A photo of a kilogram of meat with a price tag written Ksh20,000 has been around social media, with most wondering why the piece of steak costs so much.
TBEN.co.ke established that Wagyu beef is a rare meat that originated in Japan.
In fact, the term Wagyu means “Japanese cow” and has been rated for years as the most expensive beef in the world. A Wagyu cow can cost up to 3 million Ksh.
Wagyu refers to four main races – Kuroge, Akage, Nihon Tankakon and Mukaku, which are bred for physical endurance. The unique genetic characteristic is the fact that Wagyu possesses intramuscular fat cells. Fat is distributed more evenly throughout their muscle, making them very tender.
Pieces of cooked wagyu steak
The steak is only sold in high-end butcher shops in the country and a kilogram costs Ksh 20,000 while 300 grams is worth Ksh 7,800.
Experts explain that the piece of steak is rated based on how much meat the cow can produce and the amount of marbling. The higher the marble score, the higher the flavor and the higher the expense.
Often, cows are reared by the breeder until they are 10 months old. After that, they are sold to a feeder farm.
Here they are kept on small farms and fed on high energy concentrates like rice, wheat and hay, until they are 50% fat. It is said that feed fed to animals is very expensive, resulting in high selling prices.
During his world tour, Australian chef Chris Wade said the steak is targeting upscale hotels with gourmet menus.
It’s a four-year process before the meat gets to the restaurant. I have the glory of cutting it, grilling it and serving it to customers who can appreciate it for what it is, ”said Wade as he introduced the meat to Kenya.
The Japanese government has strict regulations on the production of Wagyu to maintain its quality and exclusivity to the Asian nation.
It is not allowed to leave Japan and the only breeds available outside of Japan were mistakenly allowed out in the early 1980s. At the time, six cows were brought to the United States and when the female , considered sterile, became pregnant, the genetics were purchased and brought to Australia.
“We have a very high end Asian clientele in Melbourne who appreciate and pay the best price. I like to use the analogy – some people drive a Ferrari and some drive a Datsun. I serve both to please everyone, “Chief added Wade.
Australian chef Chris Wade at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort