There is something to be said about a great steak or really juicy burger. But from what I have read over the years is in Japan the best and most expensive beef in the world is the “Kobe”. This black colored Tajima-ushi breed of Wagyu cattle, is raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy, known for its flavor, tenderness,a fatty well marbled texture.
It has been said that the cattle are fed on grain, and treated to beer on occasion and brushed sometimes for hours. The brushing and massaging of the cattle is what produces the fatty marbling, and extreme tenderness of kobe beef.
If you were one who has had the delight of eating a kobe steak or sliders in the USA from 2010 to August 27,2012, well I hate to break it to you but you were duped.
After the mad cow outbreak in 2001, the U.S. banned Japanese beef imports until 2005, and then again in 2010 after an outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease. What you ate was in actuality is a “Kobe-Style beef”, which is a crossbred of the Black Angus cattle and the Wagyu, the grain the cattle are fed is different, and as a result what you get is a deeper wine color and bolder flavor.
The great news is the USDA has allowed a limited importation of this sought after delicacy once again. I attached the original article I stumbled upon six months ago. Very informative well written. I was rather stunned to learned that on the many cooking competition programs that I watched and saw the use of “kobe beef” really wasn’t. Not going to lie but I felt duped and glad I never dropped a $100.00 on a kobe burger, that really isn’t kobe at all.
So make sure to ask your local butcher, or waiter if what you are ordering is in fact “Kobe beef” and not “Kobe-Style Beef” as the difference is huge and costly.