JOURNAL / JAPAN etc.(English)


JAPAN [Hyogo]
Japanese Ingredients for the World’s Top Kitchens #29

Yuge Farm—A Model for Urban Dairy Farming


photographs by Daisuke Nakajima / English text by Susan Rogers Chikuba

Though the times are always changing, there are certain timeless ingredients from Japan that will never go out of style. Yukio Hattori, president of Hattori Nutrition College in Tokyo, introduces unique labors of love—items grown and produced with care and integrity by hardworking suppliers across the country.

Just 20 minutes from the center of Kobe, cows graze freely on land maintained by Tadao Yuge, proprietor of dairy operations that were launched by his father in 1943. The business expanded from milk production to include cheese in 1984. “At the time there was no information in Japanese on cheese-making at all,” he says. “I borrowed a book written in English and it was all trial-and-error from there.” 

“We made even the tools ourselves. It took us a year to release our first Camembert. Along the way our fromage frais was picked up by a grocery store and in 1987 we opened Cheese House Yargoi, where people can learn about different ways to serve cheese and enjoy stews and other items made from whey.” At the farm, manure is recycled as fertilizer and to provide renewable biogas that both heats and powers operations.

At Yuge Farm, dairy products are pasteurized at low temperature. Here, Tadao’s son Taro prepares a batch of Camembert. 

(photo left) Protein-rich whey is used in stews and beverages at the restaurant, as well as soaps and other amenities on offer at the gift shop. 
(photo right)Soft and creamy fromage frais, the signature product, is firmer than fromage blanc and sweeter than yogurt. 

The savory stew. 

(photo left)Automatic milking machines in the barn enable the cows to come and go as they please. 
(photo righte)The garden outside Cheese House Yargoi is a popular spot where customers often relax. 

Tadao, Taro, and Kazuko Yuge.

◎Yuge Farm
5-2 Nishimaruyama, Shimotanigami, Yamada-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe, Hyogo

(The Cuisine Magazine /October 2017)