Hokkaido: Conquer the Local Cuisines of the Gourmet Heaven of Japan

Mifuyu H. ('21)

Despite the mixed responses of the Grade 12 Hokkaido Trip, many shared a common highlight of the trip: the food. Surrounded by the northern oceans, which are teeming with a myriad of fish and shellfish, Hokkaido is rich in ingredients and thus, renowned for their food.  Let’s explore their delicious cuisines to experience the true heart of Hokkaido!

Soft Serve Ice Cream (recommended by Swati A. (12))

Hokkaido’s cold climate and expansive farmland are ideal to support an extensive dairy industry. Hokkaido produces more than 50% of the entire milk production in Japan with superb quality. The use of fresh farm-made milk is what supports Hokkaido’s go-to dessert: soft serve ice cream. This special ice cream in Hokkaido has a milkier and richer flavor than ice creams in other areas. Soft serve ice cream is offered in a multitude of flavors, ranging from vanilla and chocolate to black squid ink and sea urchin. Swati emphasized, “The ubiquitous soft serve ice cream can be enjoyed before or after a meal!” Soft serve ice cream is, therefore, a famous Hokkaido dessert.

 

Hokkaido Ramen (recommended by Jenny N. (12))

There are 3 types of ramen in Hokkaido: Sapporo, Asahikawa and Hakodate ramen, which are all unique in their own ways. In Sapporo, for instance, you will find ramen with thick, wavy noodles with local ingredients such as Hokkaido butter, sweet corn and fresh scallop as toppings. Sahana N. (12), who is a vegetarian, did not experience any hardships to find a vegetarian-friendly ramen in Hokkaido. Sapporo Ramen Yokocho at Susukino and Asahikawa Ramen Village in Ashikawa City are locations many visits to explore the unique variations of ramen.

 

Genghis Khan / Jingisukan (recommended by Aika S. (12))

Hokkaido is a prominent region to eat Genghis Khan, as it is where the majority of the sheep farms are located. Named after the Mongolian king, Genghis Khan is a barbequed mutton or lamb dish with vegetables, such as cabbage, onions, carrots, and many more, dipped in a particular sauce. You may be wondering: doesn’t the vigorous stench of a mutton or a lamb repel one from trying this dish? You are wrong. The odor of lamb is mostly removed in Genghis Khan. In a country where lambs and muttons are not popularly eaten, Genghis Khan is a must eat dish in Hokkaido.

 

Feel free to use this guide during a trip to Hokkaido to conquer the local cuisines!

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