Every small town, city, prefecture, and area in Japan has its own food specialties. Maybe it's a form of noodles, or sake, or type of produce or meat grown or raised in the area. If I tell my students I'm going somewhere, they almost always recommend a certain local delicacy that I have to try.
Hokkaido takes this to the extreme. It has the "best" of almost everything. Here's a rundown of many of the foods and drinks I tried while I was in town.
I didn't get a picture of it, but Hokkaido is known for its corn. You can get it in your ramen, or find grilled corn on the cob at tourist destinations around the island. I got a very tasty ear in Toya that served as my lunch.
Hokkaido's other agricultural product that must be tried is the melon. They're very sweet and full of flavor, and are almost creamy. Usually you have to buy an entire melon (about 1200-1500 yen) but you might find a slice for about 300 yen.
And while milk might be the easiest dairy product to find and sample inexpensively around Hokkaido, cheese and butter are also very popular and tasty.
If and when I can return to Hokkaido, I hope to sample a bit more of the local flavor. First, I need to try more ramen. Plus, I have to have a go with Genghis Khan. A good deal that I found but wasn't able to take advantage of was Ginza Lion's all-you-can-eat offer in Susukino. If price is not as much of a concern, I would love to try the local hairy crab, which can be seen in tanks outside or just inside restaurants similar to lobster tanks in America.