You are on page 1of 10









Were having steak for dinner! This cry seldom has to be repeated to bring an
American family to the dinner table. Beef is one of the more important meats in the American
diet. It is high in nutritional value, and many people consider it first in flavor. The fact that we
consumed an average of 109.6 pounds of beef and 3.2 pounds of veal per person in 1969 is
evidence of the importance of beef in our eating habits. Our total consumption per person of all
red meats averaged 180.9 pounds. Thus over 60 percent of the meat we ate consisted of beef and

There are many type of meat for beef, such as Kobe Beef. What is Kobe Beef? Kobe beef
comes from the Tajima-gyu breed of cattle found in Japan's Hygo Prefecture, of which Kobe is
the capital and the meat's namesake. Introduced as work animals in the rice cultivation industry
during the 2nd Century, Tajima-gyu became isolated from other breeds in the small pockets of
arable land within Japan's mountainous landscape. Herd isolation and distinctive feeding
techniques are said to have led to unique differences in taste and texture. Kobe beef is renowned
for its superior flavor, tenderness and high amount of intramuscular fat, giving the meat a
marbled appearance.

Because of Buddhist traditions and cultural factors in Japan, eating beef (and meat from
all four-legged animals) was prohibited in Japan for nearly 1000 years, until 1868. In 1868
following the Meiji Restoration, the new leaders of Japan lifted the ban on eating meat in order
to encourage Western habits and weaken the power of the Buddhist influences in the country. It
took another 100 years before meat eating became widespread in Japan after the lifting of the

In spite of the thousand year ban on eating four-legged animals, some say that the history
of Kobe beef spans back to feudal times, when the shogun ate beef from Waygu cattle (the cattle
cultivated for Kobe beef), although most Japanese believe that this is not true.

Wagyu cattle were actually introduced to Japan in the second century BC as working
stock for the cultivation of rice. Because of the isolation of the landscape, the cattle remained
genetically pure.

In about 1955, rice cultivation was mechanized. This led to an increase in the availability
of cattle as a source of beef. At the same time, the Japanese people in general began to
experience a rise in income, making the purchase of beef for dietary purposes more within their
budget. Beef consumption in Japan began to rise.

The Japanese government, in order to protect its domestic beef industry, prohibited the
export of living Wagyu cattle for decades. The first Wagyu cattle were imported to the United
States in 1976 - four bulls in all. Then, in 1993, two males and three females were imported,
followed by 35 cattle in 1994.

As the cattle herd grew in the US, the Wagyu cattle were cross-bred with Angus cattle,
because many Americans found pure Waygu beef too "white". It is this cross-breed that is known
as American-style Kobe beef. American Kobe beef are fed corn, barley, wheat straw and alfalfa.

Kobe beef is a gourmet delicacy that many consider well worth the price. Both Japanese
and American styles of Kobe beef are available in the United States, primarily in steak houses
and through online ordering.

Its prices value must be also be credited to the mysterious rearing technique that causes
delectable flavor and texture. There are three major stories that crop up time and time again that
have achieved somewhat of urban legend status. The first is that the cows are given beer to
induce appetite. The second is that they are massaged daily, sometimes with sake (Japanese rice
wine), as a proxy for exercise in the tight living quarters and to further accentuate the marbling
that Kobe beef is so well known for. And the third is that classical music is played to them as a
relaxation technique and at feeding time so they associate the music with eating and hence the
music improves their appetite. While there is no hard evidence to suggest that any of these
techniques improve flavor or texture, they certainly give the imagery of the cows living as kings,
adding to the decadence of a Kobe beef meal.

