Keeping cheese in Okinawa

Perhaps the major difference between our cheeses and the cheese in supermarkets is that our cheese is ALIVE. It is made from full cream milk willingly donated by the generous cows at the Oyadomari Dairy. It’s just pure, fresh milk, with nothing added and nothing taken away, low-temperature pasteurised at 63°C for 30 minutes. The salt we use is pure pink rock salt from the mountains of the Himalayas. The point being, that if you keep our cheeses well, the taste will continue to improve.
The best place to keep cheese, of course, is a cave. But, in case you don’t have a cave, and, let’s face it, so few of us do, here is a word or two of advice.

gettoThere is a plant that you can find everywhere in Okinawa called Getto or Sannin (picture on right).
In Chinese, it is known as yàn shānjiāng (艳⼭山姜) or yuetao (月桃), and in English, shell ginger.

All this doesn’t mean that I am particularly gifted in languages by the way, it just means that I have mastered the Copy and Paste functions on my computer.
Anyhow, way before plastic bags were invented, Okinawans used Getto leaves to wrap food in. In fact, they still use them to wrap “muchi,” a traditional rice treat for the winter festival.
The leaf keeps insects away and, what is important for our purposes, it gives a little moisture to the cheese and prevents it from drying out.
Wrap your cheese in Getto leaf (cut out the centre spine first) and then wrap this in cloth. There are also natural yeasts on the leaf that give a special flavour and help in the process of maturing. Keep it in the vegetable drawer at a temperature between 5°C and 12°C.

If you can’t keep it at these temperatures, and find yourself “Getto-less,” my advice is to crack open a bottle of something good and eat the cheese. If you run out, don’t worry, you can always contact me!


  1. Sue Rush says:

    Now I see where I have been going wrong, NO CAVE!!

  2. Yasuhiro kojima says:

    I am kojima running small bar named “asile” in makishi in Naha
    I’ve just read your homepage and now I am sending this mail

    Can I buy your cheese?
    So tell me how to get your product please