With such a profound taste, Wagyu is increasing in popularity all over the world. Unfortunately this has resulted in the appearance of many non-authentic Wagyu beef impostors. Wagyu is Japan-produced beef that satisfies a stringent set of conditions. Ony authentic Wagyu bears the "Universal Wagyu Mark". When choosing Wagyu, use this mark as a reminder to verify unrivalled, top-grade quality.
The “Wagyu Mark”* is attached exclusively to authentic domestic Japanese beef to distinguish such wagyu beef quality. This mark acts as a guide when selecting delicious, high-quality, authentic wagyu beef.
Superb wagyu Japanese beef comes from the special technique and the attentive care given by the producer. The term “wagyu beef cattle” refers to distinctive Japanese breeds. Wagyu beef cattle are raised to be healthy animals in well-ventilated barns spread with sawdust. They are fed with a mixture of hay and highly nutritious, safe compound feeds. Farmers who breed wagyu cattle raise them with careful attention to detail as if they were their own children, keeping a close eye on everything, including their physical condition.
A feature of wagyu beef is melt-in-the-mouth texture and a rich, luxurious taste derived from an abundance of fat. The beautiful pattern of fat through red flesh like the chuck, rib, and sirloin is termed shimofuri, or marbling. Its flavor will delight you when used in various types of cuisine. Wagyu beef is sold after inspection and grading for attributes such as meat color, texture and marbling.
Japan implements extremely strict hygiene control over beef. With the outbreak of BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), it began BSE testing and removal of SRM (Specified Risk Material) for all cattle in Japan, which is one of the strictest standards in the world. All domestic cattle are also registered in a database at birth with an individual identification number. With the number on domestically produced beef sold in stores, the movement of cattle, including breed and birth date, can be found on the Internet.
The tenderness and delicate flavor of Wagyu is in high demand in Japan, where cuisine honors the inherent flavor of the ingredients. In response to such demand, Japan has refined its production technologies and the rest of the world, which is more accustomed to slightly more textured red meat, has been taken by surprise by the texture of Wagyu - a new style beef that once tried will not soon be forgotten. Wagyu, a relatively rare commodity, has the potential to increase the possibilities and value of food cultures around the world and bring with it significant change.
Each and every head of Wagyu cattle is given time and attention, and raised lovingly by feeding specialist in the vast open spaces of Japan, In addition to a well managed environment - a carefully designed diet including rice, hay, wheat, and bran to raise cattle that are both healthy and produce great tasting beef, and cattle sheds kept in immaculate condition so as not to stress the delicate cattle - Wagyu cattle are bred with human compassion and attention. Outstanding production technologues and teh pride of the naster in pursuit of perfect Wagyu gives way to a superior quality found nowhere else in the world.
Perhaps the most prominent characteristic of Wagyu is the marbled fat distributed through the muscle fibers knowns as "shimofuri" in Japan. The fine texture of Wagyu gives an extrememly tender, melt-in-the-mouth quality. Wagyu is also known for its sweet, full-bodied aroma known as "wagyuko" or beef aroma. When cooking, Wagyu is known to give o an aroma that is likened to coconut or fruit. This beef aroma serves to further draw out the great taste of Wagyu. The flavor of Wagyu does not only satisfy the taste buds, but all five senses and has the potential to significantly change beef cuisine in countries around the world.
Establishment of a Wagyu beef grading system that implements meat quality (5-1) and yield grade (A, B, C): 5 is the highest grade for meat quality. To ensure fair trading, the Japan Meat Grading Association has established a beef grading system. Beef is graded based on the yield grade and meat quality The yield grade refers to the ratio of meat to total weight of the carcass and is classified into three grades from A to C with A being a grade of higher yield. Meat quality is classified into four elements and graded from 5 to 1 based on “marbling”, “color” and “firmness of the meat”, and the “color and quality of the fat”. The lowest of the four individual elements is the final grade allocated to the meat. A thorough grading system of 15 grades through a combination of the above two grading elements ensures a clear indication of Wagyu meat quality. The majority of Wagyu exported from Japan is generally awarded the highest grade of 5 or 4 in meat quality and meat of such caliber is rare even in Japan. The yield grade indicates the amount of primal cut meat retrieved from the carcass and, based on the fact that exported beef is made up of primal cuts, there is no dierence in the actual meat quality of A-5 and B-5 for instance.