What is Wagyu?
The word wagyu literally means “Japanese cow”. It refers to specific breeds of cattle native to Japan. Eating real wagyu beef is quite an experience. The genetic make-up of the cattle distributes fats differently which results in a more robust flavor and a “buttery finish” as it is eaten..
This is why wagyu is often specified on the menus of finer restaurants everywhere and why beef consumers seek out wagyu in much the same way as buyers of fine wine or chocolate. Wagyu can vary in unique flavor profiles due to where it is raised and what it is fed.
There is a lot of confusion about wagyu due to marketers who exploit the use of the word and ranchers who crossbreed the product.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Kobe beef is only available from Kobe, Japan. Japanese Kobe beef comes from Wagyu cattle – but only from Japan. Anyone marketing their beef as “Kobe beef” in any way that is not from Japan is, well, dishonest.
No. American Wagyu is not full blood Japanese Wagyu — it is crossbred beef, usually a mix of Angus and Wagyu. There is a significant difference. Here at Wasatch Wagyu our steaks and raw products are full blood Wagyu beef.
It means the cattle come from certified Japanese bloodlines. Full blood Wagyu is pure bred and documented as such — they actually do genealogy on cows!
It is the Japanese word for Japanese cow.
It is a better tasting breed of beef. The eating experience has been described as a “flavor explosion”. It has a hearty flavor with a buttery finish that takes eating beef to the next level. You have to experience it.
These cattle are a rare breed. They cost more. They also require greater quality care, purer food sources and longer field time. Typical beef can come to market in 12 months. Wagyu beef is not fully raised until at least 30 months, frequently longer. This increases their cost.
Yes, they do. Where and how they are raised is very evident in their flavor. “You are what you eat” is never more evident than in Wagyu cattle. The fact that some Wagyu come to market as grass-fed versus grain-fed is noticeable. Even subtle differences in the types of grains and grasses used is evident in the final product. That’s why our Wagyu are raised at an altitude with sweet mountain-grown grasses and mountain spring water. We believe it gives our beef a distinctful, powerful flavor that is unique even compared to other full blood Wagyu producers.