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  1. #1
    Timid Typist
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    Default do Japanese people eat cheese?

    I've notice that none of the mainstream Japanese foods do not have cheese in them. Do the Japaneses really even eat cheese? If not why?

  2. #2
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    Default

    They do - but it's not a main part of their diet...it's a post war thing. Milking cows were never really raised there before that.
    There is a HUGE industry in Hokkaido of dairy farms, and frankly the cheese from Hokkaido is some of the best cheese I've ever tasted. (anything Japanese is done to perfection, or not at all)

    The cost is also slightly prohibitive/detrimental to the cheese industry.
    Most "traditional" families the wife/mother/grandmother goes to the market each day to buy the families' groceries for the meals for the day. So budgeting is very precise.
    Cheese doesn't factor in - becuase it's REALLY expensive. Like 200-300 grams of cheese costs about $10.
    Milk isn't big in their diet either. Cost isn't so bad - but it's just not in the popular psyche to drink it - tea is the mainstay. (mugicha, stencha, matcha, oolong, etc)

    HTH
    SF


  3. #3
    Timid Typist
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    Default

    Theres also the fact that Japanese people don't eat so much dairy due to lactose intolerence. Advantages of this are that they miss out on all the cholesterol problems of the west.


  4. #4
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    Default

    I met a guy from Great Britain the other day and he cracked me up because he was fairly new to the United States and I overheard him saying, "These bloody Americans put cheese on everything!" I guess this is just something that Americans mostly do but it is also popular with Mexicans as well. I never noticed that Japanese diets don't have much cheese in them until you mentioned it. I think I will be paying better attention to my surroundings and the cultures around me from now on. lol.


  5. #5
    What's up? Funambulist's Avatar
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    Americans probably are even more fond of cheese than Italians. Nowadays, Japanese people do eat cheese. However, eating cheese is a relatively new thing for them and that's why cheese is not a common ingredient in their centuries old recipes.


  6. #6
    Timid Typist Upstate2point0's Avatar
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    ha, you know my wife and I had a similar to discussion about this the other night. No Japanese food has cheese in it here in the Americas. It is probably why the majority of Japanese folks aren't as large weight-wise as their American counterparts. Although, I'm not going to lie, a cheese covered dumpling would be fantastic!


  7. #7
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    That is one reason I like their food! I am very allergic to cheese, it makes my throat swell. So it is very frustrating that so many American foods have cheese. I love Japanese cuisine in generally but especially because it doesn't have cheese and it is healthy with all the veggies and seafood.


  8. #8
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    @ Upstate2point0 - Cheese dumplings would be amazing, I never thought of it before! Although, thinking of it they would probably be close to the traditional Italian tortellini (that is not the word, it is pronounced like toutling, but I speak no Italian and don't want to run and ask my boyfriend) which look like gyoza but with cheese in the pork, or sometimes with cheese instead of pork.

    I was reading that Japan's top import expense these days is for milk - apparently they are developing a taste for dairy products over there.


  9. #9
    Aspiring Mangaka phil413's Avatar
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    I really hope they don't develop a taste for cheese and other dairy products because I am allergic to dairy. So in America almost every food has dairy so I can't eat that much of it, so in Japan I would be able to eat more types of food and eat more food!


  10. #10
    Timid Typist Soliloquy's Avatar
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    I'm told that they're so unused to people eating much cheese or dairy in general, that they can smell it when people eat a lot of it. I don't know how true that is, or if it's just a stereotype.

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    Kawaii Poster DrRipley's Avatar
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    Default

    Japanese dishes are often geared towards lightness, so I doubt there would be many that they would put cheese on. Also, they have always been more seafood loving people than game or poultry, and cheese is often hard to pair with fish so that would be a huge deterrent since they eat so much of it. Just by taste, I can tell that their dishes will not do well with cheese on them, but I've been to some fusion restaurants that have pulled some dishes off like this successfully. Doesn't really taste much like a Japanese dish after that though, but some of the identity is there.


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