The Japanese cow produces world’s best beef called Wagyu (和牛, Wagyū, “Japanese beef”). It is any of the four Japanese breeds of beef cattle. And one of the most expensive foods in the world.
In several areas of Japan, there are several names for Wagyu beef. Some examples are Matsusaka beef, Kobe beef, Yonezawa beef, Mishima beef, Ōmi beef, and Sanda beef. In recent years, Wagyu beef has increased in fat percentage due to decrease in grazing and an increase in using feed, resulting in larger, fattier cattle.
Japanese Wagyu has very fine marbling. Japanese Wagyu gest grades by how much meat comes from the cow: Grade A means a high yield of usable meat, Grade B means an average yield, and Grade C means a low yield of usable meat. Each grade has numbers from 1 through 5 (3 being average and 5 being superior). Producers indicate with this how evenly the distribution of intermuscular fat, the color of the meat, and the quality of the fat.
Wagyu = Japanese Cow Beef
Wagyu is just a word that means “Japanese Beef”. There are four breeds of Wagyu cows that are native to Japan. Of these breeds, there is one that stands out as something truly remarkable: the Kuroge Washu.
This Japanese cow is a breed with a unique genetic predisposition to marblizing its fat inside the muscle tissue. That incredibly marbled beef has become synonymous with “Kobe beef” and A5 Wagyu. It’s because of this special breed, the Kuroge Washu.
The ecosystem necessary to produce A5 Wagyu consists of the gene pool, methods of raising the animals, the feed regimen, and the organizations and expertise for rating and certifying the beef correctly. This is completely unique to Japan.
Kobe Beef: World’s Most Expensive Beef
Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ, Kōbe bīfu) is a special Wagyu beef from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle. It comes fromJapan’s Hyōgo Prefecture according to rules set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association.
The meat is a delicacy, and people value it for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. You can prepare kobe beef as steak, sukiyaki, shabu-shabu, sashimi, and teppanyaki. Kobe beef is generally considered one of the three top brands (known as Sandai Wagyu, “the three big beefs”), along with Matsusaka beef and Ōmi beef or Yonezawa beef.
History of Kobe Beef
Cattle were brought to Japan from China at the same time as the cultivation of rice, in about the second century AD, in the Yayoi period. Until about the time of the Meiji Restoration in 1868, they were used only as draught animals, in agriculture, forestry, mining and for transport, and as a source of fertiliser. Milk consumption was unknown, and – for cultural and religious reasons – meat was not eaten.
Kobe beef is also called Kobe niku (神戸肉, “Kobe meat”), Kobe-gyu (神戸牛) or Kobe-ushi (神戸牛, “Kobe cattle”) in Japanese.
Price of Wagyu Beef
High-grade wagyu can cost up to $200 per pound, and the cows themselves can sell for as much as $30,000. (source: www.businessinsider.com)
A5 Olive Wagyu is the top quality, hard-to-get steak from Japanese cows that are fed toasted olive peels. For a 16-ounce, rib eye (in about three pounds of dry ice) it fetches $240. This makes it one of world’s most expensive fine foods.