Or any other method? 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. 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. 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. In addition, the Beef Marbling Score (BMS), must be 6 or above. In 1979 only 9% of households fattening beef cattle practiced the “ideal” method. Is it different from Blue Butcher dish? The Japan Meat Grading Association has strict rules and standards that determine whether cattle can be classified as Kobe beef. Its prized value must also be credited to the mysterious rearing techniques said to aid the meat's delectable flavor and texture. 1. :). Simply put, even copying the variables available you can still not produce the same product on the other side of the world. ;) Luckily for us, HK is blessed with amazing street and local food that’s also kind to our backpacking wallets. 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. Thanks very much for your comment/question. Wagyu cattle are classified into four breeds – Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. French fries are thinly-cut potatoes fried in oil. 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. And the beer, massages and music, I hear you ask? (Wow, that “one” question turned into a lot more). The most expensive beef in the world though is reportedly from a farm in Northeastern France where a butcher who runs his own abattoir creates aged steaks from his Blonde Aquitaine stock through a process of hibernation. Awesome article, I enjoyed it very much. It certainly isn’t limited to a small region within Japan. I will put some feelers out and see if I can track down some reputable information. Only cattle that adheres to Kobe beef regulations can be sold as such. But that's not all. It is not elitist to state what the requirements are for beef to genuinely be called Kobe beef. Some people are just all hung up on the idea that no one but people from Kobe Japan can raise wagyu beef. South Africa breeds wonderful beef cattle and being a meat lover, I can assure that what I had at the Grove was very special! Sounds awesome! To be classified as authentic Kobe beef, there are various boxes that must be checked. 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. If you are going to spend money on Kobe beef because you want to try it, then you should be getting the real deal. The fact that they almost never walk anywhere or get to graze in a pasture is why the muscles are so soft and undeveloped. The usage of terms such as ‘American style Kobe beef' or ‘American Kobe style beef' seems to be a clever semantic variance being employed by a number of restaurants who want to leverage Kobe beef's reputation, while trying to mitigate any potential consumer-related backlash. Jamaican blue mountain coffee is another example, that’s why you pay for the unique taste instead of picking up some Maxwell house. I’m heading to Japan in a couple of weeks and having Kobe beef is on the list! Have been to HK a couple of times but never this restaurant, as I said. However, out of respect for what that region has managed to accomplish, foreign producers should respect what Kobe means, and not ride the coat tails of the Kobe region. Yes, it was A-1 in Kobe. 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. 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. :), Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Amanda! Did you try Kobe beef? Myth: American Kobe is cheap-ish and everywhere. I know I’m late here but I would like to give an example from a scientific standpoint. Trim the fat around the edges of the meat and use said fat trimmings to grease the pan. Address: 1-3-14 Motomachidori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0022, Hyogo Prefecture. Once you’ve found a reputable restaurant that serves legitimate Kobe beef, you’ll be pleased to know that most dishes feating this delectable meat are right around the $50 mark. Please also understand that wagyu is a collective term referring to a number of Japanese breeds, not a breed in itself. Although, if lower quality beef is being marketed as Kobe beef then that may do something to its reputation worldwide. Grade BMS No. We’ll go more in depth to make sure you get the gist.Kobe beef is a particular variety of Wagyu beef. 5: Excellent 8 – 12 :). Thanks so much for taking the time to get in touch and comment. There is nothing wrong at all with the beef sourced or produced overseas. Kobe beef, sometimes misspelled as Colby beef, comes from the Tajima-gyu breed of cattle found in Japan's Hyōgo Prefecture, of which Kobe is the capital and the meat's namesake. 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. So the overseas products don’t even necessarily check that box. Of course, the rearing of Kobe beef has nothing to do with the nationality of the farmer. This means that all Kobe beef is wagyu beef, but only a very small proportion of wagyu beef is Kobe beef. 