Thanks so much for taking the time to get in touch and comment. If they don't know or hesitate, this is a sure sign that it is not authentic Kobe beef. There’s the 212 Steakhouse in New York. Kobe beef must come from Tajima-gyu cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture and have only been fed from grains and grasses from within the Prefecture, and hence any beef produced in the United States, whether from Tajima-gyu cattle or not, cannot be Kobe. In the US, you can expect to pay $50 per ounce (less than 30 grams). The most expensive beef in the world though is reportedly from a farm in Northeastern France where a butcher who runs his own abattoir creates aged steaks from his Blonde Aquitaine stock through a process of hibernation. :). Herd isolation and distinctive feeding techniques are said to have led to unique differences in taste and texture. To be classified as Kobe beef it must adhere to all the criteria including being born, raised and slaughtered in Hyōgo Prefecture. I was wondering if there is any genuine real Kobe beef around Sacramento, California? Kobe beef is highly coveted and regulated in Japan; they don't just send it anywhere without knowing exactly who it is going to and where it will end up. The BMS allows the distinct marbling of the beef to be graded to an even finer degree of accuracy, and is given a number grade of 1-12. I know I’m late here but I would like to give an example from a scientific standpoint. Looks like the author of this article has read to many Forbes articles! If you’re looking for something a little more personable, then you better book ahead at Steak Aoyama. This is not an issue for sales as there are so few heads of Kobe beef cattle produced per year so it’s not like sales are being taken away from the Japanese. Hi Jessica, This is not very different than the term “champagne” in the wine industry. Some people are just all hung up on the idea that no one but people from Kobe Japan can raise wagyu beef. To search for the closest one to you, please click the link within the article (in the Kobe beef in the U.S. section). Is it different from Blue Butcher dish? Trim the fat around the edges of the meat and use said fat trimmings to grease the pan. To be classified as authentic Kobe beef, there are various boxes that must be checked. Let us know in the comments! Almost all beef in Japan is raised is small pens or sheds because there simply is no grazing land. It is more than the rearing a related cow abroad. :-). But, in fact, it's not even the most expensive or most prized wagyu. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. I might not be in Japan for a while. The point is, genuine Kobe beef can only come from Japan. A prerequisite of beef to be officially certified “Kobe beef” is that the bullock or virgin Tajima cow has been born in Hyogo Prefecture from a Tajima cow having a pure lineage, and that the bullock or virgin cow has been bred and raised by a designated farmer in the prefecture and slaughtered at one of the slaughterhouses in the prefecture. Jessica Korteman is an Australian travel writer, based in Tokyo, Japan. While wagyu can be half that. For this high-end restaurant, booking is a must. Are French fries better in France/Belgium? “American Kobe” is one of those misnomers – there is really no such thing. I’m not sure, but I can ask our readers if they know of any places. Buyer beware – the big Kobe beef and wagyu scam, Check the price tag and skip the Kobe beef burgers, Check if the restaurant, retailer or wholesaler has actually imported Kobe beef, several class action suits filed against restaurants in America who were allegedly selling fraudulent Kobe beef, Anthony Bourdain described Kobe sliders as the worst dish in America, search by the 10-digit authentication number, when the beef was exported and the company it was imported by here, http://www.kobe-niku.jp/shop?prefecture=&tag=3, A Japanese Christmas: How Christmas in Japan is unlike anywhere else, How our Front Yard became a Tourist Attraction in the Middle of a Pandemic, Life Update: Life in Australia One Year On, Insider’s Guide to Using Airbnb in Japan in 2020. Using a greenhouse with soil imported from Thailand a California grow company could not reproduce those alkaloids even with altering the variables they could control. Using sentient beings for food will soon be a thing of the past because environmentally it is not sustainable and most importantly because it’s a very cruel and unnecessary . As Kobe beef is a type of wagyu beef, Kobe beef is graded using the wagyu grade system. Firstly, the cow itself must be a purebred Japanese Black steer (castrated bull) or virgin cow from the Tajima-gyu lineage. Please understand that wagyu beef only means it is meat from Japanese cattle, it doesn’t mean it is Kobe beef. Introduced as work animals in the rice cultivation industry during the 2nd Century, Tajima-gyu became isolated from other breeds in the small pockets of arable land within Japan's mountainous landscape. And no one in their right mind is going to grind up top-quality wagyu, much less prized Kobe beef, into a hamburger patty in the first place. In the United States, there are currently only 33 restaurants that have access to genuine Kobe beef. Most domestic Wagyu or hybrids would score 6-9, while Kobe usually ranks 10 or higher.”. I would like to say that it is about time someone wrote such a well put together article on the correct definition of “kobe beef.” Thank you for your hard work. But whether the person is Japanese or Australian or any other nationality is besides the point. To protect the authenticity, each cattle that are born inside the prefecture has its unique serial number to keep track and validate the animal’s lineage and life cycle. I only have the one question that has so far, not been asked: after slaughter, did you ever learn how the meat was treated? Japan has limited space and other nations are important in Japanese beef production. This shows just how important marbling, known as ‘sashi‘ in Japanese, is to the quality of wagyu and the overall melt-in-your mouth experience of high quality Japanese beef. The massage is only done because they are kept in a stall most their life and not allowed to move very much because of the linited amount of pasture in japan so it is required to keep the animal healthy. Tajima-gyu cows, from which Kobe beef comes from, belong specifically to the Japanese Black breed. Great