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Everything You Need to Know About Wagyu Beef

Whether you're all about grass fed beef or you prefer wild caught Alaskan salmon, it's safe to say that most meat enthusiasts understand the inherent value of Wagyu beef. Simply put, it tastes really, really good. If you're not familiar with this type of beef, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to learn all you've ever wanted to know about Wagyu!

What is Wagyu?

Before you can really get into the delicious details of Wagyu beef, it's important to know where the term is derived from. If you didn't know already, Wagyu is a Japanese beef cattle breed. These cattle were originally put to work as draft animals because of their strength and endurance. This endurance came from a high fat content, or what we'd call "marbling" in a cut of beef. To recap, Wagyu is:

• A breed of Japanese beef cattle

• Favored by farmers for draft work

• Sought out for its high fat content

When did Wagyu come to the United States?

The first Wagyu cattle in the U.S. were imported in 1975, but wasn't widespread until later, when the Japanese government relaxed the tariffs on beef in 1989. Even so, most Wagyu production was confined to Japan until the early 2000s. Just before that, the American Wagyu Association was founded in Texas in 1994, and it now serves to register Wagyu beef within the United States. So, the next time you buy Wagyu beef online, you'll know how it attained its name.

Is Wagyu Similar to Kobe beef?

Yes and no. The most sought-after Wagyu beef comes from Kobe, Japan. According to Japanese law, Kobe beef can only be considered Kobe if it comes from Hyogo Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capitol. What does that mean? It means that while all Kobe is Wagyu, not all Wagyu can be considered Kobe. It's the same way that only true champagne comes from the Champagne region of France. That being said, Wagyu beef for sale can be just as delicious as the finest cut of Kobe. Here are a few more fun facts/differentiating factors between

Kobe and Wagyu beef:

• Authentic Kobe beef goes for approximately $200 per single steak portion.

• Americans eat an average of 90 pounds of chicken and 66.5 pounds of beef annually, including Kobe and Wagyu.

• Japanese meat quality scores are based on marbling, color/brightness, firmness/texture, and fat color/luster.

• Kobe cattle are put on a specific diet that prohibits pasture grass.

Do you know where your sustainable meat is coming from? Whether you're buying Wagyu beef online or you're taking a trip to Japan, knowing some of these historical markers will make you a more informed consumer when you’re purchasing Wagyu beef.