So the overseas products don’t even necessarily check that box. You can find a list of overseas accredited restaurants and distributors here. Whether your a human or an animal . It is much more effective to keep the cattle penned up and feed them straw and hay. Have you tried Kobe beef? One of the criteria is that it is of pure Tajima-gyu lineage, but that is one of many criteria that defines Kobe beef. Kobe beef is a special grade of beef from (Wagyu) cattle raised in Kobe, Japan. Buyer beware – the big Kobe beef and wagyu scam, Check the price tag and skip the Kobe beef burgers, Check if the restaurant, retailer or wholesaler has actually imported Kobe beef, several class action suits filed against restaurants in America who were allegedly selling fraudulent Kobe beef, Anthony Bourdain described Kobe sliders as the worst dish in America, search by the 10-digit authentication number, when the beef was exported and the company it was imported by here,, A Japanese Christmas: How Christmas in Japan is unlike anywhere else, How our Front Yard became a Tourist Attraction in the Middle of a Pandemic, Life Update: Life in Australia One Year On, Insider’s Guide to Using Airbnb in Japan in 2020. Are you referring to the Blue Butcher Restaurant? Many thanks. Kobe beef comes from Tajima-gyu cattle, and has to go through rigorous screenings and checks to ensure that it is proper Kobe beef. 4: Good 5 – 7. Sounds fantastic! Myth: American Kobe is cheap-ish and everywhere. Thanks. I’ll let you know if they come up with any suggestions. 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. Then you certainly want some variety from time to time! I might not be in Japan for a while. You have no right to shame other people for their decision to enjoy meat, don’t shove your beliefs on other people. My business partners and I are going to SW Steakhouse next month. See our. 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 am going to japan next month, as chat, can u please send me where I can taste some real deal kobe beef as well? It is more than the rearing a related cow abroad. I am not about to get involved in the discussion regarding the definition of Kobe/Wagyu beef but let me tell you that as a visitor from South Africa to Brisbane in Australia, I had the most wonderful 300 gram Wagyu rump at a lovely restaurant called the Grove in Ashgrove, Brisbane. 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. 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. 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. Thank you, Paul! 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! Now that the meat is cooked and rested, it’s time to eat! 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. Wagyu beef quality is determined by evaluating four different categories: the thin strips or flecks of fat known as marbling; the color and brightness of the beef; firmness and texture; and the color, luster and quality of the fat. There are phenomenal sparkling wines from all over the world that I prefer for a fraction of the price. This could be said for any number of products from specific regions around the world. Herd isolation and distinctive feeding techniques are said to have led to unique differences in taste and texture. One is Lone-Mountain Waygu in New Mexico. Yeah, those myths make for a good story but not really reality, I’m afraid. Grade B : Standard A Brief History of Kobe Beef. 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. 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. There is only one definition of Kobe beef. Cows, being products of the environment around them, have the same unique growth patterns based on their geographic location. 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. However, that too, is already quite well established. Japanese beef must grade at the same level across all quality criteria to be given that status. 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. Address: 4-7-11 Kanocho Chuo-Ku | Palais Kitanozaka 1F, Kobe 650-0001, Hyogo Prefecture. Although, if lower quality beef is being marketed as Kobe beef then that may do something to its reputation worldwide. If you are a producer of fine beef stock, then market it for what it is, great beef, not Kobe beef. So when we talk about ‘wagyu meat' or ‘wagyu steak,' it simply means it came from a Japanese cow. Just as if I wanted to drop money on a bottle of champagne because I wanted to say I tried it once. Me too, Ariette! 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. Simply put, even copying the variables available you can still not produce the same product on the other side of the world. If you’re a fan of consuming meat, you’ve likely noticed that meat comes in different grades and varieties. This is a matter of personal opinion. I mean it’s silly.”. It just means that there has been *some* increase and it is spread among more buyers. Address: 2-14-5 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0011, Hyogo Prefecture. Otherwise why would they bother. 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. I appreciate your comment but I don’t understand your reasoning. Would you like to? Not sure where the confusion was. Only when all of these requirements are satisfied, can a piece of wagyu be called Kobe beef or Kobe steak. Read through the comments as well and I understand your distinction between Kobe beef and other types of wagyu outside of Japan. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It’s the Blue Butcher in Hong Kong. 3: Average 3 – 4 5: Excellent 8 – 12 Massage is a technique used across the livestock industry for animals kept in close quarters, but the image of Tajima cattle being massaged with rice wine on the daily is a kind of urban legend. While I hate to put a dampener on a good story, it basically has to be put down to myth. Hi Robert, thank you! Conversely, Japanese Wagyu ranchers obsess about pure bloodlines to preserve the coveted traits. In the United States, there are currently only 33 restaurants that have access to genuine Kobe beef. 