Our Cheeses

Our cheese selection is constantly evolving and maturing. What you see here are some of the signature cheeses we make. They may or may not be in stock. Please contact us for current information.

Make an enquiry, ask a question, we are happy to help.

 

Shima Rakkyo

Visitors to Okinawa know shima rakkyo well. It's a very common accompaniment for beer or awamori. We dry shima rakkyo, powder it and put it in the cheese before ageing. This cheese has the same bite as shima rakkyo and goes perfectly with beer or awamori. Anyone who has been to a bar in Okinawa knows Shima Rakkyo. For us Brits, it reminds us of Spring Onions - great with Salad Cream, for those who know what that is and "Eggo" is a good substitute. We dried some Shima Rakkyo, powdered it and added it to cheese. This is a very fine beer cheese. If you come to the cheese shop and ask me nicely, I might give you a taste of some VERY well matured Shima Rakkyo cheese that dates back to February 2015! Purchase Enquiry

Black Carrot (Kuro Ninjin)

"Kuro Ninjin" (black carrot) is a variety of carrot found in Okinawa. Black or purple carrots were common in Europe up to the 17th century, but for some reason the orange carrot caught on, and now the black and purple varieties are only rarely seen there. Kuro ninjin has some very interesting health benefits: It contains anthcyanin and lutein, substances that have been found effective in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells. Anthocyanins are also effective as an anti-inflammatory agent in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, and lutein is often referred to as the "eye vitamin" as it benefits eye health. I don't know how much cheese you would have to eat to get these benefits, but it's good to know that you are doing something good for your body while eating something delicious! Purchase Enquiry

Oregano

Although we think of Oregano as a typical Italian herb, it was first used by the ancient Greeks. In fact, the name Oregano comes from the Greek language and means, "Joy of the Mountains." The warm aroma of this wonderful herb fills this cheese and gives it a distinctive flavour. Purchase Enquiry

Basil

This cheese is basically a pecorino style hard cheese with a basil pesto (basil, garlic, salt/pepper) added before pressing. Basil grows in abundance in Nanjo and is a perfect addition to this wonderful cheese. We have an arrangement with a local farmer and use locally grown, organic basil with Tellicherry pepper and Himalayan pink salt. The rich aroma of basil permeates this cheese. Basil goes wonderfully with tomato, so this cheese is good in salads or salad sandwiches. Purchase Enquiry  

Beets

Beets are readily available in the winter months in Okinawa. This vegetable has a wonderful wine red colour. We add dried beet powder to cheese before pressing. It's red at first, but as the cheese matures, it turns into a gentle pink. Unfortunately, after a few months, the pink disappears, but at the same time the taste develops. There are two variations of this; with beetroot and beetroot and blue culture (Blue Beats). Purchase Enquiry

Beni Blue

Beni Imo (purple potato) is a very popular Okinawan vegetable, often used in sweets. We mix powdered beni imo with the curds before pressing and sprinkle some blue culture in for good measure. This makes beni blue cheese. The taste of the beni imo blends with the milk to make a most unusual taste. This cheese is best well matured. Purchase Enquiry

Blue Caraway

Caraway seed is a spice that is usually used in baking, but it goes with cheese very nicely. The mild blue culture gives it a gentle bite. This is a truly lovely cheese that goes with more or less anything, particularly a good lager. Purchase Enquiry  

Cheddar

This one is our take on a very old favourite - Cheddar. The theme for this label is the Union Jack. I used this because I got fed up with being told that Cheddar is an American cheese. Hmpf! It isn't, of course! Another misconception is the colour. Real Cheddar is not yellow or orange. I'm afraid that ours is. But we are about 10,000 kilometres from Cheddar Gorge, so I think we'll get away with it! Purchase Enquiry

Cheddar Garlic

Continuing the cheese card series: This is Cheddar Garlic. This is made with the process known as cheddaring. Powdered organic garlic is added at the end to give it an enticing aroma. As you lift the cheese to your mouth, the garlic sends out a greeting to your nose. Good cheese this. Purchase Enquiry

Chura Nanjo

Chura Nanjo is a tribute to the area where this cheese was born - Nanjo. "Nan" is "south," and "jo" is castle. I was going to call it "Nanchester Cheese," but thought it might be a bit too esoteric and decided on Chura (beautiful) Nanjo instead. Nanjo is a peaceful, semi rural part of Okinawa. There are no magnificent mountains or vast deserts. Nanjo is gentle and comforting rather than stark or dramatic. It is a nice change from the big city, but it is not far from one either. Chura Nanjo is like this. Not an exciting cheese, but one that is gentle and comforting. Purchase Enquiry

