The worldwide enthusiasm for Japanese food has increased the popularity of quality “wagyu.”
Raised in the rich natural environment, beef cattle in Aomori are fed quality grass feed which keeps them healthy. There are over 90 common grazing areas around the foothills of Hakkoda, Towada Lake, Shimokita peninsula, and the Tsugaru region, where approximately 4,300 head range freely. Not only do they benefit from the lush green fields and pure water of Aomori, they also are cared for by passionate cattle farmers.
Beef cattle raised in Aomori are classified into four major breeds, Japanese Black wagyu, Japanese Shorthorn wagyu, crossbreed, and dairy cattle (Holstein cows). The beef is categorized further when sold in the market, some with their own brand names.
Japanese Black Wagyu
The major brands of beef in Aomori are Kuraishigyu, Towadako Wagyu, and Takko Beef. The Kuraishigyu have been especially well-received in the metropolitan areas, receiving the highest award of distinction from the Japan Meat Grading Association.
Characteristics of Japanese Black Wagyu
- The fine grained tender flesh with beautiful marbling is a unique feature of the Japanese Black wagyu beef. It is especially suited to Japanese cuisine.
- With a high fat content, the meat softens even at low temperatures. The meat has a melt-in-your-mouth texture with rich, juicy flavor.
- It contains high levels of oleic acid, a substance often found in olive oils and nuts.
Japanese Shorthorn Wagyu
Born in spring, Japanese Shorthorn calves range freely with their mothers in the vast foothills of Hakkoda until the end of fall. They grow healthy, thanks to the nutritious grass and rich environment.
Characteristics of Japanese Shorthorn Wagyu
- The beef is a lean meat low in fat.
- The meat has higher levels of glutamine acid and alanine amino acid when compared to Japanese Black wagyu. Due to its low fat content, Japanese Shorthorn wagyu has a complex flavor and the umami of red meat.
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Depending on the season and weather, this product may not be available.