What Makes Wagyu Beef So Good?

wagyu steak

What makes Wagyu beef so good? To find out, we need to learn what wagyu Beef really is. Simply put, wagyu, pronounced “wa” meaning Japanese, and “gyu” meaning cow, is an old breed of Japanese beef cattle, but there is much more to this tasty breed of cattle than a name. Originally, wagyu were selected for their physical endurance. The livestock with more intramuscular fat cells was chosen because of their ability to easily store energy… What we in the business refer to as “marbling.”

The distinctive flavor and tenderness of wagyu beef is a rare eating experience due to its finely marbled consistency… A super beef, famous for its appearance, and so tender, it literally melts in your mouth…

It’s not only a gourmet pleasure, it’s also safe for you. The un-saturated to saturation fat ratio in wagyu has been discovered by health experts to be higher than in other beef. 40% of the saturated fat is a stearic acid form, which is considered to have minimal cholesterol effects.

Wagyu is also higher in fatty acids known as CLA, linoleic conjugate acid. Due to higher concentrations of linoleic acid, wagyu beef contains the highest CLA of foods per gram— around 30 percent higher than other cattle breeds.

I got to have real wagyu beef last November, and I was not disappointed at all. I took a trip to Japan, just for fun. I love to travel the world, see the sights, meet the people, and of course, eat the food. I was traveling with my friend Joey. We have been several world cities together including New York, Dallas, Kansas City, Atlanta, Berlin, Istanbul, Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. The latest trip was to the Japanese cities listed. Joey had told me Japan was one of his favorite places he had ever been to. He had insisted I go there. It didn’t take much convincing since I had an awesome travel voucher from Google Fi burning a hole in my pocket. So we did just that.

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I had so many great meals, but I was blown away by my first wagyu experience. We were in a train station in Tokyo, with some nice restaurants all around the food court area. We had been in Tokyo a few days, and by that time we were starting to look for something besides noodles or fish. So we decided upon a restaurant that had steak on the menu. As you began to learn in Japan, most if not all restaurants have visual representations of their foods from the menu right outside the entrance to lure you in. It worked.

We sat down, were promptly greeted with warm, damp towels, and offered water as we looked through the menu. A beautiful looking dish with 3 different cuts of wagyu beef and side of fried potatoes? Yes Please!! With a reasonable price of 3500 Yen, (Just under $35) it was a no brainer for us to order this platter, knowing we would be experiencing something we couldn’t easily experience at home.

My first Wagyu platter.
My first ever Wagyu platter.

The platter was served with a little salt, real wasabi, and a dish of Au Jus on the side. The steak from all 3 cuts was so good I rarely dipped them in anything, however, I tried all of those things as well. The steak itself when cooked looks and smells like any other steak I’ve had, but when I took that first bite and the steak just melted in my mouth, I knew it’s something I had never experienced before. Of course, the steak texture was still there, but it was so tender and the flavor was as rich as heaven.

After we returned from Japan, and having had the best steaks of our lives, we decided to see if it was possible to get that amazing experience in The States. We did our research and this is what we found… My Experience with American Wagyu

Michael Quessenberry

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