Wagyu cattle are classified into four breeds – Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. Sound confusing? Then this is it. Address: 2-14-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0011, Hyogo Prefecture. Although cattle were raised in Japan for thousands of years, they were draught animals for a long time. There is essentially no such thing as ground Kobe beef. 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. Now imagine the juiciest, most tender, velvety steak you've ever had and realize that it … Was this A-1 Restaurant in Kobe by any chance? Plain and simple. 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. Ensure that you don’t overcook the inside of the meat, as you don’t want the fat to melt, just cook a bit. 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. 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. We mostly tend to stick to as much local cuisine as possible when we travel because we don’t always get to eat it and locals are the masters of their own cuisine. South Africa breeds wonderful beef cattle and being a meat lover, I can assure that what I had at the Grove was very special! Have you ever owned any wagyu cattle? Whoever thinks Americans cannot raise the exact same cattle the Japanese do and not get a almost identical product is just plain stupid. Kobe Beef. Can you also email me a list of restos you recommend for Kobe beef either in Osaka or Kobe? There’s the 212 Steakhouse in New York. It is more than the rearing a related cow abroad. Kobe beef, on the other hand, cannot be harvested, raised or slaughtered anywhere else except for the prefecture of Hyogo. I very much enjoyed the article as I am going to Japan on Sunday and am going try kobe beef. Are you from HK yourself? As I understand it, to be kobe beef that particular breed has to have been born raised fed and slaughtered in that prefecture to be considered 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. I love their steak. Price is a good first indicator. Less than 5% of Wagyu cattle were fattened by these highly specialized producers. In the case of Kobe beef, no regulations exist outside of Japan so the term can be used freely without any repercussions. Jamaican blue mountain coffee is another example, that’s why you pay for the unique taste instead of picking up some Maxwell house. Cheers and good luck on your food safari. Great job on the article! If they don't know or hesitate, this is a sure sign that it is not authentic Kobe beef. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and don’t miss any blog post! That higher concentration of fat is just how Kobe beef gets its superb marbling complexion. But I’m not going to get into that argument. The difference I guess with the champagne case is that the French have successfully patented it worldwide. 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. Despite being a clone of the original, only the plants grown in the native southeast Asia have a specific alkaloid created from the very air and soil of the region that gives it the healing properties it is known for. In 1979 only 9% of households fattening beef cattle practiced the “ideal” method. In order to call a wine champagne, it has to be from the Champagne region of France. Hi Matt, thanks for stopping by! Kobe beef comes from Tajima-gyu cattle, and has to go through rigorous screenings and checks to ensure that it is proper Kobe beef. I visited Kobe recently and the place, plates, and prep techniques look exactly like one of the Kobe Beef restaurants we ate at. Its prized value must also be credited to the mysterious rearing techniques said to aid the meat's delectable flavor and texture. While some genuine Kobe beef is now being exported to the US, it still is quite exclusive to Japan given the small quantities that are leaving the country. Hmmm. and what is the expected average price for it? Only cattle that adheres to Kobe beef regulations can be sold as such. I look forward to trying it. This means that A4 wagyu with a BMS of 5 does not meet the criteria to be called Kobe beef. Hi Jessica, I’m very late to the party but we are visiting Japan next month and would love your recommendations for places in Kyoto/Tokyo or Kobe to sample Kobe. 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! 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. Justin Peck If you are a producer of fine beef stock, then market it for what it is, great beef, not Kobe beef. There are several articles on the web that say there are only 9 restaurants in the US authorized to sell Kobe beef. That said, not every restaurant listed will necessarily have Kobe beef available at all times – it may only be to-order or during certain periods when they have received a shipment. I just sent you an email with some suggestions. 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. Hi Olga, there are few in SF bay area where you can get genuine real Kobe beef. 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. :), Thank you for this very interesting article Jess!!! However, let me put a call out on our Twitter account to see if anyone following us does. 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. Have you tried Kobe beef? Legal rules for Kobe beef, raised only in Hyogo … First, you want to thaw the meat in the refrigerator the night before if it was frozen, then leave it on the counter before cooking to bring it up to room temperature. While wagyu can be half that. Yes, it was A-1 in Kobe. A Brief History of Kobe Beef. Thanks so much for taking the time to get in touch and comment. Kobe beef has a … A 2000 vintage cote de boeuf (rib steak) costs around $3,200. Sounds awesome! Hi thanks for the article, it is really nice and informative, all the best! I do love rare steak and I’m quite sure I’d love this even more! 1. 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. Firstly, the cow itself must be a purebred Japanese Black steer (castrated bull) or virgin cow from the Tajima-gyu lineage. While Kobe beef must have a BMS of 6+, Matsusaka must be 10-12. With a diet of rich barley, golden wheat straw and potatoes, free of artificial hormones and animal byproducts, the cattle at Snake River Farms are fed four times longer than average cattle are fed. I guess ALL those cow massages paid off for the owners! But that's not all. And even if it meets those requirements, it's still subjected to a strict grading policy to guarantee it's only the best quality of meat before it's certified. I just wanted to applaud your patience and respect when dealing with those situations. The fact that they almost never walk anywhere or get to graze in a pasture is why the muscles are so soft and undeveloped. :), This post may contain compensated links. Most Kobe beef remains in Japan for domestic consumption. 