Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mmmm... Cheese

As you know, I am hopelessly addicted to cheese. Not those fancy, smelly, moldy cheeses (although Kevin says all cheese is mold), but normal, firm, tasty cheese. I like mild cheddar. I even enjoy sharp cheddar these days. My favorite cheese is colby jack cheese. Occasionally I will even eat and enjoy soft, fresh mozzarella. This is good especially as part of bruschetta (without vinegar, of course). So, when we found out we were moving to Japan, one of my first questions to Dan was, "Do they have cheese in Japan?"

Of course, they do have cheese in Japan. Perhaps not the variety and specific types that I want everywhere. It seems to be impossible to find cottage cheese here. We finally found ricotta to make lasagne. However, the typical cheese that you will find in the store, in the form of red cheddar, is about 2 ounces big. This greatly disappointed me. How was I going to keep up my daily consumption of calcium if I had to buy individual, expensive 2 ounce cheeses all the time? It's not like I enjoy the slightly different taste of Japanese milk even
when I can find milk that I know is pasturized. And I am also picky about yogurt (surprise, I know).

My cheese quest lasted about 6 weeks. I asked some of the women (other foreigners who are pregnant with their first child) who I had lunch with. They gave some helpful suggestions and could relate to my search for the 1 kilogram block of cheese. Then, at our Bible Study the first night we went, Michele (from Brazil) told us about a 24 hour bulk food store that is near
one of the train stations near us (Iidabashi). So right after we got done with the study (about midnight since the next day was a holiday and we were socializing too much at Denny's), Dan and I went to Hanamasa. It was awesome! Ok, it wasn't your giant Costco, but they did have select items in large sizes. The broccoli was reasonably priced, there were huge slabs of meat. However, the most important part was that we hit the motherlode! There was a kilogram of red cheddar cheese. And it only cost about 1000 yen (about $10). Obviously we bought some. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the sensible metric system, we are including the following picture of the kilogram of cheese. As a point of comparison, we have included a standard American quarter along with it.



watterflower said...

You know, most cheese comes in Kilos.

Benjamin said...

Wow, you do have time to blog. I thought that I was bad. Maybe that's another part of their being so healthy, no cheese. Anyway, good luck to you.

Angela said...

Cheese is healthy! It has calcium!

I have not idea where Robin is getting her kilos of cheese. I want to see a picture on her live journal.