The word Wagyu comes from Japanese words that literally means Japanese Cow. If you’re a meat lover, you will be familiar with Wagyu beef and its famous marbling as well as its high price.
Why Wagyu Beef is Expensive
Wagyu is known for its marbling; Streaks of fat that resemble the look of marbled patterns. This basically means that Wagyu beef is extremely fatty, with an even distribution of fat on each cut. In Japan, Wagyu cows have a specific diet consisting of mainly grains instead of grass to maintain a high level of fat. The stress level of each cow is also kept to a minimum by giving them brush strokes once in a while to increase blood flow, giving them a jacket when it’s cold and some of them are even getting massages too. With a very delicate and specific production process, this is why Wagyu beef is on the expensive side.
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Wagyu beef is graded based on Beef Marble Score (BMS). Japanese Wagyu goes from A1 to A5 grading with A5 being the highest which also means that it has a high BMS. The higher the grade, the more expensive it is, of course. However, it also means that the meat is more marbled, fattier and juicier.
In Japan, Wagyu is mainly enjoyed in thin slices, in a soup, or for a barbecue. However, it is also commonly served as steak. When cooking Wagyu beef, it is important to keep it medium-rare to medium and not overcook it. The reason is that when cooked at medium or medium-rare, the fat is melted throughout the beef, giving it a buttery texture. Overcooking it will eliminate the whole wagyu experience you’re supposed to get.
Although Japanese Wagyu can be hard to find, Australian Wagyu is generally available in a lot of butcheries around you. Higher grade Australian Wagyu would be as good as some Japanese Wagyu. When done right, Wagyu beef can take your tastebuds to the next level!