Of course, top quality wagyu can be found in many places around the world and you may in fact personally find it to be comparable with or even superior to genuine Kobe beef. Then we can go back to drinking our sparkling wine and be happy about that too ;). and what is the expected average price for it? 1: Poor. Our cows and calves are raised at the ranch in Scio, Oregon, the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley. It is true that some legitimate Tajima-gyu cattle have been exported outside of Japan, and that some foreign farmers may have in fact been able to maintain 100% lineage. In the United States, there are currently only 33 restaurants that have access to genuine Kobe beef. That accolade goes to Matsusaka beef, which domestically in Japan is generally considered to be the best Japanese beef due to its higher on average fat content, a key indicator of quality wagyu. Yes, there are certainly Tajima-gyu bloodline cattle outside of Japan, but despite being the same breed, this doesn’t equal Kobe beef. Only when you start getting a nice, smoky oil in your pan, drop in your pre-cut pieces of Kobe beef and simple sear the outsides. Now that the meat is cooked and rested, it’s time to eat! Kobe beef is a special grade of beef from (Wagyu) cattle raised in Kobe, Japan. I just sent you an email with some suggestions. Kobe beef consistently scores this phenomenally; domestic Wagyu or hybrids reach 6 to 9 on the BMS scale while Kobe typically reaches 10, despite 6 being the minimum. Kobe beef is not easy to procure. And no one in their right mind is going to grind up top-quality wagyu, much less prized Kobe beef, into a hamburger patty in the first place. Address: 2-14-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0011, Hyogo Prefecture. There are many guides online for how to cook any A4 or A5 quality meats, but we’ll go ahead and give you a quick rundown in case you’re thinking of purchasing a steak or two for yourself to try and prepare at home. In the case of Kobe beef, no regulations exist outside of Japan so the term can be used freely without any repercussions. Most Kobe beef remains in Japan for domestic consumption. Alexander’s steakhouse, Roka akor and Niku butchershop are certified Kobe beef sellers. Massage is a common practice for animals kept in tight quarters for health reasons (not limited to Japan or even just to cows), but the real legend here stems from them being massaged with rice wine for better marbling and texture, which again most Japanese farmers refute as any kind of standard practice. Kobe beef, on the other hand, cannot be harvested, raised or slaughtered anywhere else except for the prefecture of Hyogo. Now imagine the juiciest, most tender, velvety steak you've ever had and realize that it … I hope that helps to clarify. Less than 5% of Wagyu cattle were fattened by these highly specialized producers. This looks so good! And the beer, massages and music, I hear you ask? I really appreciate it. It’s nice to finally know the truth. Wagyu simply means Japanese cow or cattle. Yet despite growing media attention, it seems to have made little difference to consumer awareness or spending in the US, where menu items like Kobe sliders have already taken a foothold in the new age of foodie-ism. Along with these important steps in the raising and preparation of the meat, each animal has its own 10 digit serial number that allows its entire lifecycle to be entered and checked from a large database to ensure authentic meat. Only when all of these requirements are satisfied, can a piece of wagyu be called Kobe beef or Kobe steak. Hi Jessica Many thanks. I love their steak. That said, there have already been several class action suits filed against restaurants in America who were allegedly selling fraudulent Kobe beef, and affected consumers are demanding their money back. A 2000 vintage cote de boeuf (rib steak) costs around $3,200. You've no doubt encountered menu items such as American Kobe beef, Kobe burgers and Kobe beef sliders. Unlike one of the more popular chain restaurants that’s seen quite a bit of popularity around the world where chefs prepare food in front of customers in a flourish of showy throws of food and utensils, Steak Aoyama keeps everything very traditional and very straightforward. Video about Kobe Beef How Raised. Looks like the author of this article has read to many Forbes articles! :), Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Amanda! Hmmmm, Thanks for commenting, Ariette. So, what is wagyu beef and what is the difference between wagyu and Kobe beef? Obviously, if you want to experience the true taste of Kobe beef, you’ll have to head over to Kobe! We are very lucky to have these cattle in the United States so we can enjoy what Japan has enjoyed for long time. :) Their website does have some delicious looking images! :), Thanks for replying to my message Jessica. Given its scarcity and price tag, most Japanese have never tasted it, and those who have generally reserve it for a very special occasion. Kobe beef contributes to just 0.06% of beef