Wagyu Beef is the World’s Most Expensive Cut of Meat
Wagyu beef. You’ve heard about it. You know it costs lots and you’ve likely never had it. What is it, what’s the big deal and why is it so expensive? What is the hype all about anyway? Tariq Halal Meats breaks down the Wagyu beef details for you.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef refers to beef that hails from a specific type of cow. It is a Japanese cow, with a specific genetic predisposition to create an enormous amount of marbling fat inside of muscle tissue. To illustrate, when a person eats too much food, it goes to our bellies, but when a Wagyu cow eats too much food, they get fat and the Wagyu breed gets the fat inside of the muscle. Other breeds of cows are simply not able to metabolize food in this manner or achieve this effect.
Why is it So Expensive?
First, this breed of cow is very rare, and keeping the breed going and thriving is a specialized area of work. Secondly, raising these cows requires the most careful of conditions. Japanese Wagyu farmers make sure that these animals live from birth to harvest in a stress-free environment. These cattle breeders go to great lengths to give their cows a zen-like existence, with a steady supply of clean water, being separated from other cows to eliminate feelings of competition for food and farms check on cows as frequently as every four hours. Wagyu beef farmers can be located in any country, but the practice originated in Japan.
You may have also come across the term Kobe beef. Kobe is indeed a cut of Wagyu beef, however, it indicates that it is a cut that comes directly from the Kobe region of Japan. Be wary of any labels that indicate “English Kobe Beef” as there is no such thing. Kobe beef is a type of Wagyu beef, much like Nike or Adidas are types of trainers.
There is also a rating system, specifically for Wagyu beef. ‘A’ indicates the highest yield of meat. There is also a number rating having to do with the beef marbling scale. The beef marbling scale runs through 12. The best-rated Wagyu beef, for example, would be an A5 12. This rating is difficult to come by outside of Japan, however. This rating system requires three years of training and each animal is rated by three separate trainers, each requiring a high level of skill, knowledge of regulation, and keen practice. Beware of those attempting to employ the rating scale as a gimmick.