- The most pampered cow in the world
After having a conversation with one of my close friend, I decided to listen to her and take a day a week doing nothing… sometimes. I had a Thursday doing nothing last week. Nothing except cooking’ Jasmine shortbread’.
But because I was not happy with it, I also tried ‘Sablé Breton’, actually they turned up worse.
A part from that, nothing. No writing, no photography, no cooking.
So, I am having a lazy Monday today doing nearly nothing… I can send e-mail I was supposed to send ages ago. I can also listen to the news while eating chocolate and tell you more about the conversation I had with one of our chef yesterday night at work about the Kobe beef. I made some researches.
The Tajima cattle that produce this highly prized meat were introduced into Japan in the second century as work animals, used in rice cultivation.
Wagyu (litterally Japanese beef) refers to several breeds of cattle genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from Wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics. In several areas of Japan, beef is shipped with area names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima, Matsusaka, Ōmi, and Sanda beef.
Much like how sparkling wine may not be labeled “Champagne” unless it is produced in the Champagne region of France, the same is true in regards to “genuine” Kobe beef. Kobe beef comes from a specific breed and genetic lineage of cattle raised in the Hyogo prefecture according to the standards set by Kobe Beef Distribution and Promotion Council. This council also sets the rules regarding foreign exportation of Kobe beef and has tightly restricted trade with the exception of export to Macau and Hong Kong.
The prized cattle are valued not for their fat content, but the way fat is distributed through its muscle. That distribution is judged as degree of marbling, where higher grades mean better fat distribution, better flavour, and more tenderness.
The cattle are fed on a grain diet for 500 days which helps the marbling process and contributes to the very high cost of this fantastic beef. All Wagyu is graded on the intensity of the marble content within the meat. In the U.K. it ranges from marble score 2 -8. Marble score 8 is pretty much the highest and most expensive in the U.K. To give you an idea, the price is around £200 a kilo !
That kind of price has given rise to all sorts of myths – like the fact that Wagyu cattle drink premium lager or buttermilk and enjoy daily massages with sake to make their flesh more tender.
I put a few pictures (not from me as I have never had the chance to meet a Kobe cow) so we can admire the beauty and I will let you know my thoughts as soon as I will try it, for now I am going back to my lazy Monday !