Wagyu & Kobe Beef: What’s The Difference?

If you know your steak, then you’ll know that Wagyu & Kobe beef is considered to be one of the best delicacies on the planet. However, it’s not always easy to understand the difference between them. Today, we’re going to simplify it for you.


Matsusaka Wagyu

Wagyu translates to “Japanese cattle”. That’s exactly where it comes from, although you will find it raised in other countries of the world such as Australia and the USA. Wagyu, which is sold as 100% Wagyu, such as the type you’ll find at Lone Mountain Wagyu, is classified as true Wagyu beef. In some restaurants, you may find “percentage Wagyu”, which isn’t the same thing.

Kobe is a type of Wagyu but comes from a strain of Japanese cattle called Tajima. It’s quite common to find Kobe beef which isn’t certified as legitimate. There is a vast range of factors that come into determining whether Kobe beef is authentic. This process of determining authenticity is incredibly strict. In fact, it’s so strict that it carries a 10-digit number to prove legitimacy in restaurants.

Kobe cows are highly protected and fed on a strict diet. They are never fed pasture grass, for starters. Instead, they dine on nutrition-rich supplements as well as dried pasture forage and grasses. There are all sorts of strict enforcements placed on determining the legitimacy of the meat. Because of this rigorous testing is enforced by the Japanese Meat Grading Association. It also has to go through a Tajima-Gyu marble grading scale, as well as being classified as the right age for certification.



While the Kobe trademark is strictly enforced in Japan, the same isn’t the case in the USA. As a result, many restaurants classify beef as Kobe beef, although it’s often just a form of American Wagyu. The best way to determine this is by looking at the price. Delicacies come with a high price, so if you’re paying less than you’d expect, you’re probably not getting the real thing.

So, you might be wondering what’s so good about Wagyu in the first place? Well, Wagyu cattle go through the process of marbling unlike any other forms of meat out there, contributing to a fantastic taste. Wagyu has a buttery flavour, particularly due to the fact that it melts at low temperatures compared to other cattle. The fat in the meat is unsaturated and low in fatty acids, contributing to a healthy meal as well as a tasty one.

As we’ve already mentioned, Wagyu & Kobe beef are one of the most highly sought after meats in the world. They are a delicacy of the highest order, and they come with a fairly hefty price. That said, there’s no substitute for the taste of premium beef. Unsurprisingly, this type of meat is a continually popular choice at restaurants across the world. If you’re planning to buy some of your own, remember to check it’s from a legitimate source. Otherwise, you won’t be getting the real thing, and you’ll end up with a lower quality portion of meat.