Shizuoka Cheeses (1): Minami Hakone Mozzarella

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Shizuoka Prefecture does come with pleasing surprises, indeed!
Not only are we supplied uncountable kinds of marine and agricultural products, including even meat, some companies have for some time manufactured remarkable dairy products.
One of these, Oratche in Tagata Gun, has been noticed for creating cheese with local milk, including mozarella cheese.
This is definitely a bonafide for vegetarians and lovers of good food as they can trace it back to its very origin, instead of relying on importers’ information.
This particular mozzarella has the great merit to be firm, making it easy to cut, arrange and present. It is tastier than a lot of bland items I was brought to sample in this country, and so easy to adapt into salads, sandwiches and panini.
I definetely plan to fill zucchini/courgettes flowers with it in season before deep-frying, or steam them and serve them with cream-mushroom sauce! I’m pretty sure that Lindsay at DeLuscious Life is expecting the recipe!

Minami Hakone no Mozarella
Oratche Co.
Tagata Gun, Kannami Cho, Tanna, 349-1
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

8 thoughts on “Shizuoka Cheeses (1): Minami Hakone Mozzarella”

  1. I agree that Buffalo Mozzarella is far more tastier and creamier than Cow’s milk Mozzarella , i can attest to that because i make Buffalo Mozzarella myself here in the philippines. Buffalo Mozzarella should be packaged in container or plastic with its brined whey to preserve not just shelflife but the shape of the molded cheese. Buffalo Mozzarella is best eaten 5-9 hrs after production although can be still eaten until 20-25 days.


  2. Hi Robert,

    I agree … I’ll miss a lot of the things that I eat here in Italy. Most of all Hams and “charcuterie”. I’m planning to open a restaurant in japan only for importing stuff from France and Italy … would you be my partner? But 80% of the things I eat can’t be imported because of sanitary laws … so sad.
    I think If the company is small scale then it’s better for controlling the quality of products.


    PS : t’as reçu mon email?


  3. Cheers, Edouard!
    Actually, by an incredible coincidence, I have just come back from Isetan Department Store in Shizuoka City during my break, where the very Oratche Co. was holding a small fair. I bought three of their organic beers (they are quite good at it, actually), a Gouda-type cheese and one more Mozzarella type (although different in concept and name!).
    They agreed to let me interview them next month!
    So I shall be able to see everything with my very eyes!
    Of course, you cannot beat what’s being made in Italy, that is, as long as you eat it early in situ!
    Best regards,


  4. LOL … then it’s OK. But you must admit that to an Italian a Japanese mozzarella is quite difficult … to consider.
    The problem is that if you don’t conserve the mozzarella in its water it tends or to gain a plastic-like texture (still usable on pizzas but not as pleasant to eat) or to fall apart. Plus the water (which is a sample of the remain of the milk after the formation of the cheese) keep the flavour and colour.
    There is a kind of mozza here that’s called “burrata” it’s bigger and more creamy. It’s the top of the top.


  5. Simaldeff! Greetings!
    I checked and found out that the cheese is made with Asian Buffalo’s milk. The same buffaloes are fed and kept within a natural environment on the plateaus near Mount Fuji. They are fed with natural grass only and no genetic feed, whatsoever.
    The mozzarella is fresh and certainly fresher than any imported mozzarella in this country. By cooking, I meant a recipe, nothing more, nothing less.
    As for conserving it in plastic, this, I’m afraid has to be done due to Japanese Health rules. The date limit of consumption on the pack is pretty short.
    Ms. Keiko Kubota, probably the most respected cheese sommelier in Japan, and who happens to live in Shizuoka, praised the product. She personally checked its manufacture.
    It’s not perfect, I agree with you, but at least, we know what we eat!
    Thank you so much for the comment!


  6. Heresy!! I should burn the maker of such Mozzarella!!!!
    1st – Mozzarella must be made from buffalo’s milk (Bubalus Bubalis a.k.a Asian Buffalo). And not under any circumstances Cow milk … well for women in a diet it’s understandable but the original one is 100000 times tastier, so much than the Cow milk made mozzarella have no taste at all in comparison).
    2nd – A mozzarella is firm if it isn’t it means it’s not fresh enough and should be cooked before eating (it’s not appropriate for raw consumption in salads for example if you are a purist but you can eat it without health related risk).
    3rd – You don’t conserve mozzarella in plastic as I can see in your photo, you have to keep it immersed in water in the fridge at the same temperature you keep the tomatoes.

    I’d like to send you some for you to taste true mozza … but I don’t know how.


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