What’s So Special About Wagyu Beef?

Nov 24, 2020 | Meat and Seafood

Wagyu may be all the rage amongst beef connoisseurs right now, but it’s important for consumers to do their research to know what to expect—from price to taste—from this iconic beef.

Our knowledgeable Maunders team have the facts and insights you need to know before sourcing and investing in an exclusive product like Wagyu for the first time.

 

What is Wagyu Beef?

Wagyu is a Japanese beef cattle breed, which can be consumed. Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. According to wagyu.org:

  • Wagyu beef cattle were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance.
  • This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source.
  • Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.

 

How Does Wagyu Beef Taste?

Wagyu beef has been described as having a “unique taste” as it is very tender and appears highly marbled.

Accordingly to Eataly, you’ll find that Wagyu has a “buttery, yet firm texture and lustrous, red colour It’s a very juicy style of beef with some serious umami flavour. Although it has a strong beefy taste, it’s more “sweet” than “greasy.””

 

Is Wagyu Beef Healthy ?

Yes! Wagyu beef is considered a healthy meat. The mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio has proven higher in Wagyu than in other beef, having a more minimal impact on human cholesterol levels.

Wagyu is also higher in a fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). In fact, Wagyu beef contains 30% more CLA than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels.

 

Can I Get Wagyu Beef in Canada?

Yes! Wagyu beef from Japan has found its way to butchers, cooks, and fine-dining restaurants across Canada. Wagyu is only available at Maunders Food Shop for large orders.

 

Is Wagyu Beef Expensive?

According to Reader’s Digest, the taste and sheer exclusivity are what makes Wagyu beef so expensive. In Japan, to qualify for the Wagyu mark, the cattle have to be reared and fed according to strict guidelines.

As Japan heavily regulates all Wagyu beef production, and progeny testing is mandatory, Wagyu beef is simply harder to come by.

 

Why Is Wagyu Beef So Exclusive?

Due to Japan’s Wagyu regulations, they ensure only the highest quality meat is sold across borders, which adds to the price. Wagyu is also more exclusive as the meat must be imported from Japan.

 

What Kinds of Wagyu Are There?

There are three main Wagyu breeds in Japan including:

  • Japanese Black
  • Japanese Brown
  • Japanese Shorthorn

 

What’s The Difference Between Wagyu & Kobe?

Good question! There are different levels or strains of Wagyu, and Kobe beef comes from the Tajima-Gyu strain— which is more rare and expensive than Wagyu.

 

How Do You Cook Wagyu?

As Wagyu is often more expensive, it’s even more important to cook it correctly.

  1. Ensure the Wagyu is room temperature before cooking.
  2. Don’t over season the meat. Stick with salt and pepper.
  3. Choose to grill or skillet.
  4. Sear each side for three to four minutes. For a rarer cook, sear for about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and let rest before serving, allowing juice to run through the meat.

 

Why Wagyu?

If you’re still wondering, “why wagyu”, we welcome you to come in store to speak to one of our meat experts at Maunders Food Shop in Aurora.

However, please note:

While our Maunders team can assist is educating you about wagyu, we do not have it readily available in-store.