Hokkaido is Japan’s largest and northernmost prefecture. It’s famous for its beautiful snowy landscapes that attract tourists to the northernmost part of Japan each winter. Besides being Japan’s winter wonderland, there’s another thing that makes Hokkaido unique: its famous Hokkaido milk.
This milk is famous across Japan for its delicious creamy flavor and high quality. It’s even considered the best milk available in Japan and perhaps the world. More commonly referred to as “Hokkaido 3.6 milk” in Japan, this full-fat, creamy milk is a gem of Hokkaido’s food production.
Why Is Hokkaido Milk So Famous?
Hokkaido alone produces over 50% of Japan’s milk. 60% of dairy products are sold in milk; the rest is in cheese, ice creams, and many other products. The higher quality of the milk itself is thanks to Hokkaido’s ideal farming conditions. Moreover, the cool climate of the region, plenty of wide open pastures, and fresh air provide a stress-free living environment for the cows.
Hokkaido milk has a significantly mild vanilla flavor. The milk’s smooth, creamy, and rich taste will coat your mouth when you taste it. It’s also available in different packages and sizes according to the fat content of the milk. The most common type is the 3.6% whole milk. Additional types include 4.6% High Fat Milk, 1.5% Low Fat Milk, and 0.5% Fat Milk. Another unique characteristic of Hokkaido milk is that its additive-free.
Not to mention, Hokkaido milk is a common ingredient in many products, including cheese, butter, ice cream, different types of bread, chocolates, tofu, and even cosmetic products. Above all, one of the most exciting products is the milk beer, Bilk. It has 30% milk content makes the beer taste sweeter than usual.
Hokkaido milk packages are also available in supermarkets and convenience stores. Its price is generally higher than other milk available in stores in Japan, as the quality of Hokkaido milk is much more excellent than more standard options. It’s also in Hokkaido milk tea, a drink many people enjoy!
Famous Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream
Besides Hokkaido milk, another dairy-based delicacy from the northern Japanese prefecture is its unique ice cream. Of course, ice cream made with the delicious Hokkaido milk already has an edge. But there is much more to it besides the creamy, delicious milk they use. The most notable is the Hokkaido soft serve ice cream, or “soft cream,” in Japan. The soft serve has a distinctly milky flavor due to the use of fresh milk. The most common flavor of a soft serve is, of course, the original vanilla flavor. But Vanilla may be boring when you have so many unique flavors in front of your eyes. Discover a few ‘must-try’ flavors of Hokkaido soft cream below.
Melon Soft Cream
Hokkaido Melon soft cream is super refreshing. It has a fruity & sweet flavor. You must visit Furano in Hokkaido to have the best melon-flavored soft cream. They grow some of the most delicious melons in Japan. Santa No Hige is one of the most famous farms in the area. You get half a melon topped with the melon-flavored soft cream. The melon is juicy, fresh, and sweet.
Lavender Soft Cream
Farm Tomita is the largest lavender farm in Japan. This beautiful lavender park is a significant sightseeing location for tourists in Hokkaido. The beautiful purple flowers carpet the five-hectare field during its blooming peak in July. If you plan to visit this beautiful park, try the lavender soft cream available only in Farm Tomita.
The refreshing lavender flavor spreads in your mouth with just a tiny bite. Sold inside the park in various locations, it’s a must-try for everyone who visits it. The price ranges between 250 yen and 300 yen for a cup or cone.
Makiba Soft Serve
The guest ranch, Lake Hill Farm, is on top of a beautiful hill near Lake Toya. This popular spot offers unique gelato and Hokkaido milk-based soft cream made by dairy farmers. They use freshly harvested milk to make the soft serve. The Makiba no Gelato has around 40 flavors, including matcha, cream cheese, and corn. Also, soft serve is most suitable for the “Makiba no Milk” (Maikiba Milk). It has a smooth texture and the rich milky flavor bursts across your palette with each bite.
Have you ever experienced the beauty of Hokkaido? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!