Cheese-yo

I had fun with the design of this one! Before I started making cheese, I used to make Tofuyo. It's actually very easy. Cheese-yo uses the same process. I cut cheese in small slices and marinate it in a mix of awamori and kome koji (malted rice). Good for those times when you've eaten and drunk your fill and just want something to refresh your palate that doesn't take up too much space. Purchase Enquiry

Cresson

For a time, it was impossible to find basil. We had just started making basil cheese and it was very popular, so it was very frustrating. Looking around the market, I saw watercress. This is grown in Kakinohana in Nanjo. I had the idea of making a pesto with this, tried it and it was delicious. By the way, it’s very good in a pasta sauce too! So we used this in a pecorino type cheese and it worked very well. This makes a nice, gentle cheese with a very mild bite that goes in a salad or a sandwich very well. Purchase Enquiry

Chura Pepper

The best pepper in the world comes from India. We use the highest grade of Indian peppercorns, known as Tellicherry. The aroma when you open the bag is wonderful. We lightly crush these and place them in the cheese before it is pressed. The style of cheese is Toscano and this cheese would be known in Italy as Toscano Pepato. Purchase Enquiry

Chura Porcini

Porcini is a very special Italian mushroom. Like matsutake in Japan, porcini cannot be grown artificially. You just have to hunt for it. It is therefore rather special and rare. We use powdered porcini in our cheese. It gives the cheese a wonderful, mushroom after taste. To really enjoy this cheese, the best drink might be something light, such as a mild tea, Darjeeling or Assam. Purchase Enquiry

Crescenza

This cheese started with a recipe for Crescenza, which is a fresh cheese made in Italy. We adapted the recipe and have produced something that is entirely different. It's rather strong, a little like a Taleggio and is an EXCELLENT accompaniment to a full bodied red wine or a porter. Young it's like a strong, very ripe Camembert and it takes on a lovely mellowness with ageing. There are variations of this with garlic, chocolate and mikan. Purchase Enquiry

Fig & Almond

The combination of dried figs and cheese has been a well known treat at least since Roman times. We improve on this by adding crushed almonds. The natural oils from the nuts combine with the cheese to make a very rich, nutty base. And then the figs ferment in the cheese and the result is quite delicious. This cheese pairs best with something light. A light pilsener, dry white wine or even Darjeeling or Assam tea. Purchase Enquiry

Fuuchiba (yomogi)

sq_fuchibaI wanted to make a Sage Derby cheese, but couldn’t find fresh sage, so I had the bright idea of using fuuchiba. It worked beautifully, the fuuchiba leaving a thin green marbling in the cheese and a gentle bitterness. This herb has quite a history. It was used in England in ancient times to flavour beer before hops came into use. In Japan, they use it to flavour rice cakes, where it is known as yomogi. Purchase Enquiry

Green Cheese

The Moon, as any European or American child knows, is made of “green cheese.” What many people don’t know is that the meaning of “green” in this sense is not the colour green. It means young or fresh. It’s true, the colour of the Moon is similar to freshly made cheese, a kind of creamy white. Our green cheese is green, however. We use an extract of gardenia to colour the cheese. It doesn’t have any special flavour, the colour is purely decorative. One nice variation of this has pistachio and another uses dried oregano. Purchase Enquiry

Mellow Yellow

This cheese uses a combination of cultures for a rich flavour. The curds are sprinkled with ash and the cheese is coated with it. The white mould in the cheese grows over the ash so that the cheese looks white, but when you cut into it the ash shows as a beautiful black line. The ash is not merely decorative. What happens is that it absorbs liquid. The liquid in the cheese is lactic acid. The result is that with less lactic acid, the cheese becomes almost sweet and very creamy. Purchase Enquiry

Chura Herb

Our herb cheese is a blend of Herbes de Provence (rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram), milled to a powder and added to a pecorino style cheese. This is a very refreshing and fragrant cheese, good in a sandwich, salad or by itself with a dry white wine. Purchase Enquiry

Mikan Cheese

The part of citrus fruit that carries the most concentrated flavour is the rind. This is usually thrown away, but it is a shame to do so. We took the rind of Mikan from Ogimi-son in Okinawa, dried it and powdered it in a mill. The powder was added to the cheese in its final stage. Well matured, the mikan and cheese combine to make a very unusual cheese. In a sense this is two cheeses in one. By itself, it tastes like cheese but with honey, the mikan flavour comes to the front. An excellent dessert cheese, we place small slices on a biscuit and cover it with chocolate. Heaven! Cheese, mikan and chocolate! Purchase Enquiry

