Ever eaten Wagyu beef before? Chances are, unless you had it in Japan or America, you enjoyed something that was quite delicious but not quite authentically Japanese (as in, not from Japan, the inventor and originator of Wagyu beef).
What’s the deal with Wagyu anyway, you may ask? Why should even you care?
Well, Wagyu is a kind of meat that’s raised very differently – that is, in that uniquely obsessive and driven approach that the Japanese bring to everything they decide to do. Ranchers in the West – Australia, America and even Scotland, have been raising their own Wagyu style beef for a while now, but the Japanese got there first, and have been doing it for longer.
And, until now, you’ve not been able to get the original.
Why might you care?
Seeing as you, our reader, are probably the kind of person who likes to know what’s going on in the UK’s culinary scene, and to be the first to hear about/try things (right?) – this has implications for your next steakhouse trip…
It means for the first time you’ll be able to buy (and you’ve probably sussed this by now) the particularly expensive, but also particularly fantastic original cuts.
And if it’s so expensive, why would you want to order it, I hear you ask? Good question.
Wagyu beef tastes like no other cut you’ve ever had. The level of marbling is simply unbelievable. We’re pretty sure this level of subcutaneous fat does not make for a healthy cow, but what it is does for the taste and texture… holy dsfdsuigiufsdgui.
Served raw, as sushi, you can (with a little effort) cut it on the edge of your fork. Served as steak, it is pornographically rich, melting on your tongue, detonating in your mouth in an explosion of steak juices. And there are many other ways that Japanese chefs have come up with to make the most of it’s incredible flavour, believe me.
It’s early days yet but we suspect that you’ll now be able to get it wherever is serving Wagyu beef at current, and some of the steakhouses that haven’t put it on the menu yet might finally decide to change their minds. Also look for it in high end Japanese restaurants (we know for a fact that Nobu will be serving it)
Only recently has the EU import ban on Japanese beef been lifted. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Japan, followed by BSE in the EU a few years later, didn’t do much for meat trade between the countries. Also since we’re the people who came up with Hereford and Aberdeen Angus, it wasn’t like we were too bummed out by having to wait.
However, with Japan now officially approved as an FMD free country, we can have our Wagyu and our Black Angus ribeyes too.
Isn’t it a fine time to be a steak lover?