Daigo (dairy product)

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Daigo (醍醐), or ghee, was a type of dairy product made in Japan during the 10th century.[1]


In Buddhism, ghee is used metaphorically to mean concepts such as "ultimate truth", "great nirvana" or "Buddha-nature". Ghee is thus mentioned in the Nirvana Sutra: [2]

譬如從牛出乳 從乳出酪 從酪出生酥 從生酥出熟酥 從熟酥出醍醐 醍醐最上

— 『大般涅槃経』

For example, from cows comes fresh milk; from fresh milk comes cream; from cream comes curdled milk; from curdled milk comes butter; from butter comes ghee (daigo), and Ghee is the best. - Nirvana Sutra

In Japanese, this is the origin of the word, daigo-mi (醍醐味), which means a superb flavor.[1]

Emperor Daigo is named after Daigo Temple, his place of burial, the name of which (daigo) is thought to be based on the above text. The Japanese Dairy Association claims that he encouraged the production of so and other cheese-like products during this reign. [1] Japanese daigo is thought to have come from China: the Compendium of Materia Medica quotes Song dynasty pharmacologist Kui Zongshi (寇宗奭)'s description of the method for making ghee. However, ghee (daigo) is not commonly made in either Japan or China today.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "チーズの歴史 日本乳業協会  (History of Cheese, by Japan Dairy Industry Association)". 日本乳業協会. Japan Dairy Industry Association. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  2. ^ "大正新脩大藏經 第十二冊 No. 375《大般涅槃經》CBETA 電子佛典 V1.48 普及版  (Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 12, No. 375 大般涅槃經, CBETA Chinese Electronic Tripitaka V1.48, Normalized Version)" (in Chinese). Retrieved 2012-08-19.