consumption in Japan, and only a very small fraction of that is exported. There is essentially no such thing as ground Kobe beef. Whether your a human or an animal . Wagyu cattle are classified into four breeds – Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. I should just buy that for the real Japanese beef experience! Grade BMS No. Are you referring to the Blue Butcher Restaurant? I spent too much time on google for searching this topic, The idea you give are very promising. American Wagyu (Kobe) Beef & Cattle. In 1979 only 9% of households fattening beef cattle practiced the “ideal” method. Cows that drink beer, are massaged with rice wine and listen to classical music? Thank you, Paul! They suffer from joint swelling and get bored and go off their feed, so they must be regularly massaged and fed beer to get their stomachs working again. The issue here really lies with misleading the consumer. I can’t speak for your own tastes and I’ve never been to that restaurant, but, in my opinion, Kobe beef takes wagyu to a whole other level. Just because you like the “Big Three” (beef, pork, and chicken) doesn’t mean that you’re settling for a lesser quality of meat. “What makes Kobe good is texture. Grade A : Above standard We’ll be heading there next year and always love to hear advice from the locals! Given its price and reputation, you might think that Kobe beef is the most expensive beef in the world. Jessica, Have you tried Kobe beef? Plain and simple. Hahaha I’m sure there are. French fries are thinly-cut potatoes fried in oil. When we do spend our hard-earned money on something expensive, we just want to get what we pay for. Address: 4-7-11 Kanocho Chuo-Ku | Palais Kitanozaka 1F, Kobe 650-0001, Hyogo Prefecture. You lose all of that immediately (in a Kobe slider). This means that all Kobe beef is wagyu beef, but only a very small proportion of wagyu beef is Kobe beef. 5: Excellent Because of that I bet you will like these : Kobe beef is the most popular brand of the wagyu beef coming from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle. American Kobe beef is an oxymoron. In fact, only around 3,000 heads of Tajima-gyu cattle are certified as Kobe beef each year. As journalist Larry Olmstead who has done significant research into Kobe beef fraud says, “High prices don’t guarantee that you are getting Kobe beef but low prices virtually guarantee that you’re not.”. Thanks, Christador! Jimmy, I have just sent you an email with some suggestions :). However, even this very broad definition of wagyu only applies to farmers and abattoirs; it does not extend to restaurants. Not sure where the confusion was. According to author of ‘Real Food, Fake Food' and food journalist Larry Olmstead, “USDA Prime, our highest marbling grade, equates to about 4 (on the BMS scale). Using a greenhouse with soil imported from Thailand a California grow company could not reproduce those alkaloids even with altering the variables they could control. We enjoyed our first meal there so much we went back on our last night. You can find a list of overseas accredited restaurants and distributors here. ;) Luckily for us, HK is blessed with amazing street and local food that’s also kind to our backpacking wallets. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They were all born in 2004. We wrote a blog post on the distinction.. Second, the term "American Kobe" is a total crapshoot, and in most cases when you encounter it on a menu at your favorite burger joint, unfortunately means nothing. Me too, Ariette! I only have the one question that has so far, not been asked: after slaughter, did you ever learn how the meat was treated? While pure-bred Japanese cattle do exist in the US, meat need only be 46.9% Japanese to be labelled wagyu. Hi Matt, thanks for stopping by! Perfect and flawless explanation. I will put some feelers out and see if I can track down some reputable information. Its prized value must also be credited to the mysterious rearing techniques said to aid the meat's delectable flavor and texture. Although, if lower quality beef is being marketed as Kobe beef then that may do something to its reputation worldwide. A Brief History of Kobe Beef. Kobe beef must be assigned a 10-digit ID number, so that its authenticity can be traced back to the individual cow it came from. This article does by no means state that anything other than Kobe beef is bad or that American farmers don’t produce top quality meats that they can be proud of. The massage is only done because they are kept in a stall most their life and not allowed to move very much because of the linited amount of pasture in japan so it is required to keep the animal healthy. It’s certainly not hard to find wagyu beef outside of Japan – this is not the issue. I think the Japanese would die if you put Kobe beef into a casserole hahaha, but would certainly approve of the care and detail you put into your dishes. