What distinguishes Kobe Beef from Wagyu Beef? It is the question that most diners ask when deciding whether to try one of the two premium beef options on the menu.

If you’re a meat enthusiast, you are aware that these kinds of beef are regarded as the pinnacle of gourmet cuisine. Often used interchangeably with high-quality beef, Wagyu and Kobe have very distinct origins and certifications. What makes Wagyu Beef different from Kobe Beef?

The Origin of the Two

Traders transported cattle from mainland China to the coasts of Japan thousands of years ago. However, Japan stopped cattle imports in 1910. Crossbreeding of imported cattle started that resulted in the four unique and improved Japanese cow breeds: Shorthorn, Japanese Black (Tajima Gyu), Polled, and Brown. 

According to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association, the name “Wagyu” refers to four Japanese beef breeds. Too often, the terms Kobe beef and Wagyu have been interchangeably used. All Kobe beef can be considered Wagyu. However, Wagyu can also refer to a wide range of beef types that include Bungo, Matsusaka, and Ohmi.

Kobe is a kind of Wagyu beef from the Japanese Black breed’s Tajima strain. On the other hand, cattle used to make Kobe beef are grown in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, which is named after the city of Kobe.

The Difference Between the Two

Kobe is derived from Wagyu’s black Tajima cattle. It has been raised following the protocol of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association. On the other hand, Wagyu is beef that has been crossbred from several European and Japanese breeds.

Aside from their distinct origins, here are the two aspects that make Kobe and Wagyu differ from each other:

High-Value Price

Both Wagyu and Kobe are highly valued. However, Kobe is a rare and more expensive product. Wagyu, on the other hand, is quite affordable.

Grading Standards

The Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association has strict rules and regulations to make quality beef. The beef will be rejected if it does not meet the requirements. To prove their pedigree, the cattle must be purebred. Wagyu beef is not subject to these strict measures, but the cattle are raised in controlled breeding programs.

What is Better?

What is better? Well, there is no specific answer. If you pick either one, there is no way to go wrong. It is subjective to define “better.” It all depends on your preferences and the experience you have with dining. 

Kobe beef is probably more well-known than any other type of Wagyu, simply because it is the most exported to the US. Most beef lovers wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Kobe meat and similar types.

You might want to start slowly and taste Wagyu before moving on to Kobe, or you can try a perfect Kobe steak right away.

Maries River Wagyu provides you with the highest-quality Wagyu beef available in town. Contact us to know more about our premium beef products and our specially prepared Wagyu recipes suitable for any occasion. They will undoubtedly be a hit with your family and guests.