Before we jump too far into the U.S. Wagyu market, let us go back and understand the “breed” Wagyu.  There are only four Japanese native breeds – Black (Kuroge), Brown (Akage), Shorthorn (Nihon Tankaku) and Polled (Nihon Mukaku).  These are those cattle that the Japanese perfected over years of careful breeding.

Notice there was no reference to the infamous Kobe beef.  That is because Kobe simply put a Black Wagyu raised in the Hyogo Prefecture which has Kobe as its capital.  There is honestly nothing special about Kobe when it comes to comparison with other Wagyu beef.

In fact, there are some 150 different “brands” of beef in Japan.  Kobe from Hyogo Prefecture, Masusaka from Mie Prefecture and Ohmi from Shiga Prefecture happen to be the most famous but many would argue that most famous does not equate to best quality.  However, we do thank those that placed Wagyu on the map using the beef sourced from the Kobe region within Japan.  And yes, we also thank Kobe Bryant’s parents for seeing that steak “brand” on a menu and naming their son after that meat.

For us however, we know we do not offer “Kobe” beef, we sell Wagyu!  Others may say they sell Kobe and when they do, ask them to prove it – our guess is they will not and cannot.  They are simply using a brand to push their product, a brand they really do not have the right to use.