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and don’t miss any blog post! Through the process, in which cold air is blown at 75 km per hour onto the meat in a -45 degree Fahrenheit environment, the beef may be kept for an indeterminate amount of time without loss of quality. While there is no hard evidence to suggest that any of these techniques improve flavor or texture, they certainly give the imagery of the cows living as kings, adding to the decadence of a Kobe beef meal. Luckily for them, one bite of the famed “melt-in-your-mouth” fare usually requires little convincing. This produces meat that is extraordinarily tender, finely marbled, and full-flavored. :). So when I’m rubbing my wife’s back I’m actually promoting fat growth like this Kobe beef? For this high-end restaurant, booking is a must. Jessica, I understand where you are coming from, Kobe beef was named because of its origins but as a number of posters have pointed out it is not strictly a Japan-only product anymore and hasn’t been for 30 years. It is often cited as being healthier than commercial beef because of its high concentration of monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. There are three things we know for certain about Kobe beef: they’re played classical music to soothe their nerves; massaged with sake in order to keep their coats soft, meat tender, and fat evenly distributed on their bodies; and given alcohol during summer months to increase their appetite when they otherwise wouldn’t want to eat. If you’re lucky enough to even see Kobe beef being sold somewhere, you might be disheartened after one glance at the price tag: $150 (American) and up per pound. If you are going to spend money on Kobe beef because you want to try it, then you should be getting the real deal. 1: Poor 1. Remember the yield and quality scores for wagyu we talked about above? This is not an issue for sales as there are so few heads of Kobe beef cattle produced per year so it’s not like sales are being taken away from the Japanese. This shows just how important marbling, known as ‘sashi‘ in Japanese, is to the quality of wagyu and the overall melt-in-your mouth experience of high quality Japanese beef. Do your research and avoid cheap (and expensive) imitations. 4: Good 5 – 7. Genuine Kobe beef requires the animal to have been born, raised and slaughtered in Hyōgo Prefecture, and to have only been fed grains and grasses from within Prefecture. I very much enjoyed the article as I am going to Japan on Sunday and am going try kobe beef. Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa. Vegetarianism wasn't put on official pause until until the Meiji era, which began in 1868, when Japan opened up to the rest of the world and foreigners passing through the biggest cities demanded meat. Please also understand that wagyu is a collective term referring to a number of Japanese breeds, not a breed in itself. In addition, you can check when the beef was exported and the company it was imported by here. Sorry for the belated reply! Great article Jessica. That is the point that some seem to be missing, for you to have Kobe beef in another country it has to have fit those criteria and therefore could only be if the meat has been exported, not the cow (unless already dead), Anyway I absolutely can’t wait to try it next week. Kobe beef is a highly marbled type of Wagyu beef that comes from the Tajima cattle strain of the Japanese Black breed. From 2010 to August 2012, the import of any Japanese wagyu beef from Japan, Kobe or otherwise, to the United States was banned due to concerns over foot and mouth disease believed to have originated from livestock in Japan. 5: Excellent 8 – 12 “There’s no way that you could appreciate the things that make Kobe interesting and good and expensive in a little burger or a meatball drowned in sauce. I love this finally a find the post which i was looking for. I appreciate your comment but I don’t understand your reasoning. Congratulations. Yes it is unsustainable, but it’s never going to go away entirely. It is not elitist to state what the requirements are for beef to genuinely be called Kobe beef. If they don't know or hesitate, this is a sure sign that it is not authentic Kobe beef. Cheers! Did you try Kobe beef? In the US, you can expect to pay $50 per ounce (less than 30 grams). I might not be in Japan for a while. I’m heading to Japan in a couple of weeks and having Kobe beef is on the list! There are a couple 100% Certified Waygu beef ranches in the US. Kobe Beef. If American wagyu ranchers want to call their beef American Kobe beef so what, you said your article doesn’t slander Wagyu in America but it sure implies it. Everyone LOVES massages ! The animal must be born and raised exclusively in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan and can only be fed grains and grasses from that prefecture. I’m not sure where you can book a tour of a Tajima-gyu cattle farm and unfortunately don’t have any recommendations for restaurants in the Osaka area as we tried Kobe beef in Kobe itself. It’s expensive and you basically have to go to Japan to try it at this stage (unless you can get your hands on the very little that has started to be exported). This is all a matter of personal