For those that have heard of Wagyu beef but are not sure why this beef is thought to be superior when compared to other types of beef. It all began around 500 years ago in Japan. Since Japan was practically isolated to the rest of the world, their breed of cattle, Wagyu, were from a pure bloodline. In the beginning the cattle were bred as work animals, but once the beef was used in culinary dishes, it was soon discovered the overall taste was superior to any other beef.
What Makes Wagyu Beef Unique and Supreme
- Wagyu Marbling
Marbling is nothing more than the fat deposits that are found in the meat. However, with Wagyu beef the fat deposits you find are higher proportion of the desirable fats (Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acids) than other beef.
In the United States, the meat is graded in only three levels which include select, choice and prime. In Japan, beef is graded in twelve levels with 7 of the levels being higher than the United States select choice cuts of beef.
The levels are graded by the amount of fat or marbling that is found in each cut of Wagyu beef, the more marbling the higher the grade level.
- Wagyu Nutrition
As mentioned above one of the most beneficial health attributes of Wagyu beef is the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids found in the beef. However, the nutritional value does not stop there.
Wagyu beef are mainly feed grass and in some cases grains. The difference is that this breed of cattle is fed longer to aid in the marbling process up to 36 months whereas most cattle are slaughtered at 18 months.
Eating beef has always been a concern for health conscience individuals due to the fat content as well as additives that are found in the beef we consume. Wagyu beef is not infused with any additives and the cattle are not injected with any antibiotics or other medications but are well fed to aid in producing beef that offers more nutritional value including not only the protein we need but also Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Omega 6 (linoleic acid) and Omega 3 (linolenic acid).
- Distinct Taste
Due to the purity of the line, the long fed program, and the marbling, Wagyu beef is known for its tenderness and distinct taste. Since the cattle are only fed grass and for longer periods of time than regular cattle, the beef is more flavorful and of course produces a unique flavor that can only be found with Wagyu beef. We all know that the lean beef we found with most beef in our stores is almost like shoe leather after you cook it making it undesirable. Beef has to have fat in order to taste good at all, but with all other beef you find in stores the fat in the beef is the bad fats (saturated fat and trans fat) that raise the blood cholesterol levels which contributes to clogged arteries.