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). Less than 5% of Wagyu cattle were fattened by these highly specialized producers. Yes it is unsustainable, but it’s never going to go away entirely. 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). I was wondering if there is any genuine real Kobe beef around Sacramento, California? 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. They also, of course, serve delicious Kobe beef cooked to perfection! So what sets Wagyu apart from other kinds of cattle? This means that all Kobe beef is Wagyu beef, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe beef. Yes Kobe beef is divine! We haven’t had much access to Internet over the past couple of weeks. This looks so good! Kobe beef is the most popular brand of the wagyu beef coming from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle. The BMS allows the distinct marbling of the beef to be graded to an even finer degree of accuracy, and is given a number grade of 1-12. ;) Luckily for us, HK is blessed with amazing street and local food that’s also kind to our backpacking wallets. Wagyu simply means Japanese cow or cattle. But, in fact, it's not even the most expensive or most prized wagyu. Hi Olga, there are few in SF bay area where you can get genuine real Kobe beef. It is often cited as being healthier than commercial beef because of its high concentration of monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. Nanakusa offers Kobe-style beef that has been domestically raised in the traditional Japanese manner at Snake River Farms in Idaho. Within the marbling category, there is additional grading based on the Beef Marble Score (BMS). Anything at all like that? Fortunately for consumers, this information is available freely online. I only have the one question that has so far, not been asked: after slaughter, did you ever learn how the meat was treated? 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. I do love rare steak and I’m quite sure I’d love this even more! 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. Given its scarcity and price tag, most Japanese have never tasted it, and those who have generally reserve it for a very special occasion. Grade BMS No. We enjoyed our first meal there so much we went back on our last night. Hmmm. Then we can go back to drinking our sparkling wine and be happy about that too ;). 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. Kobe Beef. There are very strict regulations about this in Japan but unfortunately the lack of control over the name in other countries means that some, and I say some, not all, restaurants, producers and so on can use the name as they please which can be misleading to the consumer who thinks they are getting genuine Kobe beef for their money. 5: Excellent Yes, there are certainly Tajima-gyu bloodline cattle outside of Japan, but despite being the same breed, this doesn’t equal Kobe beef. Justin Peck Kobe beef is not easy to procure. American Wagyu (Kobe) Beef & Cattle. 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. There’s beef, pork, chicken, and other more exotic meats like alligator, rabbit, ostrich, and so on. Given its price and reputation, you might think that Kobe beef is the most expensive beef in the world. Sounds awesome! Remember that Kobe beef must come from a Tajima-gyu cow, belonging to the Japanese Black breed. The difference I guess with the champagne case is that the French have successfully patented it worldwide. Ensure that you don’t overcook the inside of the meat, as you don’t want the fat to melt, just cook a bit. Catering easily to foreigners and locals alike, people feel at home when they enter this cozy restaurant. There is no magic beans the Japanese have that make the same cow taste better in Japan just because it was raised there! Yes, the Japanese do re-import wagyu which they then sell and consume as wagyu. For a full list of accredited restaurants and distributors, please see this link: By darylfarahi Posted on May 11, 2020. I really appreciate it. Regardless of whether the same types of grapes are used or the same methodology, everything else is just sparkling wine. What are the requirements for real Kobe beef? For starters, the cow must be a breed of Wagyu — specifically a Japanese Black bloodline of pure Tajima gyu beef lineage. The wagyu from Miyazaki, the southern-most prefecture of Japan located on the island of Kyushu, is recognized by the Japanese as the finest Wagyu beef raised in Japan. Have you ever owned any wagyu cattle? 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. There’s the 212 Steakhouse in New York. 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. Products should just be marketed for what they are and then consumers can decide for themselves what they want to spend their money on. Congratulations. Again, this may not be something you agree with, but this is what Kobe beef is. And the beer, massages and music, I hear you ask? Even the term ‘wagyu' is very loosely applied in the United States. By far the best steak I have ever tasted and the whole in the wall atmosphere and welcoming staff made it even more special. 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. Everyone LOVES massages ! To be deemed “Kobe beef” it is inherently Japanese. Guess they'll just have to let the taste speak for itself. So if wagyu from other countries can’t compare to theirs then why are the Japanese importing from other countries? Jimmy, I have just sent you an email with some suggestions :). No wonder she’s so tender. 