Kobe Beef is a prized Japanese delicacy and probably the most widely-known regional specialty food in Japan. [24][25] The Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association planned to publish pamphlets about Kobe beef in foreign languages. The U.S. banned Kobe beef, along with all other Japanese beef imports, over concerns about mad cow disease in 2001. While America's fascination with Kobe beef originated during WWII with American soldiers passing through Japan, it didn't become a nationwide phenomenon until the 2000s. How can you be certain if the Kobe beef you're being served is genuine? [17], Kobe beef was not exported until 2012. "All Kobe is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe. Like other wagyu, this variety is well-marbled and is also prized for its flavor and tender texture. Curiously, the craze coincided with a ban on beef. Visitors to the country helped to increase the consumption of beef, but it would be some time before it became a staple of the Japanese diet. Many American restaurants offering Kobe beef cook it up American style — though in smaller servings than the 16-ounce steak you're used to seeing. But it is subject to much stricter regulations. Kobe beef has a … It is also extremely expensive, often costing more than $100 per pound. It's probably delicious, but it's not authentic. Kobe beef is so legendary that it can be difficult to separate fact from myth. In the first 11 months of 2013, just 17 head of Kobe beef were sent to the United States, which averaged out to about 300 pounds a month. A prerequisite of beef to be officially certified “Kobe beef” is that the bullock or virgin Tajima cow has been born in Hyogo Prefecture from a Tajima cow having a pure lineage, and that the bullock or virgin cow has been bred and raised by a designated farmer in the prefecture and slaughtered at one of the slaughterhouses in the prefecture. Strangely, while Japanese beef was banned in the U.S, the popularity of fake Kobe dishes grew in restaurants all over the country with people thinking they were eating the real, forbidden thing. It sets standards for animals to be labeled as Kobe beef. "These are working cattle," Chef Gerald Chin told First We Feast. It is true that there are some farmers who give the cows beer in order to increase their appetites, especially in the summer months when cattle usually eat less. The consumption of beef in Japan is a fairly recent development in the country's cuisine. [3]:8[6] The Tajima is a strain of the Japanese Black, the most populous breed (around 90% of the four breeds). Kobe beef is also called Kobe niku (神戸肉, "Kobe meat"), Kobe-gyu (神戸牛) or Kobe-ushi (神戸牛, "Kobe cattle") in Japanese. The cattle is raised under strict regulations and must fulfill several requirements before it is considered true Kobe beef. "All the love and attention we give our animals comes through on the plate when you taste it," said Polmard. Kobe beef typically ranks much higher, with marbling levels that are beyond anything in the USDA's rating system. Alcohol is far from a part of the standard diet, though, and most cattle raised for Kobe beef primarily drink water. From the time they are a week old until they are three and a half years old, these steers are commonly kept in a lean-to behind someone’s house where they get bored and go off their feed. Firstly, the cow itself must be a purebred Japanese Black steer (castrated bull) or virgin cow from the Tajima-gyu lineage. The most common way to enjoy Kobe beef here in the city is, of course, the classic steak. If you call the other Wagyus Kobe, it's pretty much like calling California sparkling wine Champagne.". Wagyu means Japanese beef. [27] It may have more appeal to Western palates unfamiliar with the mild taste and high fat content of true Kobe beef.[7]. Between 1868, the year of the Meiji Restoration, and 1887, some 2,600 foreign cattle were imported, including Braunvieh, Shorthorn, and Devon. That's kind of where the massage myth came from." To put that into perspective, according to Bon Appetit, the amount of Kobe beef sent to the U.S. each year (as of 2016) was only enough "to satisfy the average beef consumption of just 77 Americans.". Also look closely at the menu. While use of the terms "Kobe Beef," "Kobe Meat," and "Kobe Cattle," are all trademarked in Japan so that no one can (legally) pass off other kinds of beef as Kobe, the U.S. doesn't recognize the trademark. One legend that is true about Kobe beef is that the cattle are fed higher quality foods than their American and European cousins. If you're a die-hard foodie, you've probably at least heard of this succulent meat, widely considered to be the best beef that money can buy. wasn't even legal to eat four-legged animals. In spite of all of the fanfare over Kobe beef, it