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. While the USDA's ban on Japanese beef importation was lifted on 27 August 2012, only very small quantities of Kobe beef are distributed to select buyers. 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. 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. “American Kobe” is one of those misnomers – there is really no such thing. There is only one definition of Kobe beef. Well done article…I was wondering about the beer myth and I saw a Japanese Kobe farmer that said, “no beer, and massages only when able to. It may or may not surprise you to know that Kobe beef actually is a type of Wagyu beef. Are French fries better in France/Belgium? While you may not agree with it, this is the official definition of Kobe beef, hence why cattle reared in the US cannot be labeled as such. 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. See our. They were all born in 2004. And because it taste as good as what they raise? It’s certainly not hard to find wagyu beef outside of Japan – this is not the issue. Because of that I bet you will like these : Again, this may not be something you agree with, but this is what Kobe beef is. 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. Do you have any recommendations for good eats in South Africa and/or for any must-do’s in general? 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. Remember the yield and quality scores for wagyu we talked about above? 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. 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. There are few mistakes in this article, the first one is Tajima Bloodline wagyu are in the United States and Austraila also, the Japanese exported a bunch of them in the 90’s so Kobe Beef is not really a exclusive to Kapan item anymore, some people are having a hard time u see standing that, and also they only feed beer in the hottest summer mo tha to increase appetite. Great meals evoke some of the best memories, and travel brings about the opportunity to try wonderful new things like this. A prerequisite of beef to be officially certified “Kobe beef” is that the bullock or virgin Tajima cow has been born in Hyogo Prefecture from a Tajima cow having a pure lineage, and that the bullock or virgin cow has been bred and raised by a designated farmer in the prefecture and slaughtered at one of the slaughterhouses in the prefecture. While certainly not impossible, maintaining a 100% Tajima-gyu lineage is not the easiest task either and while much of this “American Kobe beef” may come from the same breed, it’s, more often that not, not of a pure bloodline. One of the criteria is that it is of pure Tajima-gyu lineage, but that is one of many criteria that defines Kobe beef. You have no right to shame other people for their decision to enjoy meat, don’t shove your beliefs on other people. It's certainly plausible that some farmers have used such techniques (and perhaps that is where such legends derived), but it's definitely not an industry-wide standard. But even when the dish appears to be prepared in a logical manner and the price seems right, this doesn't guarantee that you're being served what you ordered. Your article say’s there are 32 places. Grade A : Above standard Firstly, the cow itself must be a purebred Japanese Black steer (castrated bull) or virgin cow from the Tajima-gyu lineage. There are a couple 100% Certified Waygu beef ranches in the US. Nevertheless their product, best known to foreigners as Kobe (or Matsuzaka or Omi) is a mystical folk art. Buy on Snakeriverfarms.com. With its reputation for excellence and consumers ready to open their wallets for a taste of it, it's unsurprising that restaurants the world over have tried to cash in on the Kobe beef name. Perfect and flawless explanation. Hi Jessica Sounds fantastic! However, even this very broad definition of wagyu only applies to farmers and abattoirs; it does not extend to restaurants. It doesn’t have to be genuine kobe but the same type of cattle would be good to try. Thanks, Christador! It is a holistic term that is used to refer to any meat from Japanese cattle and, despite common misconception, wagyu is not a breed itself, nor does the term have any relation to quality. This could be said for any number of products from specific regions around the world. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Better known for its eye-catching marbled texture, Kobe beef is sought after by chefs and meat connoisseurs alike. If you've ever asked yourself, why is Kobe beef so expensive? Those who can’t book ahead will be sorely disappointed when they’re turned away at the door, but with such a high-end selection of meat it should be obvious that supplies are limited. If you are going to spend money on Kobe beef because you want to try it, then you should be getting the real deal. I’ll let you know if they come up with any suggestions. These cattle were brought in as work animals to aid with rice harvesting. In fact, only around 3,000 heads of Tajima-gyu cattle are certified as Kobe beef each year. Cows, being products of the environment around them, have the same unique growth patterns based on their geographic location. Myth: American Kobe is cheap-ish and everywhere. Get a grip on yourself; there is absolutely no possibility that the meat industry will disappear entirely. You’ll have to visit Japan to try some for yourself! Some people are just all hung up on the idea that no one but people from Kobe Japan can raise wagyu beef. Kobe beef is comprised of a very particular strain of Wagyu called Tajima-Gyu that is raised to strict standards in the prefecture of Hyogo. A third-generation ranch located in the sand hills of … The reality is almost all beef marketed as Kobe beef outside of Japan is not actually real Kobe beef. While there are strict laws in place on the usage of the term ‘Kobe beef' in Japan, such standards are largely unrecognized abroad, meaning that restaurateurs outside Japan are not bound by the same stringent guidelines, leaving them to get creative with their menu descriptions. Kobe beef is the most popular brand of the wagyu beef coming from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle. For this high-end restaurant, booking is a must. I only have the one question that has so far, not been asked: after slaughter, did you ever learn how the meat was treated? Now that the meat is cooked and rested, it’s time to eat! It is often cited as being healthier than commercial beef because of its high concentration of monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. 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