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What is the BFD with Kobe Beef?

March 4th, 2010 2 Comments

With the title of this post you know that one of these steaks is Kobe beef, the other is not.  Do you know which is the Kobe?  If you’re from Texas there is no question in your mind that the cut on the right, with more marbeling, is clearly the Kobe.  Now you’re thinking to youself, “but I like leaner cuts, that’s why I order a filet.”  You order the filet because it has less fat throughout the cut and therefore is the healthy red meat choice.  But one bite of a beautifully marbled rib-eye would send your hand to your mouth, because as a lady, you have to cover your full mouth as you couldn’t stop yourself from saying “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, that is so good.”

Yes ladies, fatty meat is delcious (hence the obsession with bacon).

But I digress.

The question here is, what the hell is so special about Kobe beef that makes it so expensive.  I could explain it to you, but I feel as though The Houston Foodie, whose blog I have recently started following says it best.

Though it’s sometimes hard to separate hype from reality — the steak from the sizzle if you will — one thing’s for sure: real Kobe beef is very hard to come by…Let’s establish what Kobe beef is and isn’t. Kobe beef is a cut of meat from…Wagyu cattle that is raised and slaughtered in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan (the city of Kobe being the capital). The traditions associated with raising cattle in this area of Japan — including feeding the cows beer and massaging them with sake — are supposedly ideal for producing the highest quality beef from Wagyu cattle (the breed itself is genetically predisposed to producing highly marbled beef). It’s this intensive process combined with limited production that makes real Kobe beef scarce, and therefore expensive.”

Mystery solved.  But…so what?

He goes on to say that most restaurants don’t serve the real deal, which they should disclose on their menu by saying “American Kobe” or “Kobe-style” but they don’t.  So let’s just say you are at the creme de la creme of steakhouses, for instance Vic & Anthony’s, why should you order Kobe over USDA prime tenderloin.  Here’s what Mr. Foodie has to say:

“We ordered two A5 Kobe tenderloins and two USDA prime tenderloins, both cooked medium-rare. The differences were striking. Texture-wise, the Kobe beef is buttery and velvety, and exceedingly tender. Obviously, the traditional USDA prime tenderloin is tender but much firmer. But the real difference is in the flavor. The only way I can describe the Kobe is to say that this is what beef might taste like if a scientist decided to “perfect” the flavor of beef. The beef flavor is exceedingly refined and concentrated.”

After reading this description I am sure true Kobe has never caressed my taste buds, but it’s something to look forward to.

For the full article, click here.  And I suggest following him on Twitter.  You might learn a food fact or two.  Houstonians would be interested to see what he has to say about the new hot spots in town.


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  • Sandy Sharma

    Interesting article, I always wondered why and whee it came from.