A luxurious sensation of taste. Exquisite and healthy.
In the old Japan, cattle were used as pack and draught animals. The animals were selected on their capacity to break down fat to sugars and their capacity to turn these sugars into energy and muscular strength. Scientific research has shown that because of this specific genetics, the intramuscular fat of 100% wagyu meat contains a high content of monounsaturated acids, until 30% more than the much praised angus cow. The effect of reducing cholesterol that these healthy fats have is caused by CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). This is a substance that can be compared with linseed oil and it can only be found in monounsaturated acids. The newest research results were published by the Pennsylvania State University in the United States. You can read these results here. The high degree of marbling – or finely veined – produces tender meat with an exquisite taste. Everyone that has already tasted Wagyu, talks of ‘fat that melts in the mouth’.
It's the genetics of the pure-bred Wagyu that defines it's tenderness and unequalled taste. Don't be tempted by the variations derived from the authentic breed. They are often obtained by cross-breeding of the Wagyu with other breeds such as the Black Angus. There's no label to guarantee the pureness of the meat as a result of which a lot of fake Wagyu meat - called Wagyu Style - is sold. Experts notice the difference in taste immediately, but beginners might get disappointed when this is their first encounter with wagyu meat.
The preparation of the classic wagyu steak needs some elucidation.
- Half an hour before frying you should rub coarse sea salt into the meat;
- The meat should be grilled or fried with little oil (preferably gingili) or butter in the pan. The temperature should be averagely or lightly hot. Well-done is no option. The trick is keeping the monounsaturated acids in the meat. They are the reason that the meat is juicy and the taste sensation luxurious;
- When ready, take the pan of the stove and let the meat rest;
- The taste of the wagyu meat is given it's due by serving it without sauce: daring proof of the highest quality. You are free to season the meat with pepper.
- Wonderful how the meat melts in the mouth and provides you with an edifying culinary enjoyment.
In Japan, the complete wagyu cow - from tenderloin to osso bucco – is processed in excellent preparations.
Needle, loin or prime rib? Don’t be caught out by the many misconceptions on the names and keep your knowledge up-to-date with this document. (Source: ‘Vlees en Wijn’ van Willem Asaert – Uitgeverij Lannoo – ISBN 978-90-209-6733-3 - p. 38 > 41)