One of the most sought-after and luxurious meats worldwide is the wagyu beef. It is popular for its extensive marbling that is the reason behind its tenderness and buttery flavor. Indeed, you won’t find anything else in this world that tastes like wagyu beef.
Wagyu beef comes exclusively from Japan, which means you won’t get it anywhere else. Although US and Australia have a hybrid version, nothing compares to the authentic Japanese beef that is sourced from four main cattle breeds: Black, Brown, Shorthorn, and Polled.
But why is this beef so good? It all comes down to how it is raised.
The Art of Raising Cattle
Raising cattle to produce wagyu beef is the most meticulous form. Japanese farmers honed their techniques to ensure cows develop evenly marbled fat deposits to ensure they don’t build tense, tough meat.
For the cattle, this means a lot of pampering that could be a dream come true.
The cows used for wagyu are raised only by specialty breeders until they’re between seven and ten months old. After that, they are sold to a farmer and they cost ten times more than the usual American Angus.
When they’re in the hands of the farmers, they need to follow proper care and a good diet to produce good meat. These cows are taken to feeding farms wherein they’re allowed to graze in a very peaceful environment. Consider it like the spa of cows and they’re there for quite a long time until they’re fully grown.
The cows are given plenty of room to move inside the pens and more room outside to graze. In the feeding farms, the cows are taken care of until they reach two to three years or gain 1,500 pounds.
Most farmers provide the cows with three meals a day from high-energy ingredients. Once a month, they are weighed and are expected to gain 2.5 pounds per day.
In a Stress-Free Environment
As mentioned, wagyu cattle are raised in stress-free environments. Many believe that these cows are routinely massaged and played classical music. However, this isn’t true. Instead, farmers do ensure that they get the best care to prevent tensed muscles. They do this by making sure the cattle don’t go through rigorous activity and stress. Farmers may need to use a stiff brush to help increase blood circulation and help cows release tension in their muscles.
It’s extremely important for wagyu to be in a stress-free environment. Otherwise, stress can increase adrenaline, which can lead to muscle tension. As a result, you get tough meat.
Even though breeding wagyu cattle is more expensive and time-consuming, it’s undeniably worth it. Breeding wagyu cattle is crucial to the production of tender wagyu beef, which is why it’s one of the most sought-after and luxurious meats in the world. In fact, only a thousand cows are produced each year, which means you really won’t get it at any restaurant or store. So, be careful!