taste and opinion. As much as we'd all like to think we can get a premium Kobe steak or burger for an extra $10 at the local gastro pub, unless you're paying a couple of hundred bucks for it, it's not Kobe beef. Kobe beef is a very particular variety of Wagyu (Japanese Cattle) called Tajima-Gyu that is raised t o strict standards in the prefecture of Hyogo. Grade B : Standard Herd isolation and distinctive feeding techniques are said to have led to unique differences in taste and texture. Legal rules for Kobe beef, raised only in Hyogo … You don’t want to pay a ridiculous amount of money to just taste a super salty piece of meat. :) Prepared to pay for a special local experience though and I feel it’s different when you live and spend a long time in one place. I’m sure you will, Kat! (Hyogo’s capital city is Kobe, thus the name). Most Japanese farmers refute the beer theory although it is said to induce appetite. And the third is that classical music is played to them as a relaxation technique and at feeding time, so they associate the music with eating and hence the music improves their appetite. By darylfarahi Posted on May 11, 2020. There is nothing inherent in the recipe that requires location-specific ingredients. Believe me, I recently had a conversation in France with some people from Champagne and they could list a number of reasons why genuine Champagne tastes different to any sparkling wine around the world, based on the specific geographic location. Kobe beef must achieve the highest grades of A4 or A5. Japanese beef must grade at the same level across all quality criteria to be given that status. It seems that there is a big push by many in beef/restaurant industries outside of Japan to focus on just the breed of the cow, rather than looking at Kobe beef holistically as a result of a combination of factors, and labeling anyone who suggests that it needs to be anything more as elitist. Please understand that wagyu beef only means it is meat from Japanese cattle, it doesn’t mean it is Kobe beef. Follow to get the latest 2020 recipes, articles and more! Or any other method? Kobe Beef isn’t the only famous Japanese meat, Wagyu Beef unique from Japan and pretty popular (and expensive) too. This restaurant has always been a hotspot of activity throughout the years, and with so many satisfied customers coming back for more, they’re always happy to serve top quality meat with top quality service. Here are the top three Kobe beef restaurants in Japan: Not only is the food here amazing, but the owners of the restaurant are a delight to interact with! Alternatives to Kobe beef include other varieties of wagyu beef raised in Japan, many of which are arguably just as good but without the higher price tag. If you think that only Japanese people can breed such cows then what does that say about Japanese people in Australia or American breeding the same species with the same food and conditioned the same way? Tajima-gyu cows, from which Kobe beef comes from, belong specifically to the Japanese Black breed. Often wagyu in the United States is cross-bred with Angus cattle and may be more Angus beef than wagyu. Jessica Korteman is an Australian travel writer, based in Tokyo, Japan. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself as a consumer and to avoid being duped into paying for something that is not the real deal. There’s beef, pork, chicken, and other more exotic meats like alligator, rabbit, ostrich, and so on. Well I got news for them the exact same breed can and is raised in many other places of the world now and it is a fabulous product. Even the term ‘wagyu' is very loosely applied in the United States. I was wondering if there is any genuine real Kobe beef around Sacramento, California? Is it different from Blue Butcher dish? For example, beef that is assessed as A for yield and 5 across three of the four quality measurements, and 4 for one, can only be given a score of A4. Regarding the beer and massage, as I mentioned in the article, some farmers may do this and it can be argued that the myths originated from actual practice. How is Kobe Beef raised? It’s a very stringent list of criteria, as I’ve listed in this article. Are you from HK yourself? There is nothing wrong at all with the beef sourced or produced overseas. One is Lone-Mountain Waygu in New Mexico. In fact one of the staff members with you also looks familiar. Not only that, but it must be of pure-breed Tajima-gyu lineage, be a steer (castrated bull) or virgin cow, and have been born and raised in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. 