isn't actually the most exclusive beef in the world. Kobe beef consistently scores this phenomenally; domestic Wagyu or hybrids reach 6 to 9 on the BMS scale while Kobe typically reaches 10, despite 6 being the minimum. You don't have to be a vegetarian to want animals raised in a humane way. "My family wouldn't dream of raising animals in sheds where they have no space or room to roam," said Polmard. This symbol is on all paperwork accompanying genuine Kobe beef. Originating in Japan, there are a lot of imitators out there who have caused some confusion surrounding this mysterious meat. This helped introduce children to beef, which in turn led to the growth of the meat industry in the country. It is these deposits of fat that make the beef so tender and give it that "melt in your mouth" quality. Again, this is a myth that has a kernel of truth but that has frequently been misconstrued by the public. Not only must it come from Tajima-ushi cattle raised on one of just 260 certified farms in Hyogo prefecture, but it must also weigh less than 1,034 pounds in addition to having a certain percentage of carcass to lean fat. Travel. According to Newsweek, there are only a few classic ways of preparing Kobe: broiling thin strips over a tabletop barbecue, frying thin strips with raw egg, or eating  strips dipped in a pot of boiling water. There's a difference between "Kobe beef" and "beef from Kobe." But here's your chance", "American Wagyu and the myth of Kobe beef", "Food's Biggest Scam: The Great Kobe Beef Lie", "Food's Biggest Scam, Part 2: "Domestic" Kobe And Wagyu Beef", "Kobe beef — Correct information for foreign countries", "Bogus beef: Miami restaurants say it's Kobe, but it's not", Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kobe_beef&oldid=996623386, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 December 2020, at 18:46. What's the deal with Kobe beef? [3]:8[6] Between about 1900 and 1910 there was extensive cross-breeding of these with native stock. The so called Kobe beef is just a Wagyu who has born, raised, and slaughtered in the Hyogo Prefecture, whose carcass must possess certain conditions (weight, meat color, fat color, level of mabrling). [21], In some countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, Wagyu cattle imported from Japan are farmed, either purebred or cross-bred with other beef breeds such as Aberdeen Angus. For being Kobe beef, cattle is to be born, raised, slaughtered and processed in Hyogo Prefecture specifically and is at the age between 28 and 60 months of bullock or uncalved cow. Their stress levels are also kept low during slaughter — Polmard even talks to them daily. Kobe beef definition: a grade of beef from cattle raised in Kobe , Japan , which is extremely tender and... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Many of them will tell you where the beef comes from, and specify Hyogo as the origin if it is authentic. Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ, Kōbe bīfu) pronounced [koːbe biːɸɯ] is Wagyu beef from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle, raised in Japan's Hyōgo Prefecture according to rules set out by the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. Let's find out the answers to these questions and everything else you've ever wondered about Kobe beef. [1] The meat is a delicacy, valued for its flavor, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture. Kobe beef definition, meat from the Japanese cattle (Kobe cattle ), which are specially raised to produce a beef that is highly prized for its extreme tenderness. Kobe beef is generally considered one of the three top brands (known as Sandai Wagyu, "the three big beefs"), along with Matsusaka beef and Ōmi beef or Yonezawa beef. While hitchhiking, my ride (Ishii-san) brought to a farm where he knew the CEO. It was exported in January 2012 to Macau, then to Hong Kong in July 2012. If you're really lucky, you've even gotten the chance to taste the legendary dish for yourself. [18] Since then, exports have also been made to the United States, Singapore, Thailand,[19] the United Kingdom[20] and Canada. How is Kobe Beef raised? These were the four wagyū breeds, the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown, the Japanese Polled and the Japanese Shorthorn. This produces meat that is extraordinarily tender, finely marbled, and full-flavored. Kobe beef retails for around $200 per pound at its lowest price, so a place claiming to serve a cheaper Kobe steak is almost certainly lying. The United States, which occupied Japan from 1945 to 1952, started a school lunch program to feed children. Finally, if it's between the age of 28 and 60 months and it gets the … Read Article. Is it really as amazing as people say it is? 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