Wagyu takes it’s name from the juxtaposition of the terms “gyu” meaning “beef”/“ox”, and “wa” meaning “from Japan”.
The Marblous Wagyu Beef is perculiarly Japanese beef, one of the most famous types of beef in the world, particularly the Kobe Beef brand from Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, grown exclusively in Kobe. Hence the name Kobe Beef. A premium food product in and outside of Japan, wagyu beef commands a high price and promises a gourmet dining experience – melting in the mouth!
Of course, Wagyu beef is now grown outside of Japan. One example is
Wagyu came from four domestic breeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn, and Japanese Polled from native Japanese cows and were crossed with Western cattle in the early 20th century and then selectively bred over several generations to maximize their organic unsaturated fat.
This gives wagyu beef its world-famous marbling, which is high in healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that have a sweet rather than greasy taste and some serious umami flavor. In addition to these genetic factors, wagyu cattle are raised with special attention to their environment and feed, resulting in premium beef.
Wagyu Beef Cuts
This Japanese-derived beef, highly prized for its tenderness and taste, is making inroads in America. Beef lovers who think there’s nothing new under the sun probably haven’t heard of Wagyu, its place in cattle history and on the plates of future consumers. America’s Wagyu Trail is a feast for the eyes that should set every reader on a course toward a more literal feast, one featuring Wagyu. America’s Wagyu Trail: The Definitive Guide to the Breed – written by J. Robert Britton and Steve Penhollow. Contributions by Pete Eshelman; recipes by Chef Aaron Butts; foreword by Mark Schatzker.
The folowing wagyu beef images, captured by Hui Jun Ung, hailed from (clockwise) Japan’s Saga, Ohmi, Iga, and Matsusaka perpctures.
Tender, marbled Japanese wagyu beef is recognized world-round for its extremely high quality, which must meet stringent industry standards for marble content, smell, color and brightness, texture and firmness of the meat, and quality of the fat. The beef is graded on two scales, one for the amount of meat yielded (from A-class to C-class), and one for the quality of marbled fat (from 1 to 5). The very best wagyu beef is grade A-4 or A-5. Read more here.
Kobe Beef Crazy Rich Food The Shady Truth Are Kobe and Wagyu the same thing?
“One of the biggest misconceptions about Kobe beef is that the name can be used interchangeably with Wagyu beef. Wagyu is a beef that comes from one of four breeds of Japanese cows, but are Wagyu and Kobe actually the same thing? “The answer is yes and no,” Chef Gerald Chin told First We Feast. “All Kobe is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe. Wagyu means Japanese beef. You can’t call something Kobe unless it’s certified from the region in Japan.
Kobe beef has a distinct marbling, which means that the meat has webs of fat that easily melt when heated. It is these deposits of fat that make the beef so tender and give it that “melt in your mouth” quality. Kobe beef is so soft that fine cuts of it are even sometimes served raw. The fat in Japanese cattle is so prized that it is a major component of their meat grading criteria. Japan’s Beef Marbling Standard ranges from 1-12, with USDA Prime, which gets America’s top marbling grade, ranking only at about a five on the scale. Kobe beef typically ranks much higher, with marbling levels that are beyond anything in the USDA’s rating system.
The fat levels of Kobe beef might sound unhealthy, but it’s actually the opposite. Kobe beef is filled with unsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower cholesterol levels. Kobe beef is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it among the healthiest red meat that you can consume.”
Read the whole article here.
Kobe’s wagyu is highly valued then the general Japanese wagyu and differentiated from the rest by it’s overtly expensive price.