Wagyu beef is not your normal cut of meat–no, no, no! Maybe you’ve seen it on a menu or passed it at the grocery store, but you never fully understood what it was. Well, that’s why we’re here today to break down exactly what Wagyu beef is and what makes it so special. So, let’s dive into everything you need to know about Wagyu and check out one of the best ranches that offers premium, all-natural cuts to the public.
What is Wagyu?
Wagyu translates to Japanese Cattle, but the name alone doesn’t tell the full story. Back in the 1800s, during the Meiji Restoration, Japan began bringing in new western ideas and culture, including diet. Before the restoration period, the Japanese did not eat beef and only used their cattle as working animals. Well, suddenly, beef became an item on the menu as the government brought in bigger, meatier cattle from foreign countries.
The crossbreeding of Japanese and foreign cattle became popular in the early 1900s until it was stopped in 1910. Japan then selected four of these hybrid breeds that were believed to be better than both native and foreign cattle. These four breeds (Japanese Black, Japanese Brown, Japanese Polled, and Japanese Shorthorn) are what we now refer to as Wagyu–Japanese Black is the most common breed.
Why is Wagyu So Special?
Wagyu beef is known for its gorgeous marbling of fat. You may be familiar with pieces of steak that have a single strip of fat on the outside, but that’s not the case with Wagyu. These breeds of cattle are the only kinds that produce this intramuscular fat (IMF) effect, which gives the meat incredible flavor and juiciness and allows it to easily melt in your mouth.
What is American Wagyu?
Wagyu cattle didn’t come to the United States until the late 1900s, and ranchers began crossbreeding the Japanese cattle with American Angus. The results were a premium piece of meat with slightly less marbling and fat content. Overall, American Wagyu is a bit beefier and doesn’t quite melt in your mouth like Japanese Wagyu, but it’s considered one of the top meats on the market.
The Hufeisen Ranch
The Hufeisn Ranch in Wyoming is where Wagyu meat is still done right. It’s a farm-to-fork operation that uses regenerative agriculture to raise full-blood Japanese Wagyu, American Wagyu, and other premium livestock. No chemicals, antibiotics, or hormones are used at any point of the ranching process, and its customers can always depend on receiving only the best pieces of grass-fed meat.
Grass and Flax Fed Cattle
All the cattle at the Hufeisen Ranch are fed with grass and flax seeds in order to raise the healthiest animals possible. Flax seeds are used to increase the omega-3 levels within the beef, providing numerous health benefits to those who consume the meat. Omega-3 is linked to preventing heart disease, improving eyesight, and lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. So, each time you chow down on a piece of Wagyu from the Hufeisen Ranch, you’ll be doing your body a favor!