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Old 06-21-2012, 12:53 PM
 
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Default Best place to buy KOBE beef ---- in Virginia -----

Does anyone know where one might be able to buy premium Kobe beef?
i've heard that regardless of what you buy here in the US, it'll be nothing like the real deal in Japan, but i guess one can try to get as close to it as possible......

any ideas as far as where to purchase some authentic Kobe beef here in Northern VA?

thanks.
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
Does anyone know where one might be able to buy premium Kobe beef?
Japan.

== "...Despite many American beef products being labeled Kobe, authentic Japanese
== Kobe beef is not available for sale anywhere outside Japan, with the solitary
== exception of Macau..."

Kobe beef - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

============

This Google search returns some results, quality unknown: http://www.google.com/search?q=virginia+Wagyu
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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You certainly won't find any legitimate Kobe beef in the US as stated by the post above.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
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Forbes ran this excellent three-part series on "Kobe" beef and how you can't buy it in the US, at any price.
...Despite the fact that Kobe Beef, as well as Kobe Meat and Kobe Cattle, are patented terms and/or trademarks in Japan, these are neither recognized nor protected by U.S. law. As far as regulators here are concerned, Kobe beef, unlike say Florida Orange Juice, means almost nothing (the “beef” part should still come from cows). Like the recent surge in the use of the unregulated label term “natural,” it is an adjective used mainly to confuse consumers and profit from that confusion....

In Japan, to be Kobe requires a pure lineage of Tajima-gyu breed cattle (not any old Japanese breed crossbred with American cattle as is the norm here). The animal must also have been born in Hyogo prefecture and thus raised on the local grasses and water and terroir its entire life. It must be a bull or virgin cow, and it takes considerably longer to raise a Tajima-gyu for consumption than most other breeds, adding to the cost. It must be processed in a Hyogo slaughterhouse – none of which export to the US – and then pass a strict government grading exam. There are only 3000 head of certified Kobe Beef cattle in the world, and none are outside Japan.

And here's the author's summary of the main points in his three-part series.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 06-21-2012 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:19 PM
 
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It's as easy as 1-2-3...

1. Become a country.
2. Open diplomatic relations with Japan.
3. Have your amabassador there send you some.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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You can get locally-raised Wagyu beef from Dominion Star Natural Foods.
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmurphy View Post
You can get locally-raised Wagyu beef from Dominion Star Natural Foods.
I'm actually glad someone posted a place for the OP to buy some fancy beef! For the record, I never meant he shouldn't buy something labeled "Wagyu." If he's OK with the price and likes the taste, go for it. He should just be aware the term means absolutely nothing:
[indent]The website of the AWA clearly says the term Wagyu includes everything from Angus to Holstein cows, but proposes that the selective breeding of “American Wagyu” – it pains me just to type those words – began with the importation of Tottori Black and Kumamoto Red bulls. Now these actually happen to be two very high quality breeds that in some cases produce beef that in Japan is considered superior to Kobe. But even if all producers were honest and stuck to these bloodlines, American Kobe would be questionable since the red breed is specifically banned in the production of real Kobe beef. But these bloodlines are not pure, because they have intentionally been crossbred with our cows to produce something that often has only a minority of Japanese breed heredity – yet they still call the result Wagyu.

Moderator Cut

Last edited by Tone509; 06-23-2012 at 06:37 PM.. Reason: Limiting to brief quotes minimizes copyright issues
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:10 PM
 
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thanks guys....i knew that i wouldn't be able to buy authentic Kobe been outside Japan....although i certainly didn't know why.....so thank you Carlingtonian and others for explaining!
I did want to get as close to Kobe as possible without "becoming a country" and going through the hassles of dealing with my ambassador in getting the beef :-)

Now that we've established i can't get what i really want without making a trip to Japan, the question i guess is whether the Wagyu is worth the money.

thoughts?
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Taxmanistan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
thanks guys....i knew that i wouldn't be able to buy authentic Kobe been outside Japan....although i certainly didn't know why.....so thank you Carlingtonian and others for explaining!
I did want to get as close to Kobe as possible without "becoming a country" and going through the hassles of dealing with my ambassador in getting the beef :-)

Now that we've established i can't get what i really want without making a trip to Japan, the question i guess is whether the Wagyu is worth the money.

thoughts?
Happy to weigh in!

It's worth the money if the taste is worth it to you. For me, it wouldn't be. I once had a so-called "Wagyu" burger somewhere, and it was a good burger but nothing out of the ordinary--which isn't surprising.

I wonder if it would make sense for you to go to places like Dominion Star (recommended above), or maybe Dean/Deluca, Whole Foods, or Wegman's, and ask for specific breeds of Japanese beef (raised here, since importation of Japanese beef is banned). Or just ask for heavily marbled beef, since that seems to be a significant aspect of what makes real Kobe beef distinctive.

Last edited by Carlingtonian; 06-21-2012 at 03:40 PM..
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:31 PM
 
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I would bet - without any knowledge of it whatsoever - that real Kobe beef is served fresh, not aged.
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