Lauded as the best beef money can buy, wagyu holds top spot for many on the bucket list of foods to try before you die. What is it that makes wagyu stand out from the crowded marketplace of premium beef? In a word: fat. The intricate pattern of intramuscular fat that laces through the meat makes it sensationally tender.
Wagyu is a type of Japanese cattle breed, the word literally meaning Japanese cow. It is revered by chefs and food-lovers and is of such value to the Japanese economy that for many years, exporting wagyu was banned.
Now that the ban has been lifted, we are delighted to be able to offer Japanese wagyu as well as our existing wagyu reared in Chile & Australia. Both varieties are incredibly special meats and nothing like the beef we’re accustomed to here in the UK...
...A Beef Marble Score (BMS) grading from four to 11 is given to each carcass, determined by the density of muscle fat found between the 12th and 13th ribs. In addition, Japanese wagyu is also assigned a letter from A to C and a number from one to five, with A5 being the highest quality attainable
Wagyu cattle are derived from 2nd century agricultural animals, which were originally chosen for their physical stamina in ploughing rice paddies. The most prized animals were predisposed to generous intramuscular fat deposits giving quick access to a source of energy. In 1944 the term ‘wagyu’ was defined to mean a specific set of four cattle breeds. These days the rearing of wagyu cattle in Japan is strictly regulated and traceable ancestry is imperative, along with a diet rich in wheat and corn and a long, leisurely lifestyle. The four breeds - Japanese black, brown, shorthorn and polled cattle - are raised in different regions like Miyazaki, Kobe and Matsuzaka. These regional names then become part of the identity and authentication of the wagyu. Our Japanese wagyu is raised in the Miyazaki region in southern Japan; it is known for its beautiful cherry-red meat and intense marbling giving the meat a slightly sweet and deep flavour.
The fat found in wagyu is predominantly made up of unsaturated fatty acids which are known to have far fewer negative health effects than that found in standard beef. The melting point of these fats is significantly lower than other meats and sometimes begins to dissolve at room temperature. As the fat melts into the meat during cooking, it imparts a rich savoury, umami flavour. The result is wonderfully tender, dissolving on the tongue.