Kobe A city in Japan and the capital city of the Hyōgo Prefecture. Kobe is also considered a region of Japan like Champaign is a region in France, and Parma is a region in Italy. Wa Japanese or Japanese Style Gyu The Japanese word for a Cow or Cattle Wagyu Japanese or Japanese Style Cattle. Japanese cattle consist of four b reeds: Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Poll, and Japanese Shorthorn. Ox-like in structure, these breeds are bred for field work.
Wagyu beef is intensely marbled with softer fat, has higher percentages of monounsaturated fats,omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is lower in cholesterol than commodity beef. The combinations of these fats deliver a distinctive rich and tender flavor compared to other beef. The most exclusive Wagyu in the world comes from Kobe, Japan. People use the terms Kobe and Wagyu beef interchangeably in the U.S. thinking it refers to the same premium imported Japanese beef, when it does not. Four Wagyu bulls were brought to the USA in 1976 from Japan’s Tottori Prefecture for cross breeding with Angus cattle creating the American Wagyu Kobe Style Beef. The crossbred Wagyu cattle were fed a mixture of corn, alfalfa, barley and wheat straw mimicking the Japanese cattle diet. In the mid 1990’s, about 40 more full blooded Wagyu male and females were imported to the US for breeding. There a few domestic ranches raising pure blood American Wagyu beef today, however, most of what we see domestically are a Wagyu/Angus mixed breed. The Wagyu influence contributes to the intense marbling and the Angus influence contributes to the animal’s size. Many restaurant menus feature “Kobe Burgers” or “Kobe Steaks”. The internet is flooded with on-line companies offering Kobe Beef, Kobe Burgers, Kobe-Style Beef, and Wagyu beef. The truth is authentic Kobe beef is very rarely seen on restaurant menus in the USA.