Kobe and Wagyu beef have acquired great popularity, some restaurants say they have beef that is100% Kobe or Wagyu, but this is not always true. These situations have given place to some myths that have to be debunked, so we must ask: Do you know which is myth and which is reality from Kobe and Wagyu beef? Find out here
The first myth is that Kobe and Wagyu are the same. This is completely wrong; Wagyu is the kind of cow from Japan; Japanese government gives the official Wagyu stamp only to animals born, raised and sacrificed in Japan. On the other hand, Kobe is a protected designation of origin (PDO) that applies only to meat coming from cattle 100% Wagyu from Tajima Japanese Black variety; which are born, raised and sacrificed in Hyogo by certified breeders.
One of the most popular myths is that the farms treat their cattle to massage and beer so they grow free of stress and then be worthy of a Kobe certification; which is absolutely false. This myth was born when Wagyu cattle went from being used for transportation only, to be a source of food; during the transition the farmers had trouble getting them to adapt and they included brewer’s yeast in their diet to increase their appetite and improve their growth; but this lasted only a few months until they finally adapted to their new environment.
Their diet in reality consists of a mix of rice grass, corn, barley and other cereals; they drink clean, fresh water from springs near their home, and to live a stress free life, they don’t get massaged with sake but they are raised in a natural environment free of noise.
Another common mistake is to believe that Wagyu cattle raised outside of Japan are still Wagyu. In reality, Wagyu born and raised outside of Japan, are not really Wagyu, since they are not pure breed but cattle obtained from a mix with Angus breed. If you eat this meat outside of Japan, you must make sure it comes from a cow imported from this country to guarantee that you are eating Wagyu beef.
Additionally, it is important to know that Kobe beef cannot come from any other country out of Japan. As we mentioned before, for beef to be certified as Kobe, the cow must be born in Hyogo, must be a Tajima cow of Pure lineage, must be raised by a certified breeder from the area and must be slaughtered in one of the slaughterhouses of the region. It is possible for the meat to be exported to other countries and that you really can try authentic Kobe beef out of Japan.
To identify Kobe beef easily, there are certain elements like the Nogujiku seal; which has a Chrysanthemums shape; this seal besides being present on the meat, can be found on plates around the restaurant and on the certificate of authenticity of the steak. Another element to look for, is the golden statue; only restaurants that have meat certified by The Kobe Beef Federation display this. And last, the certificate of authenticity; this is a very important element and in this we must find the Chrysanthemums seal, the print of the snout of the cow, that serves as a fingerprint and the ID number. Now that you know the myths surrounding Kobe and Wagyu beef, you will not be fooled by places that claim they have authentic Wagyu and Kobe beef.
Tora is an official member of The Kobe Beef Federation, it has the Golden statue and certificate of authenticity which confirm the beef is 100% Kobe. All our cuts are of A5 quality and a marbling score between 10 and 12.
Furthermore, Tora presents the highest quality A5 Wagyu beef, flown in from Japan to our kitchen.
Don’t get mislead, enjoy exquisite cuts of the best beef and the best of Japanese gastronomy, only at Tora.