In Japanese, the first syllable Wa means Japan and the second syllable Gyu means cow or cattle. So Wagyu means 'Japanese beef'. As a fine people in many fields, the Japanese have developed a very special beef culture.
Wagyu cow meat is used to make the most expensive steak in the world. This cut of meat is also called "royal". Marble steak is another name for it. As different as marble is, so are marble steaks. The mustards are all about the same, but the quality is different.
Wagyu beef is the most expensive, best-tasting, and most beautiful meat in the world. For gourmets and people who know a lot about food, wagyu is as high-end as caviar and white truffles.
The only place where real, authentic wagyu is grown is in Japan. Wagyu cattle are also raised in Australia, North America, and even Estonia, but they are not real Wagyu. Japan has pure-bred Wagyu cattle, which have had their brand since 2007.
Wagyu meat has a particularly beautiful marbled texture
Not only is it beautiful, but it is the texture that creates the flavour of the steak. In principle, the taste is in the texture. Cattle usually store fat outside of their muscles because of the way their bodies work. Wagyu cattle break down the fat in their muscles, which gives them this marbled texture.
The Japanese have come up with a special way to rate wagyu beef. Five aspects are used to judge the quality of the meat: the quality of the marbling, the color of the meat, how firm the texture is, the color of the fat, and how shiny the meat is. Interestingly, the texture of the marbling is not judged on a percentage basis, but on how homogeneous and beautiful the texture is.
The melting point of Wagyu meat is so low that it melts in your mouth. Since it is so tender, the sauce is usually not served with it.
Japanese farmers have learned over hundreds of years how to raise Wagyu cattle in a way that is an art in itself. It is a unique way to raise cattle that can't be found anywhere else in the world. Wagyu cattle farms are in cool mountainous areas and away from crowds and noise. These cows don't have to worry about anything as they grow up.
Each Wagyu cow has an ID number that lets people know who it is. The buyer can see the cows' muzzle prints on the packaging, just like people have fingerprints. So that the animals don't have to deal with extra stress, the farmers make sure that the air temperature is always about the same.
On the farms, classical music is played to relax the cows, and the cows are often massaged. They also get massages with acupuncture needles. The cattle are tested for their genes and given a special Wagyu cattle certificate when they are seven months old.
Sometimes, Wagyu cattle are fed sake, so there is always some alcohol in the beef steak. We all know that certain fats are good for you. Wagyu meat has three times as many omega fatty acids as a regular steak. This group of fatty acids has a name: shimofuri. There are also more zinc, iron, and B vitamins in wagyu meat.