What is wagyu beef and why the hefty price tag?
Chances are you’ve heard of the term ‘wagyu’ or seen it on a menu – as the ubiquitous lip-smacking burger or perhaps as a cut of steak. Either way, your eyes probably start watering from shock when you see what it costs.
You should be pleased to know though that it’s actually much cheaper in South Africa than it is overseas – where you are likely to pay around R3000 per kilogram. Disclaimer: I only know this because my father is a farmer and wagyu breeder in the Eastern Cape who has many friends and business associates in the USA, Australia and New Zealand where wagyu is highly prized for its exceptional meat quality.
What is wagyu? (pronounced ‘wag-you’)
Wagyu is essentially a generic name for Japanese beef. It’s also commonly known as Kobe beef but much like the origin designation rules around Champagne, we can only call it Kobe beef if it’s from the Kobe region of Japan. ‘Wa’ meaning Japanese and ‘gyu’ meaning cow. They were originally draft animals used in Japanese agriculture and were selected for their physical endurance.
Since then the world has figured out that they also produce some of the best beef around. There’s even a myth that the cattle are given beer to increase their appetite and are massaged daily and although this may have actually happened once, it’s definitely not an industry-wide standard and isn’t the reason for the meat’s premium price tag. The secret lies in the animals’ marbling. Every chef’s holy grail.
What the heck is marbling?
Marbling refers to the small flecks of fat that can be found in between the muscle tissue. And it’s not just any fat. This special fat (and yes, I’m going to call it special because it really is), has a low melting point – between 18°C and 20°C. Which means that the fat literally melts into the meat, producing a buttery flavour that’s rich and juicy while having a silky tender texture. And it’s this sensation – of the meat melting in your mouth, that really makes wagyu beef a magical and moreish eating experience.
The ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat in wagyu is higher than in other beef, so it’s also slightly more healthy as it offers high concentrations of essential fatty acids and has a higher percentage of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol when compared to other types of beef.
|MARBLING||PRIMAL CUTS||PRICE PER KG||MARBLING||PRICE PER KG|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Fillet||R965,00||MS7 PLUS||R1,125,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Sirloin||R862,00||MS7 PLUS||R992,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Rump||R721,00||MS7 PLUS||R821,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Prime Rib||R660,00||MS7 PLUS||R762,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Biltong||R585,00||MS7 PLUS||R585,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu T-Bone||R660,00||MS7 PLUS||R762,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Oxtail||R149,00||MS7 PLUS||R149,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Brisket||R240,00||MS7 PLUS||R250,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu 200g||R164,00||MS7 PLUS||R164,00|
|Pure Beef Patty|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Pure Beef||R174,00||MS7 PLUS||R174,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Tongue||R96,00||MS7 PLUS||R96,00|
|MS4 – MS6||Wagyu Carcass (Whole)||R156,00||MS7 PLUS||R199,00|
|ALL PRICES ARE EXCL VAT|
|E-mail for orders:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|H/o in Gauteng & Cape Town||Contact: 082 253 3053|
Our prices are market related and are therefor subject to change without notice.