Find out more about Wagyu Steak via the European food experts and an expert Wagyu guide here. You will likely need to use Google Translate as it is in Italian.
This Italian guide offers an in-depth look into Wagyu beef, a legendary Japanese delicacy. You’ll learn about the term ‘Wagyu,’ which combines “Wa” (harmony) and “Gyu” (beef) to signify a unique, high-quality type of Japanese beef.
It also explores the myths and realities surrounding Wagyu, including its rearing process and the strict attention to detail from birth. The beef’s consistency, taste, and aroma are also covered.
Moreover, you’ll find information on various Wagyu breeds, grading systems, and the difference between Wagyu and Kobe beef. The guide underscores that Wagyu beef is one of the most expensive meats in the world, treasured for its distinctive marbling and quality.
Here’s what we know about Wagyu
Regarding the echelons of fine dining, Wagyu beef occupies a tier often described as celestial. Known for its exceptional richness and melt-in-your-mouth texture, this delicacy comes with a price tag that many consider an investment rather than an expense.
The Authentic Wagyu: Defined by Birth and Breed
In Japan, for a cow to qualify as wagyu, it needs to be of a specific breed — either Akage Washu, Kuroge Washu, Mukaku Washu, or Nihon Tankaku Washu. The feeding regimen for these animals is extraordinarily rigorous and can last up to two years, contributing to the beef’s renowned marbling effect.
The Flavor Factor: It’s All About the Marbling
The marbling is for more than just show. This intricate pattern of intramuscular fat melts during cooking, which allows the beef to retain moisture and maximises its flavour profile. The marbling places wagyu in a league of its own among beef cuts.
The Grading and Varieties of Wagyu
Wagyu isn’t a one-size-fits-all term; it includes various grades and types. Most notable is Kobe beef, which comes from the Kuroge Washu breed and has additional restrictions regarding its origin. The grading scale ranges from A1 to A5, with A5 being the epitome of quality.
Price: A Reflection of Exclusivity and Care
The cost of Wagyu is not arbitrary. Factors such as the breed’s rarity, feeding costs, and the labour involved in breeding contribute to its high market value. Some adult wagyu cows even fetch prices as steep as $30,000.
Beyond Japan: The Rise of Global Wagyu
While the term ‘Wagyu’ may conjure images of Japan, American and Australian variants are gaining traction. Although different in taste and less pricey, these options make Wagyu more accessible to a broader audience.