Introducing our New Selection of Wagyu Beef!
You Need a BBQ, Sherwood Park’s only BBQ specialty retailer is proud to announce that we now have a freezer full of Wagyu Beef in store! We have partnered with Brant Lake Wagyu, one of Alberta’s best Wagyu Beef Breeder’s to stock select cuts of Wagyu style beef right here in the Edmonton area. We all know that Alberta beef is the best, so partnering with his farm was something very important to us. We also are bringing in a selection of steaks and other cuts from Snake River Farms in Idaho. We have opted early on to only bring in the gold graded wagyu from both suppliers because we want to only stock the BEST wagyu available.
What is Wagyu Beef?
Wagyu Beef is a genetic line of cows originating from Japan. These cows are genetically pre-dispositioned to metabolize their fat within the meat instead of making a ore pronounced fat cap on the steaks. This gives the steak a much butterier texture depending on the fat content of the steak you are eating. Over the years the Wagyu blood lines have been brough to North America and been cross bread with everything from Black Angus to Holstein to create Jeff Nonay’s “Wagyu X”. Cross bred American Wagyu and Canadian Wagyu has seen a vast improvement in marbling scores and flavor over the past few years. Many people mistakenly refer to Wagyu Beef as Kobe Beef. While it is not wrong in some instances, Kobe Beef is just a brand of Wagyu that originates in Kobe Japan.
I took a tour of a Wagyu Beef Farm to see how the cows are raised.
After sanitizing my shoes in a little blue sterile container of liquid, I could proceed into the barn. I was led up rows of stalls to see full blood wagyu calves resting in their pens. It was neat to be able to see the cows over the different life stages from calf right up to full grown cow. I was introduced to some of the food that they eat, and the farmer was kind enough to explain to me how they adjust their diet over their lifecycle so that in the final few weeks or months, the diet is changed to optimize their fat production. Many farmers believe that Wagyu is best produced in a stress-free environment, so these cows have plenty of space to always graze and plenty of food and water. This is not anything like producing Foie Gras, where geese are force fed to fatten up their livers, these cows are free to eat as they please.
The BMS score is important, but it’s not everything.
Wagyu Beef is rated on an alpha numeric system, so you can see ratings like A4-7 or A5-9. You might sometimes see a B rating, but you don’t need to worry about that because it doesn’t affect the quality of the meat, the A’s and B’s refer to the total meat yield of the cow. You should just look at the numbers, specifically the last number. The numbers range from 1-12, but most Wagyu usually scores a 6 or higher (below that is usually prime beef or AA, or AAA rated beef). A4 is beef rated 6-8 and A5 beef is rated 8-12. The gold Grade steaks that we bring in from Snake River Farms are required to achieve a BMS Score of 9-12, so you know you are getting the best when you buy one of these steaks.
But it’s so expensive!
Wagyu beef is expensive, there is no way around it. The rarity of the best cows along with the time and energy that goes into producing this meat, not to mention the out of this world flavor keeps the price very high on this product. So, who would pay $100 or more for a steak? People who are celebrating birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions are the most common customers that buy Wagyu Beef. It is a great product to share with a loved one of give as a gift for a special occasion. It is sort of like the one-of-a-kind gift you get for someone who has everything!