Mimolette

Since this cheese was created to the order of the great and magnificent King Louis XIV of France, the Mimolette label uses his coat of arms and lots of little gold fleurs de lis. For some reason, the French deliberately set little insects on this cheese. The little insects nibble the cheese and do insecty things on it and this apparently gives a special flavour to the cheese. You may be relieved to know that we DO NOT do this. If any insect went near this cheese it must have used ninja tactics. Mimolette is bright orange and very similar to Edam. Purchase Enquiry

Nanjozola

Most traditional cheeses are named after the town where they were made. Gorgonzola is a town near Milan in Italy. We therefore didn't think we should name it Gorgonzola and decided to call it Nanjozola, as it was born in Nanjo. Nanjozola is a mild blue cheese, very creamy and easy on the palate. Most names of cheeses are the name of the place they were first made in. Gorgonzola is one of these. We couldn't very well call this cheese Gorgonzola because Okinawa is on the other side of the planet. So we decided to call it Nanjozola because it was born in Nanjo! The blue culture is very mild. Even people who don't like blue cheese enjoy this. Mangiamasho! Purchase Enquiry

Ozato Basil

There are several variations on the Ozato theme. Ozato White, our most popular cheese, Ozato Blue, Ozato Garlic, Ozato Yellow and now, the latest Ozato Basil (or Ozato Pesto). This was created by react-text: 55 Kelly /react-text . It is a beautiful cheese, both to look at and to eat. There is plentiful and delicious basil in the local area and it works perfectly with cheese. Purchase Enquiry

Ozato Blue

One of our signature cheeses. It's a variation on Ozato White. Soft, mild and creamy, covered in white mould like a Camembert. The blue culture is very delicate and rather than coming in with a trumpet fanfare, it gives a polite cough and makes a soft, discreet entry. Purchase Enquiry

Ozato Garlic

This cheese is so popular, we have difficulty keeping it in stock. Ozato Garlic is a soft mild, camembert type cheese to which organic, powdered garlic has been added. This cheese greets your nose before it enters the mouth. Ozato is a very mild cheese that lends itself beautifully to variation. This is an Ozato White with organic garlic powder. Like the Cheddar Garlic, this cheese sends out a greeting to the nose before the palate. It's one that's very difficult to stop eating. Purchase Enquiry

Ozato White

Ozato White, the daddy of them all! I was having problems with Camemberts not doing well in the heat and the humidity of the Okinawan summer. Camembert is a cheese that has a very short life cycle. At first it's a bit hard, then the mould eats its way through to the centre and it's at its best, soft and runny. Things after this tend to go downhill until it smells like ammonia. Ozato White uses the same ingredients and grows a white mould like Camembert and Brie, but we changed the process so that it contains less water and the result is a greatly extended life. In fact, we have some Ozato Whites from last February that are WONDERFUL! If you want those, you'll have to ask me VERY nicely, as they are in short supply. Purchase Enquiry

Ozato Yellow

This finishes the Ozato series and I'm going to make this the last one before I have a shower and get to bed! Ozato Yellow is, as the name suggests, yellow. It's a soft cheese and a cocktail of cultures are used to give it an interesting depth of flavour. The yellow colour comes from annatto. Nothing to do with the sticky fermented soy bean preparation that us foreigners are supposed to dislike, annatto comes from a seed found in South America. It was used, apparently by the Aztecs - or the Mayans - I forget which - to colour drinks during their rather gruesome human sacrifices. A little annatto will give a yellow colour to cheese. More and it becomes orange and a lot of annatto will make it red. Fun to play with but not good to drop on a white shirt! Purchase Enquiry

Sakuna

Sakuna is the local name for chomeiso, which literally means “long life plant.” The latin name for is Peucedanum japonicum. The leaf doesn't have a strong taste, but it changes the taste of the cheese greatly. The same recipe with or without Sakuna is quite different. This is a well rounded, full bodied cheese that would go well with a mild beer, red or white wine. Oh yes, it won a prize last year from Nanjo City. It is one of their select products. Purchase Enquiry

