Monday, 30 November 2009

The grass is always greener

I should be happy with all the food available in Japan, and should not be so greedy, but there is one thing I truly miss…..that is cheese. 

Suddenly I realised that many type of cheese easily available everywhere in UK and Europe, and taking it for granted while I was in London, vanished.

Japan, maybe Asia in general, is not so big on dairy products, which, I assume, is to do with geography. In case of Japan, 40% of country is occupied with mountains; they are not almost hill size ones you might see in UK but are real mountains, so you cannot get to the summit without proper climbing gears & being trained, or even not be allowed to enter. That is the reason Japanese live in small houses/apartments and therefore not much spare land for cows and sheep.

Hokkaido, the northern Island of Japan is the only place where cows and sheep are farmed in a commercial scale, ice cream, milk, yogurt, cheese are famous and Hokkaido dairy products are well known brand in Japan. However compare to UK and Europe where dairy goods are produced throughout countries, resources in Japan are very limited. As a result, there are not many varieties and dairy produce section in supermarkets is very small. Japanese camembert and few selection of import cheese can be found here, but as you can imagine, they are all expensive considering European standard.

So, you would not be surprised if I said I put on weight 6 kg in the first 6 months of arriving London 13 years ago. My favourite was Danish blue at first, then stilton was introduced, and I was hooked. It was around Christmas time, I was already getting pretty round but mixture of sweet and savoury, port wine and stilton were heavenly combination and could not resist. How could you?!

As now entering to December and Christmas lights are on in the streets, I miss stilton and all other cheese, the party pack we often get from Tesco as our Christmas treat!

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