Kobe Beef

Create: Tue, 06/05/2012 - 17:52

Everybody knows that Kobe beef is the most tender and tasty beef in the world.  It is widely sought after by restaurants that are concerned with bringing high quality beef to their customers.  But what many people don’t know is why Kobe beef is so terrific.  Well, it’s all because of the unique landscape of Japan that led to isolated populations of Wagyu cattle.  

Wagyu Cattle

Kobe beef comes from Wagyu cattle.  (“Wa” means Japanese and “Gyu” means cattle.)  Originally introduced in the 2nd Century to help with “horsepower” in the cultivation of rice, the Wagyu cattle were restricted by the rugged terrain of Japan.  They could not freely migrate as they needed so the populations tended to become isolated and closed off into small areas.  This isolation and difficulty in migrating led to unique breeding and feeding techniques employed by the cattle tenders.

Wagyu Beef by Lil
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License by Lil' Dee

These practices varied from pocket to pocket of Wagyu cattle and eventually led to distinct groupings of the animals.  The cattle that were isolated in the Kobe region turned out with a unique flavor and tenderness that can be directly attributed to the breeding and feeding practices of their keepers.

While other regions of Japan weren’t necessarily bad, for some reason the Wagyu cattle near the Kobe section turned out to be particularly tasty.

Exporting The Cattle Outside Of Japan

Because of the limited population and land space in Japan, the Wagyu cattle were transported to other lands like America and Australia so they could be cultivated and bred.  While arguments rage about who has the best Kobe beef, purists maintain that the only real Kobe beef comes from Japan.

image source: wikipedia