To qualify; each must be a pure-bred Tajima calf born and breed to a certified famer and facility in the Hyogo prefecture feeding only on local grasses and drinking only local water. Kobe beef can only come from a virgin cow or castrated male and the gross processed weight can be no more than 470 KG. The animal must be processed in either Kobe, Nishinomiya, Sanda, Kakogawa or Himeji. It is said that because the terrain in the region is very hilly and the animal’s movement restricted; that over the centuries, the cattle from Kobe have developed a unique fat that is intersperse throughout the muscle in a way that is unlike any other animal as you can clearly see in the pictures. The fat in Kobe beef has a much lower melting point than any other beef. This is what gives Kobe beef the “melt in your mouth” quality it has become known for. Due to the stringent standards set forth by the government only about 3000 animals receive the certification in a year. Dedication to detail, shipping and the laws of supply and demand contribute greatly to the cost of Kobe beef, making it the most expensive beef on the planet with wholesale prices for whole Ribeyes and Striploins in the neighborhood of $100/lb. Genuine Japanese Kobe Beef scores higher on all industry standard tests than any other beef produced. In order to receive a grade of A5; the highest score available, 5 factors are taken into consideration: the purity of bloodlines, marbling, firmness and texture, color and brightness as well as quality, luster and color of the fat. Kobe scores between 11 and 12 (12 being the highest) on the BMS (Beef Marbling Score). On the BCS, (Beef Coloration Score) with 1 being the lightest and 7 the darkest, Kobe scores between 3 and 5. On the BFS (Beef Fat Score), with 1 (on a scale of 1 to 7) being the whitest and best score, Kobe comes in between 1 and 3. No other beef produced can match the scores given genuine Japanese Kobe Beef
The ultimate beef experience. Tales of hand-massaging, sake drinking bovines from the Kobe region of Japan have been with us for years. However; the importation of this fabled meat has only become legal again since the beginning of 2013. And while in Australia, Chile and here in the United States a “Kobe” bloodline has been raised since 1970, the farming has really picked-up steam since the 90’s and now has become one of the hottest new items on menus and in supermarkets across the country. There is only one true Kobe Beef. The brood stock of which has been cross-bred with American Angus cattle to give us the Wagyu that is what you see in the marketplace today. While Wagyu (the translation being Japanese Cow) has many of the characteristics of its famous cousin, there is no substitute for genuine Japanese Kobe. So protective is the government of Japan about genuine Kobe that each head of cattle must abide by 7 rules in order to qualify for the designation. Each animal is given a ten digit identification number listing date and place of birth, heritage, gender and breed. This certificate remains with the animal and records moving, sales and processing dates and is presented to the buyer of the finished product.