WAGYU - a Japanese beef cattle breed – derive from native Asian cattle. 'WAGYU' refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where 'Wa' means Japanese and 'gyu' means cow.
Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.
The Japanese Black was primarily used as the “workhorse” prior to the turn of the 20th Century. It is raised in most Prefectures of Japan, and more than 90% of Wagyu raised and fattened in Japan is of this breed. Fine strips of fat are found even in its lean meat (known as marbling). The flavor of the fat is exquisite, with a buttery, tender texture.
Also known as “Akaushi" the Japanese Brown is raised primarily in Kumamoto and Kochi Prefectures. They can be distinguish by the dark points on its nose and feet. Among its characteristics is its low fat content, about 12% or less. Because it contains much lean meat, its tastiness and pleasantly firm texture is highly enjoyable. Its fat is also not very heavy but is of fine texture, and has been attracting a great deal of attention by way of its healthiness and mild taste.
The Japanese Polled was produced through crossbreeding of Aberdeen Angus imported from Scotland with the indigenous Japanese Black in 1920. Its characteristics include its high lean meat content and distinctive Wagyu taste. It contains a high percentage of amino acid and has a rich chewy, meaty flavor. The current population of Japanese Polled is the smallest of all four(4) breeds with only several hundred remain in existence today.
Only found in Japan
The Japanese Shorthorn is raised mainly in the Tohoku Region. Its meat contains much lean meat and low fat content, and has a mild and savory flavor. It also contains inosinic acid (an compound important in metabolism) and glutamic acid, which are substances that enhance flavor and protein builder.
Only found in Japan