The city of Kagoshima, which is in the far south of Japan, is known for its temperate temperature. The Kagoshima prefecture produces the most Japanese beef, at a whopping 20%. Japanese Black cattle are used to generate most Kagoshima meat (Kuroge Washu). Kagoshima Black cattle are blessed with the sun and natural surroundings of a warm tropical island. It can be described as full-bodied and ultimately tender with perfectly balanced marbling.
What Does Wagyu Means?
Wagyu – a Japanese beef cattle breed – ‘WAGYU’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow. There are only four breeds considered as Japanese Wagyu. It refers to four unique breeds of purebred cattle:
- Japanese Black* (黒毛和種 Kuroge Washu)
- Japanese Brown* (赤毛和種 Akage Washu)
- Japanese Shorthorn (日本短角和種 Nihon Tankaku Washu)
- Japanese Polled (無角和種 Mukaku Washu)
Japanese Wagyu Beef Grade
The important indicator of wagyu quality is the grade. This classification refers to a universal system, grades awarded by a member of the Japan Meat Grading Association.
The “Yield Grade” is marked by letters from A to C, indicating how much high-quality meat one cow offers, not counting parts such as skin and internal organs, of course. The highest yield grade that can be attained is A.
A number between 1 and 5 then follows this letter – this is the “Quality Grade”. Four criteria determine how high the quality grade is: marbling, meat colour and brightness, firmness and texture of meat, and colour, luster, and quality of fat A5 is the highest grade and, the most expensive.