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Kobe beef

Kobe beef

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refers to cuts of beef
Beef
Beef is the culinary name for meat from bovines, especially domestic cattle. Beef can be harvested from cows, bulls, heifers or steers. It is one of the principal meats used in the cuisine of the Middle East , Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Europe and the United States, and is also important in...

 from the black Tajima-ushi
Tajima cattle
is one of the types of black Wagyū cattle in Japan. Many tajima cattle are born in Hyōgo Prefecture and raised as stock for famous beef such as Kobe beef and Matsuzaka beef.Tajima cattle has been fed from old times in Tajima Province...

 breed of Wagyū
Wagyu
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, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness...

 cattle, raised according to strict tradition in Hyōgo Prefecture
Hyogo Prefecture
is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

, Japan. The meat is generally considered to be a delicacy
Delicacy
A delicacy is a food item that is considered highly desirable in certain cultures. Often this is because of unusual flavors or characteristics or because it is rare....

, renowned for its flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture
Marbled meat
Marbled meat is meat, especially red meat, which contains various amounts of intramuscular fat, giving it an appearance similar to a marble pattern.- Selective breeding :Marbling can be influenced by selective breeding...

. Kobe beef can be prepared as steak, sukiyaki
Sukiyaki
Sukiyaki is a Japanese dish in the nabemono style.It consists of meat which is slowly cooked or simmered at the table, alongside vegetables and other ingredients, in a shallow iron pot in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin...

, shabu shabu, sashimi
Sashimi
Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy. It consists of very fresh raw meat, most commonly fish, sliced into thin pieces.-Origin:The word sashimi means "pierced body", i.e...

, teppanyaki
Teppanyaki
is a style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food. The word teppanyaki is derived from teppan , which means iron plate, and yaki , which means grilled, broiled or pan-fried...

 and more. The beef is also eaten raw by people in Japan as in the form of sushi.

Kobe beef is also called , or in Japanese.

History


The Wagyu cattle that produce this highly-prized meat were introduced into Japan in the second century as work animals, used in rice cultivation. As beef consumption became more prominent in society, farmers began hiring workers to massage the animals' backsides to improve meat quality. The mountainous topography of the islands of Japan resulted in small regions of isolated breeding, yielding herds that developed and maintained qualities in their meat that differ significantly from all other breeds of cattle. Herd isolation and distinctive feeding techniques, which resulted from the limited land availability, have led to distinguishing features that make the meat both superior in marbling and in the ratios of unsaturated
Unsaturated fat
An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain. A fat molecule is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond. Where double bonds are formed, hydrogen atoms are...

 versus saturated fats.

The cows are fed on grain fodder and brushed sometimes for setting fur. The Kobe beef marketing and distribution promotion association plans to make available a pamphlet in foreign languages with details about Kobe beef due to ambiguities about what actually constitutes Kobe beef, and because many tourists who visit Japan request information about the product.
The melting point of fat of Kobe beef (Tajima cattle) is lower than common beef fat.

Kobe beef in Japan


Kobe beef in Japan is a registered trademark of the Kobe beef marketing and distribution promotion association. It must fulfill all the following conditions:
  • Tajima cattle born in Hyōgo Prefecture
    Hyogo Prefecture
    is a prefecture of Japan located in the Kansai region on Honshū island. The capital is Kobe.The prefecture's name was previously alternately spelled as Hiogo.- History :...

  • Farm feeding in Hyōgo Prefecture
  • Bullock
    Cattle
    Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

     (steer) or castrated bull, to purify the beef
  • Processed at slaughterhouses in Kobe
    Kobe
    , pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

    , Nishinomiya
    Nishinomiya, Hyogo
    is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan, between the cities of Ōsaka and Kōbe. On April 1, 2005, the city of Nishinomiya celebrated its 80th anniversary. It is best known as the home of Kōshien Stadium, where the Hanshin Tigers baseball team plays home games and where Japan's annual high school baseball...

    , Sanda
    Sanda, Hyogo
    is a city located in Hyōgo, Japan.As of 2008, the city has an estimated population of 113,585 and the density of 540 persons per km². The total area is 210.22 km².The city was founded on July 1, 1958.-History:...

    , Kakogawa
    Kakogawa, Hyogo
    is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on June 15, 1950.As of 2010, the city has an estimated population of 268,565 and a population density of 1,940 persons per km². The total area is 138.51 km²...

     and Himeji
    Himeji, Hyogo
    is a city located in Hyōgo Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. As of April 1, 2011, the city has an estimated population of 535,945, with 206,409 households. The total area is 534.43 km².- History :...

     in Hyōgo Prefecture.
  • Marbling ratio, called BMS, of level 6 and above.
  • Meat Quality Score of 4 or 5
  • Gross weight of beef from one animal is 470 kg or less.

"Kobe-style" beef



The massive increase in popularity of Kobe beef in the United States has led to the creation of "Kobe-style" beef, taken from domestically-raised Wagyū
Wagyu
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, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavor, tenderness...

 crossbred with Angus cattle
Angus cattle
Angus cattle are a breed of cattle much used in beef production. They were developed from cattle native to the counties of Aberdeenshire and Angus in Scotland, and are known as Aberdeen Angus in most parts of the world....

, to meet the demand. Farms in America and Britain have attempted to replicate the Kobe traditions, providing their Wagyū herds with beer. U.S meat producers claim that any differences between their less expensive "Kobe-style" beef and true Kobe beef are largely cosmetic. The cattle are fed American and/or British grass and grain, which is different from the more expensive Japanese feed. Cuts of American "Kobe-style" beef tend to have darker meat and a bolder flavor.

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