When sightseeing in Furano, Hokkaido, the Furano Cheese Factory is a spot you will definitely want to check out. You can enjoy creating your own handmade Mascarpone cheese using local fresh milk and cream. You are also allowed to take this cheese home with you. This facility is like a dairy themed amusement park. If you are a cheese lover you can’t miss out on this!
The main facility here is the "Cheese Factory" which manufactures and sells dairy products such as cheese, butter, and "Furano milk" (non-homo pasteurized milk) (180 ml, 124 yen). There is also the "Handmade Experience Studio" where you can enjoy making your own cheese (880 yen per person), the "Iced Milk Studio" where you can enjoy gelato using Furano milk, and the "Pizza Studio" where you can taste Napoli pizza using our very own cheese.
The first floor of the cheese factory is for production. The second floor contains a sales corner of dairy products and a handmade experience studio, as well as an exhibition section that introduces the history and culture of dairy products.
Before beginning the cheese making experience, we recommend that you visit the exhibition corner and watch how cheese is made!
Now on to the cheese making experience!
The materials needed to make cheese are surprisingly simple!
Today the cheese to be made is Mascarpone cheese originating in northern Italy. It is a fresh type of cheese, characterized by the ability to eat it immediately after making it.
Now it's time to go to the room of butter and cheese in the handmade experience studio. Put on your apron and wash your hands!
Begin by double checking the ingredients.
This simple process may leave some wondering, "What, that's all you need?"
Once you check the ingredients and materials, it is time to begin!
Mix milk and fresh cream while warming
First, add the the fresh cream into the pot
After adding the cream and milk, stir with a wooden ladle for 12 minutes while heating.
After stirring for 12 minutes, pour the lactic acid diluted with water in the pot, stir the pot well around 20 times and turn off the heater.
After adding the lactic acid, let it sit for eight minutes.
You can make labels for your take-away cheese while you wait
While fermenting the cheese, you can make a label to paste on the take - away case. Using the pens provided, draw a picture or write a letter on the round sticker. Test your artistic abilities!
While focused on creating labels, the contents of the pot have begun to change!
When the lactic acid is added, it gradually separates the milk into solid matter like tofu and liquid. The solid matter is called curd and is very important in the cheese making process. The liquid is called whey, which is unnecessary for making cheese.
Here we take a break from making labels to resume the cheese making process.
Next, remove the remaining moisture from the curds.
At the start you may get the impression that it is stuck, but after some time the moisture will drain and will begin to feel lighter.
“What will this cheese pair well with?"
“A Baguette for sure"
“What about honey?”
"Oh, that sounds good!"
Five minutes passed as they discussed the cheese, and white whey had accumulated in the bowl.
This whey may be transferred into a paper cup and sampled! It is unexpectedly delicious with a soft fluffy milky flavor that is refreshing. This would be wasteful to throw away! Please give it a try.
Finally, the cheese is complete!
The finish line is right it front of you! Open the curds with the moisture now removed and place into the bowl and knead until smooth.
Now you are practically done
Here we take a small amount on our finger and sample the cheese
"Hmm, there is no flavor... "
However, this will change drastically with just a pinch of salt!
"Wow! This tastes like cheese!"
The final ingredient needed is salt! Be sure to add salt little by little, tasting as you go in order to get the flavor you desire!
“I did not know I could make cheese this easily"
“How shall I eat this -- I can't wait!",
They are both very pleased!
Take home the cheese you made and enjoy!
What did you do with the cheese that you brought back?
Risako says that she enjoyed this mild flavor by using half with crackers as hors d'oeuvres and the other half in a keema curry.
Meanwhile, Shibori put the cheese on a baguette drizzled with olive oil, and black pepper and enjoyed it as an open sandwich.
Be sure to experience not only the taste of Furano's delicious dairy products, but also to create them yourself. This experience can be enjoyed in as little as one hour.
When traveling to the area around Furano, please stop by and enjoy the handmade experience at the Furano Cheese Factory!
Plan name: Handmade cheese experience
Average time; about 60 minutes
Price (basic): 880 yen per person (tax included)
Start times: 9:30, 11:00, 13:30, 15:00
Contact hours: 9: 00-17: 00
Closed: New Year's holidays / Closed occasionally for facility development
※All prices include tax.
Written by : Nobuhiro Kawashima
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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