• The words Kobe beef are used a lot when people talk about a luxury dining experience. To put it simply, while all Kobe beef is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe beef. Not surprisingly most people are, hopefully we can give you the information you need to be informed the next time you are looking to purchase Kobe/Wagyu beef.

In Japan Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow “and refers to any one of four breeds of cattle and is often named for the region it is raised in. Kobe is one such name. For beef to named Kobe, it must come from the Hyogo Prefecture in Japan and be raised to the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association rules.

In 2016, only eight (8) restaurants in the United States served registered Kobe beef and none was available on the open market for consumers to purchase. This rarity and the quality of the beef means that prices are typically $50 or more per ounce, depending on the quality of the product.

So that is a quick explanation on what legitimate Kobe beef is, so what about Wagyu?

Outside of Japan the term Wagyu should refer to fullblood cattle bred from the original Japanese breeds. Fullblood cattle from these strains retain the traits that produce a superior tasting beef.

Consumers should be aware that there are no laws stopping sellers from calling their beef Kobe or claiming that their Wagyu is fullblood and not a mixed breed variety.

The best way to protect yourself is to buy your beef from a reputable breeder like Grazing Meadows Wagyu.