Understanding Wagyu Beef Grades: A Quick Guide by Premier Food Choice
Of all kinds of beef, perhaps wagyu is the most desired. Loosely translating to “Japanese cattle,” wagyu beef is most known for its rich marbling and wonderful melt-in-your mouth experience that isn’t found in any other type of steak. Specially bred in Japan (alternatively, authentically bred in the US through a highly controlled breeding program that mirrors Japan measures), this type of beef is priced very highly in the market for its exquisite taste.
But before you buy wagyu in-store or try it out in a restaurant, it's important to understand exactly what you're getting. We know it might be a little confusing, so we've prepared a quick guide for you!
IS WAGYU BEEF DIFFERENT FROM KOBE AND MATSUSAKA BEEF?
Kobe and Matsusaka actually refer to brands of wagyu beef, indicating the areas where the cattle comes from. Kobe beef comes from the Hyogo Prefecture while Matsusaka beef comes from the Mie Prefecture. Another popular brand would be Omi beef from Shiga Prefecture. In total, there are about 150 Japanese wagyu beef brands.
WHO GRADES WAGYU BEEF?
The Japanese Meat Grading Association (JMGA) oversees the grading of wagyu beef. They follow a strict scoring system that then gives wagyu its grade.
HOW DOES THE WAGYU GRADING SYSTEM WORK?
In stores, you’ll usually see wagyu labeled with a letter and a number.
Marked by letters from A to C, the yield grade refers to how much usable high-quality meat a cow offers, with a higher yield resulting in a higher grade.
Marked by numbers between 1 to 5, the quality grade refers to a number of factors, namely, marbling, meat color and brightness, firmness and texture of meat, and color, luster, and quality of fat.
Given this, A5 is the highest grade that wagyu beef can get. Thus, it is also the most expensive.
WHERE TO GET THE BEST QUALITY STEAK?
Now that you know all about wagyu beef grades, we’re sure you can’t wait to get a taste of this premium beef. At Premier Food Choice, we offer American Wagyu used in Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide that you can now enjoy from home.
Head over to our website to shop our catalogue and have your meats delivered right to your doorstep!