What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu beef is a type of high quality beef that originated in Japan. The word “Wagyu” literally translates as “Japanese cow” in English. What sets Wagyu beef apart from regular beef is the unique marbling through the meat. This creates a distinct flavor and texture, making Wagyu beef highly valued by food enthusiasts and chefs around the world.
For centuries Wagyu beef was only produced in Japan, and the Japanese were very protective of their Wagyu cattle and their breeding methods. There are many myths around the methods the Japanese used. Some of these involve massaging the cattle with beer to relax their muscles, exposing them to music therapy, or soaking their feed in sake mash, a by-product of sake production. While most of those aren’t actually true, they speak to the meticulous care and attention that is given to raising Wagyu cattle in Japan.
Wagyu Comes to the US
In the 1970s, Wagyu beef began to be imported from Japan. These imports were limited and were mainly seen in very high end restaurants. Then, in the 1990s, a group of US cattlemen, interested in improving the quality of beef produced in this county were able to have three Wagyu cows and two Wagyu bulls imported to the United States. This began the era of producing Wagyu beef domestically.
These first Wagyu beef producers in the United States established the American Wagyu Association in 1990 to promote the breed and educate consumers about its unique qualities. Since them Wagyu cattle have been bred and raised in the United States, and the beef is now more widely available in the form of steaks, burgers, and even hot dogs.
Today there are a number of ranches that specialize in raising Wagyu cattle using traditional methods, such as feeding them a specific diet, providing them with ample space to move around, and paying close attention to the overall welfare of the animals. The beef they produce has become increasingly popular among consumers who are willing to pay a premium for its rich flavor and tenderness.
Due to its increasing popularity, Wagyu beef is now produced in many other countries, including Australia and Canada. However, not all beef that is called “Wagyu” can meet the strict standards of quality and breeding required to considered genuine Wagyu beef.
Where to Find Authentic Wagyu Beef
Triple T Ranch is a small family owned Wagyu beef producer located in southern Alabama. All of our cattle are registered through the American Wagyu Association, ensuring their authenticity and quality. We raise our cattle without added hormones, antibiotics, or animal by products so as to provide our customers with the juiciest, most tender cuts of meat. Our cattle are well cared for, and we use only proven husbandry practices to ensure the health and prosperity of our herd. If you’d like more information about our beef, contact us through our website or give us a call at 251-333-2800.