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A Guide to The Best Wagyu Ever
Updated: Oct 2022
Once we heard “wagyu”, Kobe beef is the most common image that comes to our mind. However, did you know that Japanese wagyu is available in various kinds with different levels of deliciousness?
This will guide you to enjoy the best wagyu ever!
What Makes Wagyu so Popular?
Wagyu has a smooth yet beautiful marbling with the strongest flavor and quality. It let you experience the melting-in-the-mouth texture and luxurious sweet yet non-greasy taste that meet nicely in every dish. The wagyu beef is available in the market after inspection and grading for its attributes, such as marbling, color, and texture.
In producing super high-quality meat of wagyu, the cattle need to be stress-free, breed free in nature, eat carefully chosen feed, and have a strict yet careful health check, that makes it reach exclusivity.
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Do Wagyu Drink Beer?
This is one of the most common topics we heard when talking about wagyu. However, according to an exclusive interview held by The Japan Times (click for full article), it is mentioned that “this myth started 30 years ago when a restaurant did a promotional stunt in which a Tajima cow was fed beer”. Furthermore, quoting to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association mentioned on Japan Info (click for full article), feeding beer or alcoholic drink to a wagyu is not a part of the standard rearing practice wagyu.
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Kinds of Wagyu in Japan
Wagyu includes four native Japanese breeds, those are shorthorn, polled, brown, and black. Since wagyu is the native Japanese breed, there is no wagyu raised and bred other than in Japan. Among the Japanese native breeds, the Japanese black cattle (or called “kuroge wagyu” in Japanese) are known as the representative of branded wagyu.
The Halal Wagyu
Aim to serve the-best-meat-in-the-world to Muslim customers, now Japan has a variety of halal wagyu, which is slaughtered according to Islamic Law, do by Muslims, and at a halal-certified slaughterhouse, then processed at the halal-certified processing plant before being distributed to a retailer/butcher. It makes halal restaurants serving halal wagyu are rapidly increasing throughout Japan and overwhelming numbers of Muslim customers look for ultimate satisfaction in enjoying meat.
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Ozaki beef refers to Japanese black cattle raised on a farm owned and managed by Mr. Muhenaru Ozaki in Miyazaki Prefecture. Ozaki beef is the only Wagyu beef in Japan named after the farmer. The Ozaki beef breeds and is raised with the most advanced techniques which are different from others, making the Ozaki beef’s meat a very beautiful marble with a light and sweet yet luxurious addicting taste. It has an extremely smooth and melting-in-the-mouth texture and has a sweet taste without being greasy. The most delicious meat ever.
Ozaki beef had been served on the first-class ANA flight board from Paris to Tokyo (Haneda) in March 2015 in the western-style menu, which made it gain high responses and overwhelmed world-class celebrities.
Ohmi beef is the oldest wagyu brand in Japan, comes from the Japanese black cattle raised at the Ohmi area in Shiga Prefecture that is blessed with the freshwater of Lake Biwa, known as “the mother lake”. The Ohmi beef has the longest history among the branded wagyu, well-marbled with tender fat and a mellow smell, and has a chewy yet juicy texture.
Talking about wagyu, “Kobe beef” maybe is the first keyword that comes to our mind. Yes, Kobe beef is well-known worldwide and highly appreciated internationally. The Kobe beef comes from Japanese black cattle raised in Hyogo Prefecture which has a beautiful marble, soft yet tender texture, and a superior flavor.
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Before going to the market, wagyu beef must go through strict inspection and important grading. Japanese beef grading is decided by aspects such as; marbling, meat color and brightness, firmness and texture of meat, and color, luster, and quality of fat.
In the grading, A5 is the highest grade given only to the finest beef, particularly has an extremely smooth melting-in-the-mouth texture, juicy flavor, and good balance of fat.
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