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Fascinating Food - Steak - Kobe Wagyu Beef

Updated on August 30, 2012

Fascinating Food – Steak Kobe Wagyu Beef

There are over 850 different breeds of cattle that are recognized world round. Different breeds have formed distinguishing characteristics due to the huge variety of factors in their daily life. The biggest difference is the climate the cattle live in. Cattle that live in warmer climates are known as “Bos Taurus Indicus“, and cattle that hail from the colder areas in the world are known as “Bos Taurus Taurus.” These two distinct groups contain several different breeds, that all have their strong points. Many people believe that the Bos Taurus Indicus Cattle, also known as the “Zebu” cattle are a more work orientated sub-species. These cattle are more orientated to laborious farming jobs, which as a result helps them produce a superior quality of milk.

The Bos Taurus Taurus cattle are less geared towards physical labour, but they produce a very high quality of milk and beef. Most cuts of meat come from this sub-bread of cattle.

Wagyu Cattle

Out of this sub-breed the breed of cow that is most respected for its meat is the Wagyu breed. This breed of cow is genetically predisposed to provide meat which has a very high level of marbling. There is also a very high level of unsaturated fats in this breed, especially the oleaginous unsaturated fat.

Feeding Wagyu Cattle Beer
Feeding Wagyu Cattle Beer
Massaging Wagyu Cattle
Massaging Wagyu Cattle

Marbling is a very important factor when it comes to steak. The more marbled a steak, the more of a natural taste there will be in the meat. The marbling also tells you that the steak will be especially tender and extremely juicy. The taste of the Wagyu meat is something that all steak lovers would appreciate.

The Wagyu cattle originate from Japan. Japan has a very rough and rugged natural terrain and wild Wagyu Cattle were always used to a very active life. Farmers who started to breed and milk this breed of cattle soon started to see that having the cattle tightly packed in farms lead to various problems. Firstly the cows did not have the space to move and they would often form muscle cramps in their legs. This would lead to huge problems as the cows would often fall over and form a ‘toppling’ effect.

As a result the farmers soon started to massage the legs and underbellies of the cattle. This solved the problem, and was a lot cheaper then setting up a larger room for the cattle. The addition of beer or Sake to their diet also was believed at the time to aid in digestion and to try to increase their hunger in the hot summer season. For the last three hundred years the diet of the Japanese Wagyu cattle is unchanged; it consists of a mixture of Corn, Alfalfa, barley and wheat straw.

There are five main breads of Japanese Wagyu cattle, the most notorious being the Japanese Black Kuroge Washu. The Wagyu cattle have been exported through the years, and other countries have been interbreeding the Wagyu gene with their native cattle to try and produce a higher quality of meat. The two countries that are now also known for producing Wagyu beef are Australia and the United States.

Kobe Beef

The price of Wagyu meat started to increase substantially compared to other breads of cattle. Today it is the most expensive bread of cow. Due to the increased ability to profit from the breed more and more farmers got involved in the Wagyu breed. Out of all the different farms a small farm appeared that set a very high standard of control over their meat production. Over time this small farm developed into the huge marketing and distribution chain of Kobe Beef.

Kobe beef was known as the best of the best. It used the Tajima cattle, the best breed of the Black Kuroge Washu Wagyu cattle. It created a strict set of guidelines that had to be met in order for meat to be sold off as “Kobe Beef.”

These included:

· Being From the Tajima Breed.

· Farm Fed from birth in the Hyogo Prefecture.

· Castrated bull or Bullock.

· Processed in a Hyogo Prefecture. (Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa or Himeji)

· Marbeling ration of Level 6 or above.

· Meat Quality of 4 of above.

· Gross weight of beef from one cattle as 470kg or less.

Today going to the top steak restaurants you will notice that Kobe Beef will cost you up to ten times as much as any other steak. You will also notice that Kobe Beef is the only steak on the menu where you can accurately tell everything about the cow’s history. Kobe Beef is always the right choice for your steak if you want the best. It may cost you more, but the taste is unrivalled by any other type of beef.


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