The Kobe beef, quality meat reputed to be one of the best in the world. Certified after a long examination of its quality, color and smell. It is the costly and time-consuming production process that drives up prices. Work based on the welfare and excellent nutrition of animals. But for all that, is it a meat reserved for the richest?
Kôbe beef, a unique gastronomic experience
Before looking in more detail on the price of this meat, we must first discuss its history. We talk a lot about Wagyu beef or Japanese beef. Well it’s just the kind of bovid from japan in which one breed, Tajima beef, will become after evaluation of Kobe beef. If you want to know more about the appellation Kobe beef, you can also watch this article on meat certification.
The history of Kôbe beef
Before the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Japanese consumed little or no meat because of Buddhist precepts. Respect for other forms of life is one of the founding concepts of this religion. Since arriving in Japan at 6e century the Japanese thus abstained, under the impulse of the elites, to consume it, but everything changed after 1868.
An English trader based in Kôbe, Hyôgo Prefecture wanted to consume the meat of a Wagyû beef that he had received from a local farmer. He loved the marbled taste of the meat and recommended this dish to everyone. This is how the story of the Kôbe beef began. Today, Kôbe beef is one of the best meats, but also one of the most expensive per kilo in the world.
It is in surprise that we mainly taste the Kôbe beef in the eponymous city. In Japan, a multitude of restaurants offer this quality meat on their menu. Everyone agrees that Kôbe’s beouf is one if not the most tender meat in the world, thanks to the fat running through the muscle, it literally melts in your mouth. Breeders devote a large part of their resources to the welfare of the animal. Wagyû beef is massaged, fed with quality cereals (millet, rice), hydrated with pure water, all this so that the muscle is loaded with fat. Critics also note a marbled taste unique to this meat. You will have more details on the production of Kobe beef in an updated article here.
Is Kobe beef the most expensive meat in the world?
Before talking about the price per kilo, we must find an establishment where to taste this meat. For this there is a register where the restaurants supplying themselves with quality Kobe beef that you can find here. Let us now come to the annoying question: the price of Kobe beef is it that high?
In restaurants, you will find different dishes at different prices. Take for example the menus of two of the most famous and renowned Kôbe beef restaurants in Hyôgo Prefecture, but also from all over Japan: Môriya and Steak Aoyama. These two establishments offer menus ranging from 6,000 yen to 16,000 yen maximum, i.e. between 55 and 150 euros. This corresponds to the prices of dishes from starred restaurants. Whatever the menu, you will be entitled to a piece of meat, a steak, a sirloin. You will not have a kilo but rather 150 grams accompanied by a salad, grilled vegetables, rice and tea.
The difference between these menus is based on the quality of the meat used. So the more we go up in prices, the closer we get to meat A5, the highest quality achievable.
In the end, Kôbe beef is an expensive meat, but far from being inaccessible, it costs around € 370 per kilo. The most expensive meat in the world comes from a Blonde d’Aquitaine cow. It is a dish to be tasted once in a lifetime. Eating Kobe beef remains an experience worth trying if you go to japan. 150 euros is not expensive paid to be able to taste quality meat, prepared with great care. You will inevitably find a menu within your budget.