Strip District Meats

Wag-Who? Let’s talk about Wagyu

“I heard you guys carry Kobe Beef!”

Well…not exactly.  Kobe Beef specifically refers to Wagyu Beef (more on what that means in a minute) that has been raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, according to standards set by the “Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association”.  Kobe Beef made a name for itself early on and has become something of a catch-all term to describe many different types of Wagyu (kind of like how ‘Kleenex’ is often used to refer to any brand of facial tissue) but it is just one of a number of brands of Wagyu produced in various regions of Japan.  While authentic Kobe has been exported to the United States it is exceedingly rare and is typically employed only as a marketing gimmick, meant to capitalize on the brands well known name.  So while all Kobe is Wagyu, not all Wagyu is Kobe.

“So Kobe must be the best then, right?”

Well…not exactly.  Despite the brand’s global (and certainly well deserved) fame, there are many brands of Wagyu produced in Japan such as; Kobe, Matsusaka Ushi, Omi, Miyazakigyu, just to name a few!  All of these brands spread out across the entire country of Japan compete every 5 years in what’s known as the Wagyu Olympics.  The Wagyu Olympics compares the very best beef from the very best animals produced by the very best farms in the country based on numerous standards and qualities that would be too much to delve into here.  The important thing to note is that, though it is undoubtedly of exceptional quality, Kobe Beef does not always win these sort of competitions.  In fact, for the past 2 Wagyu Olympics Miyazakigyu has taken home some of the most prestigious awards.