What is Wagyu
Wagyu beef is a very special kind of beef that come from particular cow breeds in Japan. It is the most excellent kind of beef and is considered luxury beef. Wagyu (pronounced- WAH-gyoo) beef is protected by the Japanese government and is to be exclusively produced in Japan.
It’s the result of a centuries-old breed development process. Wagyu cows are specially fed with hay, grains, fermented feed or even olives in a very balanced and unique cattle diet. This diet produces much softer beef with a higher fat content (marbling) which yields better flavor when cooked than ordinary meat.
For a short time, Japan exported Wagyu cattle to the United States and other countries before declaring it a national treasure of Japan in 1997, banning all further exports.
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What is so special about wagyu beef?
Wagyu beef is hard to find and is a very special kind of beef. Japanese wagyu beef has a wonderful marbling and does not compare to regular beef. The flavor is richer and much more intense than other regular cow meat.
The marbling is what gives this beef its uniqueness. These Japanese cows, when raised under the right condition, internalize the fat throughout their muscles in a much more concentrated way. Because of the unique marbleization of wagyu cattle, the meat becomes much more tender and unique compared to other beef.
Wagyu literally means “Japanese cow” in Japanese. It has had an effect on the world market as more and more people have discovered the unique taste of wagyu.
What does Wagyu taste like?
Wagyu has a very intense, “umami” flavor, that is different than any ordinary cut of meat. Because of its internal marbling, Wagyu has a very distinctive look from other types of beef. The meat is bright red and marbled with white fat throughout. The fat is incredibly smooth and soft, making the texture of wagyu something like a very fine cheese. Wagyu has a rich, buttery flavor that melts in your mouth. The texture and flavor spectrum makes eating it incredibly enjoyable and more of an eating experience than anything.
Eating Wagyu beef is a rare life experience, it literally feels as if it melts in your mouth. The moment it hits your tongue, you are forever changed as it dissolves like butter.
Because of its extremely rich texture and intense flavor, the suggested serving size of wagyu is only 2-3 oz per person. The texture of wagyu is something that cannot be put into words. You really have to try it to know what it’s like.
Different kinds of Wagyu
What is A5 beef?
A5 beef is the highest grade of Japanese wagyu that can be attained. It is extremely difficult and rare for beef to be rated this high and the cow has to go through rigorous inspections and meet very high standards. In order to achieve A5 status, wagyu beef must be raised a certain way, free of stress and on a specific diet.
The cows must be from a specific rare breed of cattle, be a certain weight, have a specific BMI and have the defining marbling throughout before it can don the title of Japanese A5 Wagyu.
Wagyu vs Kobe
The best way to put this is, ALL Kobe beef is considered wagyu (remember “wagyu” means Japanese Cow), but not all wagyu beef is Kobe. Kobe beef is from a specific breed of wagyu cow and it must be strictly raised, slaughtered and sold in a certain part of Japan in order to be considered Kobe.
If you ever find beef marketed as “Kobe” in the United States, it’s mostly likely not Kobe beef at all. You even need to be careful about packages marked as Wagyu, because sometimes it is mismarked or intentionally deceptive.
In order to protect yourself, make sure and verify. I highly recommend purchasing Kobe beef from The Meatery. Their beef is certified, and they have very competitive prices, and the most excellent customer service. Check out their Kobe meat selection below.
American Wagyu Beef
American Wagyu cattle are typically not purebred but still yield an amazing, marbled piece of meat. While most American wagyu have been bred with Angus, some are still purebred from Japan. If you go to purchase any Wagyu beef online, this should be specified. If it is purebred it should come with some sort of authentication, like they do at The Meatery.
While Japanese A5 Wagyu has the most intermuscular marbling, Australian wagyu beef is still high in its fat content, but not quite as much as Japanese A5 beef. In general, one can be satisfied with eating fewer ounces of Japanese A5 as opposed to Australian Wagyu, which has a taste and texture more like a traditional steak found at an upscale steakhouse. However it is still a great delicacy.
At one point, olive fed wagyu was considered to be the most rare meat in the world. Just in 2018, Crowd Cow entered the US market with the first availability of olive wagyu beef in the United States. Since then other companies have also entered the market, The Meatery being another high standard and very reputable company among others.
In fact, The Meatery has US raised certified purebred wagyu cattle. These cattle are fed a diet of some of the best olives in the world. The experience of eating olive wagyu is like no other!
Beef Wagyu Price
Wagyu beef price per pound typically can cost up t $200 dollars/lb, which seems like alot! Other cuts of meat can be cheaper, but it’s not uncommon to pay between $130-$300 for one steak.
Why is it so expensive?
Because of what I previously established in this article, wagyu beef is so expensive because of the way the cows are bred, raised, slaughtered and inspected. They can only be considered the highest quality wagyu if they meet very specific and rigorous standards.
Is Wagyu worth it?
Since wagyu beef is such a luxury, it is considered a very nice gift. If you are looking for a different gift for you employees or office, or for someone who is a foodie or loves beef, giving wagyu as a gift is considered noteworthy!
Wagyu is not something to eat as a regular part of your diet, so is it worth it to try? Just like any other unique experience or food, absolutely! To be able to experience the worlds rarest meat delicacy is worth it for sure!
Where to buy the best wagyu beef online
If you are wondering where can I buy wagyu beef, Crowd Cow is one of the leaders in the market of Wagyu. HOWEVER, newer to the market they may be, The Meatery is my choice for a wagyu beef delivery. They are set on the most excellent customer service, and their cows are certified and raised with the highest standard. You can’t beat them.
I beg you, never order Wagyu beef if you are not sure what you are going to get. If you are spending this much on a luxury gift or a one time experience, go with a trusted source like The Meatery. Check them out below!
The other trusted source for the best wagyu beef is Crowd Cow.
My Personal Recommendations
If you are looking to order wagyu online and are not sure what to get, I would recommend trying your favorite cut of steak and order Japanese A5 in that same cut. This really is a special occasion cut of meat, so share it with someone special. I personally would either order filet mignon, or or a wagyu New Your strip steak. Check them out in the links below:
If you a really unsure which one to try, The Meatery has a Wagyu Sampler Steak that is very reasonably priced. It is the perfect way to try real Japanese A5 Wagyu. This sampler steak is 8 oz of the best cut of meat of your life! It will either be a New York Strip or a Ribeye and comes complete with a certificate of authenticity.
This would be a great idea for the best corporate gifts for clients! Corporate gifting is made easy (and quite a great luxury gift) with Crow Cow’s Gift Packages.
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