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. While pure-bred Japanese cattle do exist in the US, meat need only be 46.9% Japanese to be labelled wagyu. 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 . In 1979 only 9% of households fattening beef cattle practiced the “ideal” method. I just sent you an email with some suggestions. 1. 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Get a grip on yourself; there is absolutely no possibility that the meat industry will disappear entirely. 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. You may not agree that Kobe beef should have the exclusive status it does or may feel that you can get better value for money by buying wagyu beef locally in the US. Hi Matt, never too late to join the discussion! (Hyogo’s capital city is Kobe, thus the name). South Africa breeds wonderful beef cattle and being a meat lover, I can assure that what I had at the Grove was very special! Are French fries better in France/Belgium? In addition to the breed of cattle, meat labeled “Kobe” must be born and raised in Hyogo Prefecture and killed in local slaughterhouses. Kobe Beef How Is It Raised; Kobe Beef How Its Raised; Recipe: Appetizing Stuffed corned beef in pretzel bread. Please also understand that wagyu is a collective term referring to a number of Japanese breeds, not a breed in itself. Whoever thinks Americans cannot raise the exact same cattle the Japanese do and not get a almost identical product is just plain stupid. “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 like the line “epitome of fine dining.” I’ve never been to Japan before but really looking forward to go there in the future. How fascinating! 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. This is not very different than the term “champagne” in the wine industry. A 2000 vintage cote de boeuf (rib steak) costs around $3,200. It’s a very stringent list of criteria, as I’ve listed in this article. Kobe Beef isn’t the only famous Japanese meat, Wagyu Beef unique from Japan and pretty popular (and expensive) too. You may think that rearing the same type of cow elsewhere produces the same end product. 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. 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. The slaughtering has to be done within the prefecture as well, and the cow has to have a weight of 470kg or less upon carcass weighing. Kobe beef is highly coveted and regulated in Japan; they don't just send it anywhere without knowing exactly who it is going to and where it will end up. 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. Kobe beef is a highly marbled type of Wagyu beef that comes from the Tajima cattle strain of the Japanese Black breed. You are a genius. The fact that they almost never walk anywhere or get to graze in a pasture is why the muscles are so soft and undeveloped. Yes. 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. Come, eat, and be happy! Thanks, Christador! Despite popular rumor, the cows are not usually fed beer or massaged with sake. And Kobe beef is one of those once or very few times in a lifetime kinds of foods for most people. Thanks so much for taking the time to get in touch and comment. I think there is some wonderful beef produced all over the world. Some people are just all hung up on the idea that no one but people from Kobe Japan can raise wagyu beef. If the information you are given by an establishment cannot be confirmed here, something is amiss. Lions originated in Africa but is a figurehead and identity of so many countries even though they never came from there. Only sells 100% dna certified Waygu. By this I mean that for us, we age the skun halves in a sterile environment at refrigerator temp for 2.5 days. Tajima-gyu cows, from which Kobe beef comes from, belong specifically to the Japanese Black breed. 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. 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. It is produced from pedigreed Tajima breed cattle which were born and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture. For those seeking only the best of the best for their tastebuds, Kobe beef is a must. That actually I do not know. Some people need to get with the times and view things with a non-elitist perspective. I love this finally a find the post which i was looking for. I appreciate your examples and gets at exactly what I am trying to say about geography being an important factor in producing genuine Kobe beef. Our cows and calves are raised at the ranch in Scio, Oregon, the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley. You've no doubt encountered menu items such as American Kobe beef, Kobe burgers and Kobe beef sliders. If you've ever asked yourself, why is Kobe beef so expensive? You’ll have to visit Japan to try some for yourself! That higher concentration of fat is just how Kobe beef gets its superb marbling complexion. However, even this very broad definition of wagyu only applies to farmers and abattoirs; it does not extend to restaurants. You can also check the difference between Kobe and Wagyu Beef and pick your favorite one! 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. Great job on the article! 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. 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. If they don't know or hesitate, this is a sure sign that it is not authentic Kobe beef. Do you have any recommendations for good eats in South Africa and/or for any must-do’s in general? Buy on We’ll let you know if anyone responds with suggestions. Yes Tajima wagyu are the highest marbling wagyu bloodlines around, however we have Tajima bloodline cattle in the USA and they are beign raised by many fine American Kobe beef ranchers, people need to realize Kobe beef is not exclusive to Japan anymore since they exported the breed to other countries for future re-importation back into Japan.