You’ve heard about wagyu beef being sold at gourmet restaurants and high-end barbecue supply stores. People who’ve tried it say that it melts in your mouth with rich, fatty deliciousness. Wagyu beef doesn’t come cheap–in fact, it’s one of the most expensive products on the market–but everyone swears that it’s a culinary sensation like no other. But what is wagyu beef, and why is this Japanese beef sweeping across the Western world?
Where Does Wagyu Beef Come From?
Originally, wagyu cattle were bred exclusively in Japan. The meat they produce is so delicious that in 1997, Japan banned the export of Wagyu cattle to other countries. However, a few embryos had already been smuggled overseas. Since then, the U.S. and Australia have been raising their own herds of Wagyu cattle, with Australia raising even more cattle than Japan.
What Makes Their Beef Taste So Delicious?
Unlike regular beef cattle, which spend their lives in crowded factory farms before they’re shunted off to the slaughterhouse, wagyu beef cattle are given special privileges. In Japan, there are strict regulations for the way wagyu cattle can be treated. To make their meat as rich and delicious as possible, they’re fed diets composed mainly of grain. They also have longer lifespans than regular cattle, which makes their meat even more tender and delicious.
Is Wagyu Beef Good for You?
Another advantage of wagyu beef is that it’s actually good for you. This might be surprising, given the rich marbling of fat in the meat, but wagyu beef is loaded with healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. When you eat wagyu beef, you’re not just eating another greasy cheeseburger–you’re eating a delicious cut of meat that’s packed with vitamins and minerals.
What Does Wagyu Beef Taste Like?
As a result of all the rules and regulations, biting into a piece of wagyu beef is a culinary experience like no other. Each cut of meat is richly marbled with veins of white fat. The meat is tender and juicy, and as others have pointed out, it melts in your mouth like a slab of butter. Think of the best steak you’ve ever had–the juiciest, richest, most delicious cut of steak you’ve ever had at a restaurant. Wagyu beef is even better than that. And once you’ve tried it, you’ll see why Japan was so insistent on keeping this prized beef a secret.
Where Can I Buy Wagyu Beef?
If you’re interested in trying wagyu beef for yourself, you can buy some at your local BBQ supply store.