Tokachi Raclette

Registration Number 128
Name of the GI Tokachi Raclette
Class Processed Foodstuffs
Date of Protection 2023/03/31
Producing Area Hokkaido
Obihiro, Otofuke, Shihoro, Kamishihoro, Shikaoi, Shintoku, Shimizu, Memuro, Nakasatsunai, Sarabetsu, Taiki, Hiroo, Makubetsu, Ikeda, Tokoyoro, Honbetsu, Ashoro, Rikubetsu, and Urahoro
Applicant - Name and Address

Tokachi Hinshitsunokai
(Tokachi Quality Control Association)

6-4-12 Jiyugaoka, Obihiro City, Hokkaido, 080-2476, Japan

Producing Area

"Tokachi Raclette" is a pressed, semi-hard type natural cheese made from fresh raw milk produced in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido, one of the leading dairy farming regions in Japan. It has a ripe and mellow aroma like nuts and hay. It is highly rated by consumers due to its suppressed pungent odor and refreshing flavor, which suits Japanese tastes.

The ingredients of "Tokachi Raclette" are raw milk produced in farms in the Tokachi region and animal-derived rennet (milk-coagulating enzyme).
 The cheese is produced in conformity with the following process controls: 1) lowering the lactose concentration level by adding water taken in the region, 2) using a polishing solution prepared by dissolving salt and Brevibacterium linens in water from the region, and 3) maturing for at least 8 weeks in a maturing room by controlling temperature, humidity, and degree of polishing.
 Shipping standards are a cylindrical shape of about 7cm in height and 26 to 30cm in diameter before cutting, acidification (pH) of at least pH5.2, which increases during maturing, and salt content of about 1.8%.

The Tokachi region of Hokkaido, where "Tokachi Raclette" is produced, is where dairy farming has long been performed on extensive farmlands and is now top in Japan in terms of the numbers of dairy cattle farm units and cows raised as well as milk production on consignment. The cool climate is ideal for food production and storage, and cheesemaking has become well-established. As for the raclette, it is the largest producing area in Japan.
 Around 1984, there was a growing trend among farmers towards integrated production and value-added sales of cheese made from fresh, home-produced raw milk and suited to the local climate and conditions. In 1990, a French expert was invited to give lectures and training on cheesemaking techniques rooted in local weather and food culture. In 1991, cheese producers established the "Tokachi Natural Cheese Promotion Association" to promote production.
 "Tokachi Raclette" is produced using high-quality "soft" water from the Tokachi region for water addition and polishing, which suppresses the development of distinctive odor and excessive maturation compared to products made in Europe. It thus has a mild taste and gentle flavor to suit Japanese tastes.
 As of 2018, eight cheesemakers stably sell "Tokachi Raclette" in the area, and 72,000 raclettes are produced annually.

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