article! :), This post may contain compensated links. Remember that Kobe beef must come from a Tajima-gyu cow, belonging to the Japanese Black breed. They were all born in 2004. :) Their website does have some delicious looking images! The term “American Kobe” is really an incorrect usage of the term Kobe because to be called Kobe it must be Japanese. Address: 1-3-14 Motomachidori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 650-0022, Hyogo Prefecture. Sorry for the belated reply! It has an indescribable flavor, amazing texture, and a much higher amount of intramuscular fat than other meats. Just as if I wanted to drop money on a bottle of champagne because I wanted to say I tried it once. Well I got news for them the exact same breed can and is raised in many other places of the world now and it is a fabulous product. While certainly not impossible, maintaining a 100% Tajima-gyu lineage is not the easiest task either and while much of this “American Kobe beef” may come from the same breed, it’s, more often that not, not of a pure bloodline. I’m heading to Japan in a couple of weeks and having Kobe beef is on the list! Hi Jessica, I’m very late to the party but we are visiting Japan next month and would love your recommendations for places in Kyoto/Tokyo or Kobe to sample Kobe. Legal rules for Kobe beef, raised only in Hyogo … Any restaurant serving real Kobe beef should be able to tell you exactly where it came from, its precise grade, their distributor, and be able to produce the 10-digit authentication number. Some people need to get with the times and view things with a non-elitist perspective. Therefore any restaurant claiming to be serving Kobe beef in any form in the United States before August 2012 was being a bit creative with their menus. Luckily for them, one bite of the famed “melt-in-your-mouth” fare usually requires little convincing. Less than 5% of Wagyu cattle were fattened by these highly specialized producers. Kobe beef is rare and expensive, even in Japan. We’ll be heading there next year and always love to hear advice from the locals! Benoni, Gauteng, South Africa. By this I mean that for us, we age the skun halves in a sterile environment at refrigerator temp for 2.5 days. Must be two definitions of Kobe beef here. 4: Good 5 – 7. One is Lone-Mountain Waygu in New Mexico. (Wow, that “one” question turned into a lot more). Lions originated in Africa but is a figurehead and identity of so many countries even though they never came from there. We’ll let you know if anyone responds with suggestions. Or any other method? Hope you could visit there in the future. Vegetarianism wasn't put on official pause until until the Meiji era, which began in 1868, when Japan opened up to the rest of the world and foreigners passing through the biggest cities demanded meat. Kobe beef is not easy to procure. Massage is a technique used across the livestock industry for animals kept in close quarters, but the image of Tajima cattle being massaged with rice wine on the daily is a kind of urban legend. Japan is waiting! The number of restaurants authorized to sell Kobe beef in the USA has actually increased one since I last updated this article and now stands at 33 – this is straight from Japanese sources (as per the official link I posted in this article). Period. Unlike other meats that you can just stroll down to your local deli and purchase, Kobe beef is only exported from Japan in limited quantities and is very sought after by chefs around the world. Therefore opportunities are limited to try it outside of Japan. Appreciate it! The beef is assigned a number grade from 1-5 for each of the categories. There are several articles on the web that say there are only 9 restaurants in the US authorized to sell Kobe beef. Kobe beef must come from Tajima-gyu cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in Hyogo Prefecture and have only been fed from grains and grasses from within the Prefecture, and hence any beef produced in the United States, whether from Tajima-gyu cattle or … That higher concentration of fat is just how Kobe beef gets its superb marbling complexion. If you’re ever in my country of South Korea, be sure to seek out hanu (한우), Korean domestic beef. Kobe beef also has to have a fact marbling ratio (BMS) of 6 or higher and a Meat Quality Score of A4 or A5 (the highest top-grades meat can receive). This means that A4 wagyu with a BMS of 5 does not meet the criteria to be called Kobe beef. There are plenty if 100% fullblood Tajima wagyu in America, so don’t act like that’s impossible, and there are wagyu in Japan that are not 100% Tajima, have you ever raised cattle? Wagyu cattle are classified into four breeds – Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. By far the best steak I have ever tasted and the whole in the wall atmosphere and welcoming staff made it even more special. Thanks so much for your kind comment and congratulations on your long-running family business! Though there are many rumors about how the cows are fed and raised – such as the rumor that these cows are massaged daily and given beer to induce a larger appetite – the actually rearing process is a closely guarded secret that few know about. :), Great article jess..we are two chefs travelling asia on a food safari and arevtrying to book a tour of taijima cattle farm…and recommendations…and restaurants in Osaka area also would be great….cheers. More people would be interested in Wagyu beef than Waygu beef, though. While some genuine Kobe beef is now being exported to the US, it still is quite exclusive to Japan given the small quantities that are leaving the country. The one in Hong Kong? You may not believe that being reared on the local grasses and following the Japanese standards on marbling and Meat Quality Score and so on, makes any difference, but there are many that would disagree with you and would say it makes all the difference to the taste and texture. Nanakusa offers Kobe-style beef that has been domestically raised in the traditional Japanese manner at Snake River Farms in Idaho. How is Kobe Beef raised? Remember the yield and quality scores for wagyu we talked about above? There are phenomenal sparkling wines from all over the world that I prefer for a fraction of the price. For wagyu beef to be classified as Kobe beef, it must have a yield and quality score of A4 or A5. Video about Kobe Beef How Raised. 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