When you hear someone talk about Wagyu beef, images of luxury are probably the first things that pop into your mind. Wagyu beef is some of the world’s finest meat and is well-known for its thick, evenly distributed marbling. Unfortunately, this reputation also comes with a lot of rumors, some of which say that the Wagyu cows are massaged to help redistribute the fat. While some farmers do massage their cows, the reasoning behind it is entirely different and not at all mandatory.

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About Wagyu Beef

There are quite a few delicacies in the world of food. Caviar, truffle, and wagyu beef are only a few that are well-known. They are given these labels because they are often rare, incredibly delicious, or hard to obtain.

Even though a majority of the most expensive and rare foods in the world come from the ocean, Wagyu beef is one that people are dying to get their hands on.

Wagyu beef first came about around 2,000 years ago among Japanese cattle. Tales have been passed down about the cows and how they are fed beer, played classical music, and massaged. While all of these things are technically true, there is a lot more context that needs to be understood.

Slices of Wagyu beef on the grill
Image Credit: SZimmermann, Pixabay

Why Are Wagyu Cows Massaged?

There are certainly some farmers who feed their cows beer in the summer and massage their cows, but this isn’t a mandatory part of raising Wagyu beef. In fact, it’s more common for the cows to get massages to relieve stress from the cows who don’t roam freely during the day. It doesn’t actually have anything to do with the marbling.

Why Is Wagyu Beef So Expensive?

Wagyu has become popular because of the fantastic distribution of fat throughout the muscle. When cooked properly, it tastes unlike any other steak you’ve had. A single 16-ounce steak costs roughly $240 because of it.

There are many other countries that have tried to replicate this type of marbling. However, only true Wagyu comes from Japan.

How Does Wagyu Differ from Regular Beef?

The most significant difference that you’re probably concerned with is taste. Wagyu beef is much more succulent and has more umami flavor than regular beef. The distribution of fat also makes it feel like the meat literally melts in your mouth.

Are Wagyu Cattle Treated Right?

Believe it or not, Wagyu cattle get treated much better than the cattle in the United States and elsewhere do. These cows live in stress-free environments. They are fed special foods to help increase fat in the body, but other than that, they spend the majority of their lives being fat and happy.

Wagyu Cow
Image Credit: Ken Kojima,Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Not all of us have the luxury of spending a large amount of money on a Wagyu beef dinner. If you ever find yourself in the position to afford it, you might as well treat yourself and see what this delicious beef is all about. The stories about how the Wagyu cattle are treated might not be 100 percent true, but there is still some honesty behind them. These cattle are still treated with respect, and their unforgettable flavor is why they’re one of the most sought-after foods in the world right now.

Featured Image Credit: ymgerman, Shutterstock