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Wagyu Beef

Wagyu Paradise

Not only is it a gastronomic delight, but it’s also healthy for you. Health experts have discovered the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in other beef and the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different. 40 percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health.

Why is Wagyu so special?

Wagyu beef is popular around the world because of its superior eating quality compared with other breeds of cattle. Not only does wagyu beef have higher levels of intra-muscular fat, or marbling, but the meat texture is finer, resulting in a more flavorful eating experience. (by


Wagyu cattle first came to the U.S. from Japan in 1976, primarily for crossbreeding with other cattle, such as Angus.

Only four bulls made the journey, and it wasn't until the 1990s that more Wagyu followed. In 1997, though, Japan declared the Wagyu breed a living national treasure and placed a ban on exports.

To this day, the Japanese government and Wagyu ranchers remain dedicated to tradition, and it's precisely this devotion to craft that has made Wagyu famous for its melt-in-your-mouth flavor that enthusiasts know and love. But there's more to this rich food than simply taste, so read on to learn more about its fascinating history, varieties, and nuances. (via Discovernet)

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Types of Wagyu

Wagyu is often used as an umbrella term, but Japan actually has over 200 brands of the prized beef (via Japan National Tourism Organization).

Similar to how wine and cheese are often categorized according to region and method of cultivation, Japan classifies its beef by region, and each Wagyu brand meets different standards according to the production area. Just like wine categorization, regional brands of Wagyu can only come from certain parts of Japan. (Via Discovernet)

Comparatively, cuts of Choice and Select beef — official grades used by the USDA to evaluate meat — have less marbling, which means these leaner cuts are less juicy and tender. The marbling is also why Wagyu beef is so expensive. High-quality Wagyu can cost around $200 per pound and a Wagyu cow can sell for as much as $30,000 at auction (via Business Insider).

Kobe Beef

Kobe Beef

Kobe beef, one of the most sought-after types of Wagyu, used to be extremely difficult to get in the United States. In fact, the U.S. banned the import of Kobe because of fears about spreading mad cow disease in the early 2000s.

Kobe is no longer illegal in stateside, but the beef is still rare because genuine Kobe must be traced to twelve prized bulls kept at a facility in Hyogo Prefecture (via A Five Meats). In fact, the Kobe Beef Association only certifies roughly 5,000 cows annually as true Kobe quality. What's more, Robb Report points out that there are only 32 restaurants in America that sell verified Kobe beef. (via

Are all Wagyu signs on the menus at the local restaurants real? US has a less strict rules about labeling, so it is a good chance that Wagyu meet you are eating may not be the actual genuine wagyu.

You just have to trust the restaurant and your guts. The bottom line is tasty meat makes you happy -- that is all it matters!

When you visit Japan, the chance of eating real wagyu becomes much greater. So why not try wagyu in Japan?

View the Wagyu Beef Quest Tour >