Let's talk about Wagyu, pronounced 'wag-you'. What makes this beef so delectable and palatial?
You have your nice juicy steaks like filet mignon, rib eye, and New York strip – then you have Wagyu.
Something people seem to confuse with each other is Kobe and Wagyu beef. Every Kobe steak is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu beef is Kobe. Wagyu is the breed of the beef cattle originating in Japan. The direct English translation of Wagyu is "Japanese cow".
In Japan, there are four different breeds that comprise of Wagyu – Japanese Black, Japanese Polled, Japanese Brown, and Japanese Shorthorn. Japanese Black makes up 90% of all fattened cattle in Japan. The roots of Wagyu's superiority can be traced to the late 1800s. During the 1880s, several breeds of European cattle were introduced to Japan and crossbred with native Japanese breeds. The Australian Wagyu Association is the largest breed association outside Japan. Both full blood and Wagyu-cross cattle are farmed in Australia for domestic and overseas markets.
The three major types of Japanese Wagyu are –
Matsusaka Ushi – Raised in and around Matsusaka city in Mie prefecture. In order for the meat to be sold under the Matsusaka name, it must meet strict standards and only virgin female cows can be sold as Matsusaka beef and must be of a breed registered by the Matsusaka Beef Management System. The cows take roughly three years to mature and have a high fat to meat ratio.
Kobe Beef – Raised in Kobe city area of Hyogo prefecture according to rules set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. Kobe is one of the most highly prized Wagyu beefs from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle. Kobe beef is expensive, as only about 3,000 head of cattle may qualify as Kobe. Kobe beef was not exported prior to 2012 with the U.S creating and selling 'Kobe-style beef'.
Ohmi Beef – Raised in Shiga prefecture and is said to be the oldest beef brand in Japan.
Wagyu beef is rich, highly marbled and considered a delicacy. Aside from the intense, fat marbling of the meat, it is prized for being incredibly tender. Who doesn't love a juicy steak that melts right in your mouth? Each type of Wagyu goes through an intense vetting process to bring you only the top, high-grade beef.
Wagyu can be cooked as a steak and most recently, as a burger. Our LB Wagyu burger is served with smoked onion marmalade and mushrooms to bring you rich caramelized flavors. Pair it with a glass of red wine or one of our ice-cold beers to complement the dish.