Posted by on Sep 25, 2010 in Itadakimasu Japan! | 2 comments

Upon arriving in Japan, our tour guide (otherwise known as Soy sauce) quickly briefed us on some of Hokkaido’s famous eats. Here were the main points: dairy products, ICE CREAM, lavender (ice cream that is), corn, honeydew, pumpkin, and natto. Great. I quickly memorized this list and made it my quest to eat all of them during the trip. And……….I did. =]

Since my sis already posted about the wonderful ice cream (go check it out), I will elaborate on the other dairy delicacies we had.

Cream puffs. Oh. my. goodness. I thought American cream puffs were good, but I was wrong. Compared to these babies, they are nothing. Feast your eyes:

Now that is one huuuge puff. I call it, The Queen. The puff itself was crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inner side. The top was dusted with powdered sugar, which added a light sweetness that helped balance the heavy creamy goodness inside. And they definitely were not cheap on the cream. Flavored with lavender, it had a light herbal-y flavor mixed with the strong milk taste. The cream was very thick, and not watery at all. I originally thought it was pretty expensive at a few 100 Yen per puff, but for this? Delicious.

Now this is what I describe as a sort of doughnut cream puff hybrid. Soysauce treated the group to these Milano Chou cream puffs, which are “all the rage” in Japan right now. Or at least in Hokkaido anyway. And I can totally understand why. Freshly made everyday, these have the texture of a soft sugar doughnut, but the taste of cream puffs. Very interesting, and verrrrry good.  The cream of these were completely different from the previous cream puff. The Queen had a light lavender flavor but a heavy creamy texture. These however, tasted like it had a sweet custard filling. In the end, I was sad. Sad because I only had one.

Corn. The corn in Hokkaido had a sweetness that only fresh American corn could rival. Not only that, but they were also so huge that I wondered how they got so big without steroids.

See that? The color is a lighter yellow than most corn, and is much sweeter. With salt and butter added for taste, it was extremely satisfying. You can tell how big and long it is from the picture. It’ longer than my Dad’s head!!! Tasty.

Honeydew. All I can say is that Hokkaido’s honeydew are ginormous, extremely sweet, and so juicy that its like drinking juice at every bite. Plus, the outside skin is very beautiful, with neat little lines criss crossing everywhere. And as a side note, that plate was pretty big.

Pumpkin. Although we had pumpkin several times during the trip, I have to say my favorite dish was this awesome fried pumpkin tempura. Cut into thin slices, the Japanese pumpkin is quickly rolled in a thin layer of batter and tossed to fry. The tempura was extremely crunchy and delicious when eaten warm. Although the outside was crispy and salty, the inside was still soft and had the sweet heavy taste of pumpkin.

Lastly, natto. Oh boy do I love natto now. Before coming to Japan, my reaction to natto would have been “Meh, it’s okay. Not bad.” But, that was because I had never eaten fresh local Japanese natto before. Mixed thoroughly with the mustard and soy sauce they give, topped over warm rice, and wrapped in crispy seaweed, I wouldn’t mind having natto for breakfast every day! Previously, I’ve only ever had natto by itself, which just tastes like flavorless fermented beans….which is techncally what it is. As a topping however….it is genius. The ones we had in Hokkaido had a slightly different fermented flavor…I can’t really describe it. And they were much stickier as well (they say most of the nutrition is in the stringy fibers). Very filling, and also very nutritious!

Oh, and one word of warning. Be careful of the honeydew. I ate too many and became like this…

So be careful, won’t you?

– Jas

Photographs taken and provided by Jasmine Hwang.


  1. Sep-27-2010

    Lol, Jas! Your description of corn made me giggle at work … and made me hungry for a cob <.<

  2. Sep-29-2010

    I won’t mind to have more honeydew. It looks so juicy and sweet.

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