3: Average 3 – 4 Hi thanks for the article, it is really nice and informative, all the best! They eat Timothy & Alfalfa hay throughout the year that we grow and bale in Sisters. Therefore opportunities are limited to try it outside of Japan. A third-generation ranch located in the sand hills of … Quality scores are taken extremely seriously and are done by no less than three independent highly-trained assessors, whose scores are combined to establish a final score. Though there are many rumors about how the cows are fed and raised – such as the rumor that these cows are massaged daily and given beer to induce a larger appetite – the actually rearing process is a closely guarded secret that few know about. My business partners and I are going to SW Steakhouse next month. Beef in particular has a few special brands and varieties that people pay top dollar to try. Beef labeled “Kobe” must come from Tajima-Gyu cattle that have been born, raised, and slaughtered in the Hyōgo prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital. :). =). By far the best steak I have ever tasted and the whole in the wall atmosphere and welcoming staff made it even more special. Wagyu beef … Wagyu beef is also raised differently than any other cattle breed here in the U.S. 2: Below average Of course, the rearing of Kobe beef has nothing to do with the nationality of the farmer. 1. You’ll have to visit Japan to try some for yourself! Thanks so much for your kind comment and congratulations on your long-running family business! While I hate to put a dampener on a good story, it basically has to be put down to myth. Must be two definitions of Kobe beef here. I live in Maine and cattle farming has been in the family for five generations and I’ve heard everything imaginable on the proper rearing methods of Kobe. Thanks. I live in the North East of the U.S, and I was wondering if there are any restaurant’s with legitimate Kobe beef in New York/ New Jersey/ Pennsylvania/ Deleware/Maryland are. Only sells 100% dna certified Waygu. Using sentient beings for food will soon be a thing of the past because environmentally it is not sustainable and most importantly because it’s a very cruel and unnecessary . Thanks very much for your comment/question. Specifically, Kobe beef is actually T… When your meat is done cooking, let it rest for twice the amount of time you cooked it for (so if you cooked it for two minutes for a rare steak, rest for four minutes before eating). Hi Dave, thanks for reading. The term “American Kobe” is really an incorrect usage of the term Kobe because to be called Kobe it must be Japanese. The one in Hong Kong? I’m staying in Osaka for 2 days and am thinking of making a side trip to Kobe to get the real deal. This means that all Kobe beef is Wagyu beef, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe beef. But that's not all. Because the region was so isolated, however, these original wagyu cattle were not transferred for work in other regions of Japan. Whether that makes you want to try the real deal or not, or whether you prefer the taste, price, whatever it may be of the substitutes is a personal preference. Have a great time and let us know how you like it. For those seeking only the best of the best for their tastebuds, Kobe beef is a must. During its life, it must have been fed only grains and grasses from within the Prefecture, and upon its death, be processed in approved slaughterhouses in Hyōgo, and have a gross carcass weight of 470kg or less. What are the requirements for real Kobe beef? Within the marbling category, there is additional grading based on the Beef Marble Score (BMS). Nevertheless their product, best known to foreigners as Kobe (or Matsuzaka or Omi) is a mystical folk art. However, there is no evidence that this is practiced across the board and it certainly cannot be deduced to a requirement or method in the production of Kobe beef. Kobe beef price per pound in Japan (about 450 grams) is about $300, but you can pay around $500 for the best cuts of meat at finer establishments. I want to see how the native kobe beef would taste like. Kobe beef has a … The fact that they almost never walk anywhere or get to graze in a pasture is why the muscles are so soft and undeveloped. Hi Robert, thank you! Conversely, Japanese Wagyu ranchers obsess about pure bloodlines to preserve the coveted traits. Was this A-1 Restaurant in Kobe by any chance? Have you ever owned any wagyu cattle? Simply put, even copying the variables available you can still not produce the same product on the other side of the world. The Japan Meat Grading Association has strict rules and standards that determine whether cattle can be classified as Kobe beef. All this information may sound confusing, but at the end of the day, it's quite simple. To be classified as authentic Kobe beef, there are various boxes that must be checked. Kobe Beef How Is It Raised; Kobe Beef How Its Raised; Recipe: Appetizing Stuffed corned beef in pretzel bread. Welcoming staff made it even more special that status by any chance without a pen paper. Almost all beef in particular has a few restaurants in the us, need! Which I was wondering if there is essentially no such thing animals for full. Domestic wagyu or Kobe comment but I ’ m afraid distributors here how is kobe beef raised... You may think that Kobe beef then that may do something to its reputation.. That meat comes in different grades and varieties that people pay top to. Below average 1: Poor produced all over the world of festivals and.! 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