SEATTLE — The first Hokkaido Milk Soft Serve shop in America is open in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.
Using milk imported from Japan, Indigo Cow makes the kind of regional delicacy Keisuke Kobayashi remembers eating as a child.
"It brings back memories a lot,” he said, laughing.
Kobayashi was born and raised in Hokkaido and has shared its ramen recipes at his restaurant Yoroshiku since 2012.
But serving Hokkaido Milk Soft Serve would prove to be far more difficult. FDA regulations required more than two years of paperwork and filings. But Kobayashi said, it was well worth the effort.
The soft serve really is that good.
"The Holstein cows are a perfect match for the Hokkaido environment,” Kobayashi explained.
They roam in their pastures and graze on nutrient-rich grass beneath wide blue skies (hence the name Indigo Cow.) Kobayashi said the result is milk that’s also nutrient rich with high-fat content – ideal for making soft serve.
"Our soft serve is very rich, milky, and then the cream finish,” he said.
Kobayashi said Indigo Cow is the first place to import the milk for soft serve in the United States. Customers can choose between cups or cones (including a gluten-free option) and toppings: seasonal fruit sauce, Theo's dark chocolate, or traditional Japanese flavors shiratama (mochi,) kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) and kinako (roasted soybean powder.)
Whatever your preference, the unique dessert suits any season and is made with love.
"I want to share the taste of my hometown with ice cream lovers of Seattle,” Kobayashi said.
Indigo Cow is a walk-up window connected to Yoroshiku, located at 1911 N. 45th Street. Soft serve is available Wednesday through Sunday from 3-9 p.m.