Japanese Cheese: NEEDS Co. (Hokkaido)


I have already said that the Japanese have been steadily increasing their own cheese production for the last 10 years or so with some reamarkable results.
Moreover, these cheese have slowly but steadily become available over the whole country at specialised shops and department stores.
As a futher proof I have discovered four more cheeses by a different company I hadn’t heard of before: NEEDS Co Ltd in the island of Hokkaido!
NEEDS stands for “Northern Eco Economy Developing System”.
The amusing details are that names are in English or Japanese while weights and packaging are written in French.
NEEDS Co. Ltd. is relatively new as it was founded in 2003.


They are all made from raw cow’s milk and very safely packaged, a must in this country with very changeable climates!


The above cheese, a hard type variety is called Kashiwa/槲 (Japanese Emperor Oak), the name of a tree found in Hokkaido.
It is a cross obtween Emmental and Gruyere, with some welcome pungency and solid taste.


This cheese is called “Oochi no Hoppe/大地のほっぺ” meaning the “Cheek of the Large lands”!
Reblochon-style, it is quite soft and pobably will do better with some more maturing.


The cheese above is called “Sakeru Type Mozzarella/White pepper/String/さけるタイプ・モッツアレラチーズ・ホワイトペッパーストリング”. in brief it is a string-type cheese you can tear easily. great as a snack. The pepper contained in the cheese is a good initiative. As for the name Mozzarella, it just shows that the Japanese laws are somewhat a bit lax! great snack with beer.


As the name “Caciocavallo” indicates, the above cheese is Italian-inspired!
Softer than its Italian counterpart, it has nonetheless a solid taste with plenty of supleness, making for a great snack!

NEEDS Co. Ltd.
Hokkaido, Nakagawa Gun, Makubetsu cho, Shinwa, 162-111
Tel.: (819(0)155-57-2511

Warren Bobrow
5 Star Foodie
Think Twice
Frank Fariello
Cheesemonger’s Weblog

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4 thoughts on “Japanese Cheese: NEEDS Co. (Hokkaido)”

  1. We were in Hokkaido one year and visited one of the cheese factories. Somehow Hokkaio raises good cow. Even its soft cream ice cream tastes really good.

    There was a Hokkaido food show a few weeks ago at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Chicago. Lots of desserts made from cheese were for sale that time.


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