via Wikimedia Commons
A5 Wagyu-the pinnacle of steak-is it worth the extreme price? Some think it is overrated, but others idolize this fatty, delicious, scrumptious type of beef. On average, it goes for about $150 a pound! Only certified Japanese farmers can raise calves that contain this unique type of beef, and the cows are treated with luxury and huge meals daily.
Wagyu (Wag-you) originated in Japan and was first imported to America around 1975. Normal cuts of beef have about 3-20% of fat, but with A5 Wagyu, it can be up to 60-70% of fat. That’s right, this kind of cut has more fat than beef. A piece in one’s mouth feels like butter. Furthermore, the fat is so high quality that when left in room temperature or touched by hand, it practically melts. A very special kind of this steak called Miyazaki A5 Wagyu is the best of the best. Wagyu Olympics are held every five years, and it won three awards, which for 15 years has been the greatest meat in Japan.
There are many different types of Wagyu like A4, A3, and American. American Wagyu has more marbling or fat than Prime cuts, but it is still not as good as the A grades because it is made in America and not Japan. Cows who are raised for Wagyu are sent to expert farmers at around the age of seven to ten months old. They cost about $30,000 dollars each to take care of, which is over ten times the amount for a typical American cow. They are given three meals each day that contains high protein and energy such as grain, hay, soy, etc. Some cows can even get intoxicated with sake, as they drink that to have an increased appetite.
Because this grade of meat is such high quality, there are only certain ways to eat it, like tartare, Korean BBQ, or just in small amounts. Some sushi restaurants serve it as nigiri, which is raw fish or meat on some rice. Unlike regular beef, eating it raw is perfectly fine, and the fat can even be healthy. Because A5 and A4 Wagyu are so rich, eating just a small amount makes one feel very full. This is why it is almost always served in tiny quantities.
A5 Wagyu is truly something else that everyone should try at least once. It is everything that humans love, and it’s full of rich and fatty goodness. All in all, although the price can seem questionable, the taste is what really matters.