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). Now that the meat is cooked and rested, it’s time to eat! Only meat of Tajima-gyu cows that fulfill strict lineage and quality criteria can be termed ‘Kobe beef.'. Kobe beef, on the other hand, cannot be harvested, raised or slaughtered anywhere else except for the prefecture of Hyogo. Please understand that wagyu beef only means it is meat from Japanese cattle, it doesn’t mean it is Kobe beef. Would you like to? A Tajima-gyu cow in America may be sent to Japan and, if it spends half its life there, can be considered wagyu (Japanese cattle), but never Kobe beef. Looks like the author of this article has read to many Forbes articles! We enjoyed our first meal there so much we went back on our last night. 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. You’ll have to visit Japan to try some for yourself! 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. Come, eat, and be happy! I have tried Japanese and it is good, but for half the price I can buy American Kobe and it is not much different when you buy from a quality producer. 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. Introduced as work animals in the rice cultivation industry during the 2nd Century, Tajima-gyu became isolated from other breeds in the small pockets of arable land within Japan's mountainous landscape. Fact: First, Kobe and Wagyu aren't the same thing. Justin Peck Although this doesn’t mean that the quantity of exported beef has increased dramatically, as there is still very little genuine Kobe beef to begin with and most still remains for domestic consumption here in Japan. No wonder she’s so tender. 5: Excellent 8 – 12 This is all a matter of personal taste and opinion. Appreciate it! Nanakusa offers Kobe-style beef that has been domestically raised in the traditional Japanese manner at Snake River Farms in Idaho. Great article Jessica. Congratulations. If you've ever asked yourself, why is Kobe beef so expensive? Great meals evoke some of the best memories, and travel brings about the opportunity to try wonderful new things like this. Therefore, all Kobe beef is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe. 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. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If I ever find out the answer, I’ll let you know! It’s certainly not hard to find wagyu beef outside of Japan – this is not the issue. Hi Olga, there are a few restaurants in California. But whether the person is Japanese or Australian or any other nationality is besides the point. If you ever find yourself in the unique position to try authentic Kobe beef, do it! Kobe beef must come from Tajima-gyu cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture and have only been fed from grains and grasses from within the Prefecture, and hence any beef produced in the United States, whether from Tajima-gyu cattle or not, cannot be Kobe. As Kobe beef is a type of wagyu beef, Kobe beef is graded using the wagyu grade system. 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. :). What did you think? American Wagyu (Kobe) Beef & Cattle. 2: Below average 2 That place happens to be Hyōgo Prefecture. There are a couple 100% Certified Waygu beef ranches in the US. 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. Kobe beef comes from Tajima-gyu cattle, and has to go through rigorous screenings and checks to ensure that it is proper Kobe beef. Despite popular rumor, the cows are not usually fed beer or massaged with sake. Cheap Healthy Recipes, Thanks, Stojan! It may or may not surprise you to know that Kobe beef actually is a type of Wagyu beef. All this information may sound confusing, but at the end of the day, it's quite simple. Kobe beef is all about where it comes from and being raised in specific conditions in a specific place. Yes. It’s the Blue Butcher in Hong Kong. Kobe beef comes from Tajima-gyu cattle, and has to go through rigorous screenings and checks to ensure that it is proper Kobe beef. There’s beef, pork, chicken, and other more exotic meats like alligator, rabbit, ostrich, and so on. 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. You can add a few spices at this point if you like, though it’s recommended to not overdo so since the flavor of the meat itself is the most important factor here. Most Kobe beef remains in Japan for domestic consumption. While pure-bred Japanese cattle do exist in the US, meat need only be 46.9% Japanese to be labelled wagyu. To be classified as Kobe beef it must adhere to all the criteria including being born, raised and slaughtered in Hyōgo Prefecture. Hi Matt, thanks for stopping by! Remember that Kobe beef must come from a Tajima-gyu cow, belonging to the Japanese Black breed. 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. 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