How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

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Brandon R
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How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#1 Post by Brandon R » March 14th, 2019, 8:17 am

I do most of my grocery shopping at the local Safeway. However, when it comes to nicer, non-everyday ingredients I often go to a more upscale supermarket that tends to have far higher quality meat. In their butcher case, they invariably have some nice looking steaks including your typical ribeyes, NY strips, etc. As with most grocery stores, each tray of cuts is market with the cut and price per pound. Quite often, they have a tray of "Wagyu" ribeyes in the display case at a nice mark-up. They don't, at least to my untrained eye, look like what one would think "Wagyu" steaks should look like. While they look nice and all, they appear to just be normal old USDA prime ribeyes. How loose can businesses get when it comes to the use of Wagyu (or similar) when it comes to selling beef?
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Victor Hong
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#2 Post by Victor Hong » March 14th, 2019, 8:56 am

It seems the Blue Mountain or Kona coffee of beef.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#3 Post by NED VALOIS » March 14th, 2019, 9:12 am


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Brian Tuite
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#4 Post by Brian Tuite » March 14th, 2019, 11:42 am

American Wagyu is not nearly as marbled as Japanese
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#5 Post by Dave English » March 14th, 2019, 2:59 pm

Wagyu...


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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#6 Post by Anton D » March 14th, 2019, 5:44 pm

USDA regulations require only 46.9% Wagyu genetics for beef sold at retail. Exempt from these labelling requirements, restaurants can call any beef Wagyu, and often do.

Basically, if the guy who writes the menu for a restaurant can spell "Wagyu" he can call it Wagyu.

USDA Prime would rate a Wagyu score of 4, IIRC.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#7 Post by Brandon R » March 15th, 2019, 8:36 am

Dang. I figured as much. I, perhaps naively, hoped that this particular store, which is one of the better stores around, would have been above this deception.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#8 Post by johngonzales » March 15th, 2019, 9:00 am

Anton D wrote:
March 14th, 2019, 5:44 pm
USDA regulations require only 46.9% Wagyu genetics for beef sold at retail. Exempt from these labelling requirements, restaurants can call any beef Wagyu, and often do.

Basically, if the guy who writes the menu for a restaurant can spell "Wagyu" he can call it Wagyu.

USDA Prime would rate a Wagyu score of 4, IIRC.
Yes, those were the most interesting parts of the posted article. I wonder how the settled at 46.9%? It would seem that it should be AT LEAST 50%, maybe closer to the wine varietal 75% threshold. I’ve always wonder how much cross-breeding a known, higher-end operation like Snake River Farm does. I took a look at their website, the state that their beef is cross-bred, but don’t state any indication of extent.

I’m really discouraged to here that a restaurant can do what ever they want.

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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#9 Post by Jay Miller » March 15th, 2019, 1:24 pm

Fascinating article, thank you!

My personal once a year splurge is not Kobe but A5 Miyazaki beef.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#10 Post by johngonzales » March 15th, 2019, 4:01 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
March 15th, 2019, 1:24 pm
Fascinating article, thank you!

My personal once a year splurge is not Kobe but A5 Miyazaki beef.
Oh yes, that stuff is unreal. It’s hard to rank “best ever” but Curtis Duffy, ex-Grace in Chicago served some M-A5 that may have been the best piece of beef I’ve ever had.

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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#11 Post by M.Kaplan » March 16th, 2019, 6:22 pm

Kagoshima A5 ribeye at Tamaen last night was killer.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#12 Post by johngonzales » March 16th, 2019, 7:29 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
March 16th, 2019, 6:22 pm
Kagoshima A5 ribeye at Tamaen last night was killer.
My cousin likes that place. Is it by the oz. as far as the Kobe/Wagyu?

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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#13 Post by M.Kaplan » March 17th, 2019, 9:05 am

John,
We ate it as part of a yakiniku tasting menu. I don't know how it is priced on its own.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#14 Post by Marshall Gelb » March 17th, 2019, 11:08 am

johngonzales wrote:
March 15th, 2019, 4:01 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
March 15th, 2019, 1:24 pm
Fascinating article, thank you!

My personal once a year splurge is not Kobe but A5 Miyazaki beef.
Oh yes, that stuff is unreal. It’s hard to rank “best ever” but Curtis Duffy, ex-Grace in Chicago served some M-A5 that may have been the best piece of beef I’ve ever had.
You mean the best bite you ever had! [stirthepothal.gif] We were all starving that night!


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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#15 Post by Marshall Gelb » March 17th, 2019, 11:09 am

M.Kaplan wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 9:05 am
John,
We ate it as part of a yakiniku tasting menu. I don't know how it is priced on its own.
Looking forward to trying that place with you in April! Glad your dinner went well.

Cheers!
Marshall
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#17 Post by Dave English » March 17th, 2019, 3:33 pm

According to the other article posted this place isn't on the list, 'Kobe Beef Style' is a bit misleading. My vehicle is a Ferrari Car Style...

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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#18 Post by ERPark » March 17th, 2019, 9:13 pm

Best I had during multiple trips to Japan was Matsusaka beef. Noticeably better than Japanese Kobe when tasted side by side.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#19 Post by ClarkstonMark » March 18th, 2019, 2:37 am

johngonzales wrote:
March 15th, 2019, 4:01 pm
Jay Miller wrote:
March 15th, 2019, 1:24 pm
Fascinating article, thank you!

My personal once a year splurge is not Kobe but A5 Miyazaki beef.
Oh yes, that stuff is unreal. It’s hard to rank “best ever” but Curtis Duffy, ex-Grace in Chicago served some M-A5 that may have been the best piece of beef I’ve ever had.
Funny you mentione that ..... the best beef I ever had was Miyazaki at Grace.
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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#20 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » March 18th, 2019, 4:25 am

ERPark wrote:
March 17th, 2019, 9:13 pm
Best I had during multiple trips to Japan was Matsusaka beef. Noticeably better than Japanese Kobe when tasted side by side.
Matsusaka is our personal favorite as well, and usually what we seek out in Japan. It strikes me as having a deeper flavor, perhaps a touch funkier. All the best beef in Japan is terrific, though, and I'm splitting hairs on this preference.

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Re: How regulated is the term, "Wagyu?"

#21 Post by Jay Miller » March 18th, 2019, 6:09 am

Yes, that's where I buy it.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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