Wagyu (wah-gyoo) are breeds of beef cattle that originated from Japan and produce tender, marbled beef with a high percentage of intramuscular fat. In Japan, there are four breeds of Wagyu cattle that can be used to produce what is more widely known as just ‘wagyu beef’.
Wagyu are farmed in specific conditions. A stress-free environment is incredibly important for producing wagyu beef that is tender with the best marbling. Stress and high intensity raise the natural adrenaline levels of the animal and can cause tense muscles, stress and as a result – a tough wagyu beef with a lower quality. This goes for any animal/meat product.
Wagyu is bred in South Africa, so long as the cattle are pure bred, or the crossbred wagyu needs to be at least 50% wagyu with a maximum variation of 5%. We won’t go into the nitty gritty details about this, we trust our farmers. You can find more details on Wagyu South Africa.
Why is Wagyu Beef so special (or premium)?
Not just because the breed of cattle come from Japan, but Wagyu is so special for 2 reasons:
- The marbling and flavour of the meat (it’s sought after by meat lovers)
- The care that is taken in breeding, feeding, looking after Wagyu cattle
What is marbling?
As mentioned above, marbling is the intramuscular fat in the meat. It is those beautiful streaks of fat you see between the meat. It creates a tender texture and enhances the flavour.
Don’t confuse marbling with the fat on the outside of the meat, marbling is not chewy fat.
The difference – wagyu vs regular beef?
Apparently wagyu beef contains more monounsaturated fat compared to regular beef, as well as higher levels of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Due to the lower saturated fats. Wagyu is considered more heart-healthy, as it can lower the bad LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol. “Wagyu beef has been likened to olive oil and salmon in terms of its health benefits.” – Times Live
Wagyu also contains good amounts of CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) which is known to boost our health in various ways.
Time to try our Wagyu Beef Burger Patties!
Cook the burger patties for about 3 to 5 minutes per side over high heat until they are a light golden brown colour. Serve as you like, here are our favourite recipes >