After my gross lunch today, (see below), I had to get something special to wash away the sadness. My solution? Hokkaido Soft Cream. Hokkaido is Japan's 2nd largest island behind Honshu. It is the big one just north of Honshu. Hokkaido is synonymous with milk and milk related products. I guess the climate up there is good for herding cows, and cows there produce a very creamy tasty milk. People in Tokyo go crazy for Hokkaido Soft Cream. I mean, I have never seen people line up for something like that before but I can totally understand why they do it. Most soft cream in Japan is made with lard or vegetable shortening or something else gross...but not Hokkaido Soft Cream. It is super creamy and clean and in my opinion, the plain milk flavor is the best. Today I got a swirl of Melon and Milk and it was pretty good. So good that that salaryman in the background is staring at my cone.
Hokkaido is also known for their beer. The biggest city in Hokkaido is Sapporo which of course, makes a very famous beer. A few years ago, milk consumption was dropping so a company in Sapporo decided to mix their two biggest exports and create Bilk - Milk Beer. I am hesitant to write about this only because I get a little tired of the "wacky Japan" articles picked up by mainstream international media. (I'm looking at you New York Times!) Yes, there are weird things in Japan (dudes having relationships with dolls and figurines, vegetable flavored chocolate, etc) but most of the weird things only represent only a super tiny portion of the population. Yes, there is a vending machine in Tokyo that sells used ladies underwear, but that is 1 vending machine out of god knows how many in Japan! Ok, I'm just venting now...my point is, those articles are always super entertaining but now that I've moved here, I realize that they probably do more harm than good. Although...this one is a classic.