Japanese Wagyu Beef
Wagyu is a literal translation of "Japanese cow." Authentic Japanese Wagyu beef is sourced from specific breeds, the most common being Japanese Black (Kuroge ), and each cow's lineage is traced to ensure pure bloodline. Cattle are raised in excellent conditions and must meet specific standards, such as being fed for more than 600 days on a diet of barley, wheat bran, rice bran, corn, and other quality feed. This helps maintain the superior quality of the beef, including its exceptional intramuscular fat marbling.
There are several types of genuine Japanese Wagyu beef that vary based on where and how the cattle are raised. For example, Kobe beef comes only from the Hyogo prefecture, while Olive Wagyu features a unique flavor that stems from a specialized cattle diet.
American Wagyu Beef
As more people around the globe became interested in Japanese Wagyu beef, American cattle farmers looked for a way to incorporate some of the characteristics of authentic Wagyu into domestic beef. This led to the development of American Wagyu cattle, which are Japanese cattle crossed with Black Angus cattle.
American Wagyu cattle are fed for 400-plus days , and their diet consists mostly of corn and wheat.
The differences in bloodlines, diets and location give American Wagyu beef its own distinctive features. It has less fat and less marbling compared to Japanese Wagyu, lending the beef a heartier flavor. It's still quite juicy and tender, but it has more of that traditional beef taste that some prefer. American Wagyu beef is often used for different types of preparations as well, including pan searing, grilling and roasting.
Australian Wagyu Beef
Another country that has developed a great reputation for their own take on Wagyu beef is Australia. By crossbreeding with Red or Black Angus, Australian Wagyu were developed, eventually becoming the largest Wagyu herd outside of Japan.
Cattle are fed for 450-plus days and, like American Wagyu beef, develop a flavor that is slightly less buttery in flavor compared to Japanese Wagyu. Instead, Australian Wagyu beef features a leaner, meatier taste. It's great for pan searing and grilling.
All three types of Wagyu beef are absolutely worth trying. The subtle differences in texture and flavor make each one a delicious and satisfying choice.