FAQ: Why Is Wagyu Beef So Expensive?

What is so special about Wagyu beef?

Authentic Wagyu beef is among the most sought-after and luxurious meats in the world. What makes it so special is its copious marbling, which creates a luxurious, buttery tenderness unlike any steak from cattle raised in America.

Why is Wagyu beef illegal?

Between then and the 2001 US ban, only the most absolutely elite restaurants imported the beef. The US initially banned Kobe beef cattle exporting due to fears of spreading mad cow disease in the early 2000s, and for the next decade, the bans were lifted and reinstated and lifted again, according to NBC News.

Is Wagyu beef really worth it?

Wagyu beef is the most prized beef in 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, which results in a more aromatic culinary experience.

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Why is Kobe and Wagyu beef so expensive?

But why is wagyu so expensive? Among the most prized wagyu is Kobe beef, as it is made exclusively from steers or castrated bulls. There are a lot of tariffs and quotas on Japanese imports so it can be difficult to source the beef. While wagyu grows in popularity globally, it is slumping in Japan.

What do Wagyu cows drink?

The first is that the cows are given beer to induce appetite. The second is that they are massaged daily, sometimes with sake (Japanese rice wine), as a proxy for exercise in the tight living quarters and to further accentuate the marbling that Kobe beef is so well known for.

What do Japanese Wagyu cows eat?

Wagyu cows have a varied diet, part of which does include various types of grass. They do tend to be put out to pasture, meaning they can eat fresh grass, but they also eat dried grass and hay, such as ryegrass, bermuda, alfalfa, and rice straw.

Is American Wagyu better than prime?

Wagyu is usually extremely marbled, more than USDA Prime, but not as much as Japanese Wagyu, and the flavor and texture is distinctive. It is also about twice the price of USDA Prime. Do not die without having tasted great American Wagyu. Steaks can run up to 30% fat and $60 to 70 for a 12 ounce ribeye.

How old are Wagyu cows when slaughtered?

Cattle in the U.S. can reach slaughter around 16 months, Wagyu reach slaughter 30 months or longer. Because they live longer they eat more feed which is one reason Wagyu brings a higher price. Marbling, or intramuscular fat, is what gives Wagyu its melt in your mouth texture and rich buttery taste.

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How can you tell a real Wagyu?

To start, give it a good look: raw, a Wagyu steak is so thoroughly marbled it looks pink instead of bright red. The fat shows as little dots of white distributed throughout the muscle.

What makes olive Wagyu so rare?

In the early 1900’s, one farmer wanted to repurpose the byproduct of olive oil production as feed for his cows. The animals’ manure fed the trees, so why not have the trees feed them?! There are only about 2,000 of these cows in the world and only a few are harvested per month, making this beef extremely rare.

What is a Wagyu cow worth?

High-grade wagyu can cost up to $200 per pound. The rarest steak in the world, olive wagyu, can cost anywhere from $120 to over $300 for a steak. Wagyu calves can be 40 times the price of US cattle. The adult cows can sell for as much as $30,000.

How do I cook Wagyu steak?

How to Pan-Fry American Wagyu Steak

  1. Season steak lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Grease the pan with butter (lightly, as the marbling of Wagyu produces high amounts of juices)
  3. Sear for 3-4 minutes per side based on desired doneness (145 degrees F for medium rare, 160 degrees F for medium).

Why was Kobe beef banned in the US?

The U.S. banned Kobe beef, along with all other Japanese beef imports, over concerns about mad cow disease in 2001. While some of these restaurants did serve American-style Kobe beef (the result of crossbreeding Japanese cattle with American cattle), the ban ensured that authentic Kobe beef never made it onto menus.

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How long do Wagyu cows live?

Wagyu cows live for about 30 months, sometimes 35. American cows, by comparison, are slaughtered at 15-22 months.

Are Wagyu cows healthy?

The health benefits of Wagyu are scientifically proven. A study published in 2016 states Wagyu beef has higher amounts of monounsaturated fats than other meats. Monounsaturated fats can lower LDL cholesterol (the ‘bad’ cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the ‘good’ cholesterol).

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