Besides, brushing cattle with sake is another practice in Japan. Some producer in Japan believes
that hair coat and softness of skin are related to meat quality. It's believed brushing the hair coat
with sake improves the appearance and softness of the animal and is therefore of economic
importance. Other than this mysterious technique, the kind of feeding also important to get a
high quality Kobe beef. As well as dried pasture forage and grasses such as rice straw, they are
fed a diet of nutrition-rich feed supplements made by blending together soybean, corn, barley,
wheat bran, and various other ingredients. They are given no pasture grass at all to eat. Water,
too, is very important besides feed. This is the reason why there are many cattle-rearing farms in
areas with good, clean water

Next, on the whole, calves are raised on breeding farms to the age of eight to nine months, after
which they are put on show in the calf livestock market. Then, they are raised and fattened in
feeding farms for about two years. Once they reach maturity, on average 30 to 32 months from
birth, they are slaughtered and sent to the meat market. In particular, it takes an extra two to four
months to raise Tajima-gyu cows compared with the regular Japanese Black domestic breed of
Wagyu cattle. This is how they classified the beef was a Kobe beef.

Kobe beef refers to meat from Tajima-gyu cows certified by the Kobe Beef Distribution &
Promotion Council. Tajima-gyu cows, the "motoushi" or purebred seedstock cattle, have
maintained a pure bloodline since the Edo period (1615 to 1867) to the present day. Protecting
this lineage has also meant protecting its delicious taste, and this contributes to the high cost of
producing this delicacy. Although Kobe beef delights the palates of people around the world, it
accounts for a mere 0.16% of total beef consumption in Japan. This scarcity is another factor
contributing to its high price. A major factor in the quality of Kobe steaks is the uncompromising
regulations the region uses for its cattle. To be labelled Kobe, cattle must meet the following six
standards upon slaughter were bullock (steer) or virgin cow, Tajima-Gyu born within Hyogo
Prefecture, fed on a farm within Hyogo Prefecture, marbling rating of 4 or higher on a point
scale and meat quality rating (BMS) of 6 or higher on a 12 point scale. Kobe beef is known for
its striking marbling. This marbling adds to the flavor of the beef, but it also adds to the cost.
Because of quality meat. For example, the price was around $200 per portion for a steak and $50
for a burger.

With the extensive marbling in Kobe-style beef, do not add extra fat to the meat before
cooking. In fact, this type of beef cooks best when seared in a hot pan on the stovetop to catch all
the juices. Cast-iron pans work great for Kobe-style beef. Searing Kobe-style beef on the
stovetop also applies to burgers, sirloin steaks, flat iron steaks, or other cuts you may find.

Some experts suggest cooking Kobe-style beef to medium doneness, as the fat needs
plenty of time to melt into the meat. With any meat, it helps the cooking process to remove
excess surface moisture, so pat it down with dry paper towels before cooking. That tip is actually
more important than letting meat come to room temperature, a theory which has been debunked
by science-curious chefs such as the authors of this article from The Food Lab at

For example the dish we can do with kobe beef is:

Figure 1: Kobe Beef Ramen Yazawa

Figure 2: Kobe beef burger

Figure 3: Kobe Beef steak


In conclusion, Kobe Beef is known as the most expensive beef in the world. Even though,
the price is expensive but still have a high demand. However, Americans believe that the reason
why Kobe Beef has the well-known marbling that it has is because what the farmers feed to the
cow. What the cattle eat will determine the quality of the meat itself. While the Japanese believe
that you have to treat the cattle with care. One of the methods that they use is play music and do
massages for the cows. As a result the cows would not be stressed out and hence give out a high
quality and tasteful product.

Daley, B. (2013). Kobe Beef Explained. Ask for Proof of Origin When Ordering. Retrieved on
13th June 2017 from

Frazier, K. (n.d). History of Kobe Beef. Retrieved on the 13th June 2017 from

Longworth, John. (2004). The History of The Kobe Beef in Japan. Retrieved on the 10th June
2017 from

Olmsted, L. (2016). Kobe Beef in the U.S. is Basically a Huge Sham. Retrieved on the 11th June
2017 from

Korteman, J. (2014). Japan's Kobe Beef: What Makes It Special. Retrieved on June 13th 2017

Kobe Beef Tourist Association will contribute to the maintenance of brand value of Kobe Beef.
(n.d.). Retrieved June 13, 2017, from

Related Interests