Have you heard of Wagyu beef? Perhaps by word of mouth from a friend or family or something you saw on the internet. Wagyu beef is an authentic beef in high demand for its distinct texture and flavor that’s unlike anything you ever tasted before. A delicacy: the ultimate epitome of what defines a food product as delectable and delicious.
You want to know more about this Japanese national treasure, don’t you? Myths and common legends are one thing, but here are some fun facts to know about Wagyu beef.
What in the World is Wagyu?
Language can be quite fascinating in translation. Words are a variance of labels for the same concepts. The term “wagyu” comes from the beautiful country of Japan. This Japanese term “wagyu” (和牛) translates loosely to “Japanese cattle.” The “Wa-” meaning Japanese-style and “-gyu” which means cow or cattle. However, don’t think too hard about this misconception; not all beef from Japan is considered Wagyu. It’s not an umbrella-type term. The declaration of a Wagyu cattle traces back to their bloodline. These cattle have particularly special DNA. Think of Wagyu beef as royal beef, considered as luxurious as caviar. The story of its origin is as fascinating as the language it’s originally named in.
The Meat Ban in Japan
Meat consumption and production haven’t always been a way of life in Japan. Rather—if we go all the way back—eating meat was once completely taboo. A notoriously known ban on consuming meat dates back centuries, due to practical reasons, as well as Japanese principles and religion. Japan is a nation of close islands, full of plants and wildlife. Consuming the few animals they had for agriculture wasn’t sensible to meet their needs. Fish and seafood were plentiful. Their alternative path to modern meat consumption took time and adaptation. Not every initiation can become instantly victorious.
Life in Japan revolutionized when Emperor Meiji accepted power in the 1860s. This was a time period of transition; the Japanese government decided to change their ways. After centuries of isolation, they began adopting more Western practices, meat consumption being one of them. Little steps of progress accumulated for a brighter future. After Meiji wished to normalize meat consumption, further efforts established the normalcy of a now-common practice. In modern-day Japan, meat consumption is just as popular as seafood and sushi.
The USDA Beef Ban
Wagyu beef initially became available for consumption in America in the 1970s., By the 2000s, it had increased in popularity. In truth, there was a ban on importing the beef because of a breakout of foot and mouth disease for several years. Then, Wagyu then came back even stronger. While there are a lot of hybrid and crossbred options available, domestic Wagyu farmers supply beef to restaurants, retailers, or for consumer purchase. While authentic Wagyu can be a scarcity in America, consumers looking to order some Wagyu beef online are in luck. A wide array of choices are currently accessible to them.
The Scoop on Wagyu Cattle
There are four main breeds of Wagyu cattle domestic to Japan, each diverse enough to produce meat distinctive from one another. These four strains of cattle originate back centuries and were specifically bred for select characteristics and fat maximization. The breed dominating the Japanese beef industry is the Japanese Black. These cattle are the main stock of Wagyu as the breed producing the greatest marbled fat –creating the distinct melting-in-your-mouth taste. The beef from the “kuroge washu,” or Japanese Black, are branded as the recognizable Kobe beef. The other Wagyu cattle breeds are the Japanese Brown or Red, the Japanese Shorthorn, and the Japanese Polled, which are the rarest breed. Each breed has the potential for excellent meat.
Tender Loving Care
You may be curious as to what makes this beef so incredibly special. In a world full of grass-fed cows and free-range chickens, animal husbandry has come a long way. Wagyu cattle live a stress-free and pampered life before they’re intended to be consumed. A tremendous amount of thought, time, and care go into the practice of raising these animals. Among the fun facts to know about Wagyu beef is how deliberately the cattle are cared for. Wagyu cattle are raised differently than most cattle, with steady and zealous intention, and the Japanese way of life.
Careful about selection and feeding, Wagyu cattle masters make the most extraordinary efforts out of any cattle breeders; you could even call it borderline passionate. Yet, it’s with great reason. These masters are just that: masters of the trade who know exactly what they are doing and exactly what consumers are looking for. The logic behind this care is simple. Japanese husbandry skills are naturally differentiating with their humane efforts and all-natural, Zen-like care. Wagyu cattle are raised for months longer than other commercial cattle, as well as compared to the USDA beef standard. These cattle are extremely well-fed—their exact feeding, however, remains closely guarded knowledge between top breeders and farmers. The only thing that can be acknowledged is the superiority of the outcome.
Worthy of Praise
While Wagyu beef is known to be more expensive, it’s well worth its devoted fanatics and continual praise. This is the kind of meat that can change the way you look at food, and even the general appreciation of consumption. If you’re considering an opportunity to try it out, or searching for a sustainable ranch to order Wagyu beef online from, look no further. Here, at Lone Mountain Wagyu, our cattle are raised the Wagyu way for true decadency. Check out our collections of this valuable meat to feed the frenzy today.