Wagyu Beef is NOT K Kobe beef, but Wagyu is in the same category of quality as K Kobe beef. Some people confuse the two names and call one beef of the other. Wagyu Beef is not a dairy, but it is probably the closest to a dairy cow you can get today. And it is probably the most expensive beef available.
The United States is known for its hamburger and hot dogs, and not for beef. But wagyu beef comes from Japan, where cowboys and farmers have used the fat from their animals to create tender beef that cooks like steak. Wagyu cattle are a mix of any of the following cattle breeds: Japanese Black Japanese Brown, Japanese Shorthorn and American Red. Of the four main breeds, American Red is the most common and prized among American beef buyers.
When American beef buyers in the southern states purchase beef they often think that it has to taste like bacon, because that is what they are used to. But wagyu beef has a much deeper and richer flavor than bacon. You will notice this flavor when you bite into it, and you will also notice it when you cook it. Wagyu Beef tastes best when it is just allowed to cook slowly over indirect heat in a slight air flow. When your wagyu beef cooks, the liquid that comprises the beef juices runs smoothly down the inside of the meat, and the natural sugars in the beef meat rise to the top. The more water that evaporates, the more rich the beef flavor will be.
In fact, wagyu beef from Japan is probably America’s closest living relative. Many American cities contain traces of wagyu beef, since there have been significant numbers of Americans who have made the move to Japan to work in the beef industry over the past few decades. In many cases, these wagyu cows have been raised and fed in America, on small farms that are not certified as producing fair trade beef. When they return home to their lives in Japan, the cattle begin to reproduce rapidly, often because of the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
Today, it may seem strange to think of Wagyu being raised and fed in America, but it is true. America is one of the leading feeders of wagyu, so the cattle come primarily from Japan, with a small number from Hawaii and Australia. The U.S. supply is typically smaller than that of the Japanese, as the American farmers do not raise the high volume of wagyu that are seen in Japan. As a result, you might think that you would have to pay more for wagyu beef from the United States, but that is not true. There are many vendors online who offer quality wagyu beef, at prices that are very reasonable.
While it is true that Wagyu cattle come primarily from Japan, the meat is raised and fed in America, so you do not lose any sense of where your meal comes from. That being said, you should still check the labels carefully when purchasing your meat; some vendors may label their product as “Wagyu” even if they are not raised in Japan. In order to truly understand the grade of your particular purchase, read all of the information provided on the label. You can find an explanation of the grading system, as well as information about the animals involved, if you are purchasing beef. Wagyu Beef is a delicious and healthy alternative to beef; there is no reason why you should not treat yourself to a few buckets of this tasty meat once you are in a position to do so.