Sendagusa

This is another cheese that uses local Okinawan ingredients and a very interesting one. Its latin name is Bidens frondosa and it has - especially for a weed - quite amazing healthful properties. The young leaves are good in tempura and it's used in Chinese medicine. Here's a link: http://www.itmonline.org/arts/bidens.htm. The plant, apparently, was a "present" from the US military. When the troops arrived in 1945, many of them had the seeds of this plant sticking to their uniforms. The seeds dropped off and hey presto! You can see the white flowers everywhere! It does make a really good cheese though. Hard to describe. It is its own flavour. Good with honey - particularly good with local honey where the bees have sipped Bidens nectar. This reminds me, we have to make some more! Purchase Enquiry

Shikwasa

Shikwasa is a well known Okinawan citrus, a small green or orange lemon. It has its own flavour, somewhat like a lime and is often used to flavour drinks. Good with Awamori, of course. We saved some Shikwasa rind, dried it and ground it down to a powder. We put this in the cheese and waxed the cheese to keep all the flavour in. This is a delightful cheese. With a very strong taste of Shikwasa, with a drop of honey this makes a fine dessert cheese. It pairs beautifully with Awamori. Purchase Enquiry

Smoked Hop

A good phriend of mine phrom Sapporo, Phred Kaufman, kindly sent me some hops. We ground these up and put them in cheese. We smoke this cheese and it makes a wonderful beer snack. In Japan, the chips used for smoking are usually sakura (cherry), but a chef in the Kafoo Hotel suggested Whisky Barrel and it was an excellent suggestion. Incidentally, Phred is THE beer guy. He imports HUNDREDS of kinds of beers into Japan and can ship anywhere. You can find him on Facebook. Another good friend, Pietro Scòzzari held a cooking class a couple of weeks ago using our cheeses. He made penne with bacon and Smoked Hop cheese. It was SOOOOOO good. Purchase Enquiry

SHIO (BULGARIAN FETA)

Shio is a very different kind of cheese. You could think of it as kind of cheese "tsukemono." It is based on a Bulgarian recipe for a cheese known as "Sirene." It's made with yogurt, and, as many people know, our yogurt is absolutely delicious. Compared to other cheeses, it requires a little preparation. Because the cheese is preserved in a strong salt solution, it will keep for up to a year. If you eat it as it is, you might find it rather salty. However, sliced with salad vegetables, we find that the saltiness works well. Try "Insalata Caprese," slice tomatoes and Shio Cheese, layer with basil leaves and cover with olive oil and a little pepper. A wonderful summer salad. If you find the cheese too salty, place it in a bowl of cold water. After 30 minutes, the salt will leach out into the water and the cheese will be much milder. The longer you leave it the less salty it becomes. After 24 hours, the cheese will begin to melt into the water. The cheese becomes almost like a Camembert and will spread easily. Wonderful on a slice of fresh French bread. Don't throw the milky water away, this is excellent for cooking. Use it in soups, stews, pasta sauce, anything that could use a cheesy taste. We hope you enjoy Shio and know you will come back for more. Purchase Enquiry

Ryukyu Taleggio

Ryukyu is the old name for Okinawa and Taleggio is an Italian cheese, a little similar to a Brie, but with more body. The addition of B. Linens gives this cheese a delightful mushroom flavour. This cheese goes perfectly with a full bodied red wine. Purchase Enquiry

Ukon (Uchin)

Turmeric is well known for its healthful properties. In cheese, it makes a delightful change. The colour, of course, is very striking, and the flavour of the turmeric combines well with the cheese to produce a cheese that pairs perfectly with any alcohol - especially awamori, of course. This cheese goes with fried chicken beautifully. Fry chicken breasts gently both sides and finish with a slice of Ukon Cheese, cover the frying pan and let the cheese melt over the chicken. Wonderful! Purchase Enquiry

Wakinaguni Blue

Wakinaguni is the name of the place where our dairy farm and cheese factory are located. The name doesn’t appear on maps, but is known by local people. This cheese is a blue cheese that even people who dislike blue cheese can eat. There are apparently 64 kinds of blue mould used in cheesemaking, each with a slightly different flavour. We use a very mild blue that anyone can enjoy. We colour this cheese with annatto, a food colouring made from the seed of the annatto tree. This is a semi-soft cheese that can be enjoyed by anyone. Purchase Enquiry

Wakinaguni Brown

This is a Dutch style cheese that has been washed in Phred Kaufmann’s excellent chocolate beer. The beer is boiled down to thicken it and remove the alcohol. The cheese is then washed in the reduced beer every day for two weeks to develop the flavour. This is an easy eating cheese and goes well with almost anything. Particularly beer, of course! Purchase Enquiry