roam around in.
The milk tastes smooth and rich, with a creaminess that will coat your mouth. Similar to milk found in North America, the milk is sold in different packaging according to the amount of fat solids present in it. The standard and most common type is 3.6%(whole milk); although low fat (0.5-1.5%), non-fat (0.5%), and even high milk fat (4.5%) can still be bought. Unlike milk in Canada, no added nutrients are processed into Hokkaido milk.
Hokkaido milk is used in a wide range of products such as chocolates, desserts, bread making, tofu, ice cream and even cosmetic products ! An interesting product is something called Hokkaido Milk Beer (commonly referred to as Bilk). It contains 30% milk which makes the beer sweeter than usual and is probably targeted towards female patrons.
The milk is readily available in local supermarkets and convenience stores. On average; Hokkaido milk ranks supreme even in their own country and is more costly than milk from other prefectures.
Hokkaido milk may not be readily available in Canada although if you ever get your hands on some try out the recipe below !
Hokkaido Milk Pudding
- 350mL Milk
- 150mL Cream
- 35g Sugar
- 10g Gelatin
- 15g Water
- Pour hot water into the gelatin powder and stir, using a double boiler to make the gelatin dissolve.
- Pour milk into a pot; add sugar and cook on low heat.
- Turn off the heat, add gelatin mixture and mix well.
- Mix in cream.
- Pour the mixture into a measuring cup with cheesecloth or a strainer on top.
- Pour into small glass jars and refrigerate 2 hours.
Here is a video on how to make the pudding !