Is expensive steak worth the money
Wagyu: the way to the best meat in the world
Wagyu or Kobe beef? This is how the best meat in the world is made
It goes without saying that we keep our Wagyu cattle just as well and appropriately as we do with our Angus cattle. We see free-range husbandry, regional feed, no medication and the appropriate treatment of our animals as our duty as animal owners and are a matter of course for us.
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Wagyu or Kobe cattle are said to be the best in the world. It is definitely the most expensive. Why is that so? And is it worth the money? We will explain to you what Wagyu is all about and also clear up one or the other myth.
The terms: Wagyu, Kobe, Tajima
Wagyu is a Japanese breed of cattle and means nothing else than "Japanese beef". A Kobe cattle is a Wagyu cattle that was born, raised and slaughtered in the city of Kobe in Japan. It is therefore a protected designation of origin - similar to that of champagne.
The designation "Kobe beef" is also a seal of quality that requires several characteristics. Only a few thousand animals a year receive this designation, which explains the extremely high price of up to 600 € / kg and sometimes even more for original Kobe meat.One of these criteria is that the cattle must be of the Tajima breed - one of four breeds known as Wagyu. It is known for the highest marbling, but more on that later.
THEREFORE WE ALSO PAY ATTENTION TO A HIGH PROPORTION OF TAJIMA GENETICS
Quality takes time and knowledge: the price
There are several reasons for the high price of Wagyu meat. On the one hand, genetics are of crucial importance for quality and unfortunately also very rare and therefore expensive. In addition, Wagyus are not ready for slaughter until they are 36 months old. So they are twice as old as beef cattle and up to 50% older than our Angus cattle. In the end, a Wagyu beef does not provide more meat than a normal beef, despite its comparably old age. All of these factors ultimately have an impact on the price and make Wagyu meat the most expensive beef in the world.
"Wagyu meat" is not a protected term - meat with this name can now even be found in discount stores. But these are mostly so-called crossbreed animals. This means that you only invest once in the expensive genetics and then crossbreed cheap cattle breeds. This of course saves the expensive genetics - but you also get slightly better marbled meat than with standard breeds. The trade names are then for example: "Wagyu-Style", "Kobe-Style", or just "Wagyu-Beef". However, only 100% fullblood Wagyu also promises outstanding quality.
It's the inner values that count: the fat
Two points are crucial and the reason why Wagyu meat differs from that of all other races: the fat and the marbling!
While the fat is normally only present in the meat in spots or in thick strands, Wagyu meat has a fat content of up to 40%. It can be found in the finest veins of fat in the meat, literally enclosing it and thus acts as a flavor enhancer. It also loosens the meat and the connective tissue, making it inimitably juicy and tasty.
So much fat. That must be unhealthy, right? Not this one!
The fat in Wagyus differs not only in the amount but also in the composition from that of all other cattle breeds. It is very high in omega-3, omega-6, and monounsaturated fatty acids similar to salmon. It is particularly low in cholesterol and has a lot of nutrients. So the fat is as healthy as salmon or olive oil - like everything, of course, in moderation. Due to the composition, it starts to melt at room temperature.
What makes good Wagyu: what does BMS mean?
It is crucial for the quality of Wagyu meat that there is some marbling in the meat. It makes the decisive difference to normal beef. This is why there is even a separate evaluation standard for this, the BMS (Beef Marbling Standard). This can be used to determine the degree of marbling - this ranges from 1 - 12, with 12 describing the highest marbling level.
But what is the secret: how do Kobe cattle reach marbling classes 10 - 12 and is that worth striving for?
In Europe you usually get Wagyu meat with a BMS between 4 and 7. So how does Kobe meat reach categories 10 to 12?
Neither daily massages nor the giving of beer or other practices lead to a high degree of marbling. It depends first and foremost on the genetics of the animals. That is also the reason why we attach such great importance to this. In addition, of course, there is also the right feeding. But all of this is usually not enough for levels 10 - 12 - the animals are subjected to strict fattening for this. The animals are given little freedom of movement and very high-energy concentrate feed so that as much fat as possible can form. We do not understand this form of keeping as appropriate to the species and therefore strive for a different goal.In addition, the meat in these highest grades contains so much fat that it is simply too much for most people.
WE ARE AIMING FOR A BMS BETWEEN 7 AND 9 WITH TOP GENETICS AND NATURE-APPROPRIATE POSITION - THIS IS SUFFICIENT EVEN THE CRITERIA FOR "ORIGINAL KOBE-BEEF" IN JAPAN
"Such a special and expensive meat certainly also requires a lot of knowledge in preparation, right?"
No. The good thing about Wagyu meat is that it always stays juicy due to the high fat content. This means that you don't have to worry about a dry piece of meat when preparing it. Some cooks even recommend cooking the Wagyu meat almost through (medium-well done). However, it is just as possiblethe meat is almost raw (rare), so to eat only very briefly and spicy. Of course, the taste also varies depending on the degree of cooking. But whatever you choose: It is always a very special treat.
Conclusion on the best meat in the world
Is it expensive? Yes!
Is it worth the money? Definitely true gourmets.
The genetic predisposition of Wagyus brings out a very special meat that real barbecue fans should try at least once in a lifetime.
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