Tuesday, August 3, 2010
KOBE BEEF, IT IS ALL ABOUT THE HYPE?
Inundated by the vaulted high ceiling stories surrounding Kobe beef, Icheoku saved enough and with great courage, spending $100 plus on a piece of hamburger, set out to fact-check the beef ourselves. Our conclusion, it is a nice piece of meat but would Icheoku spend such an extravagant amount of money for a hamburger again; not any time soon. Kobe beef is just like any other well marinated Angus beef out there but nothing to lavish such an outrageous amount of money on. Our destination-restaurant, a somewhat high-end place which, mindful of possibility of litigation should our article negatively impact their business, we shall not name in this piece. But for the curious minded, once you google 'Kobe-beef' you will find the few select restaurants that serve the delicacy, once you live in a big city, for you to be the judge. Stories abound of Kobe beef being the best beef in the world? That the cows are fed only organic grains and beers; massaged and sometimes kept in a temperature controlled environment? Simply put, that the cows are pampered and treated with utmost TLC and above all, slaughtered humanely and in accordance with tradition. Yet it is still killed for its beef just like any other heifer around the barn and our question is, is a piece of meat really worth the hefty price charged and paid for Kobe beef; and is the over-hyped attention to the meat worth it? Kobe beef for those of you not conversant with it or who have not had time to google it or Wikipedia it, is a beef from Tajma-ushi Wagyu breed of black cattle raised holistically in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture. The meat is a form of delicacy known for its tenderness and beefy flavor. According to traditional practice, beer is fed to the cattle especially during summer months to stimulate their appetite and make them gobble more feeds; this in turn increases their meaty content. While massaging is done to relieve stress and muscle stiffness in the cattle and in order to keep them calm and content?
However, if money is not a problem for you or you are like some of us very inquisitive minded individuals who like to find it out ourselves and who like adventures, Kobe beef is a good piece of meat to treat your palate with. But Icheoku says, don't believe the associated hype; as in a name-the-type-of-beef contest, Kobe beef prepared alongside Angus or any other beef will be hardly distinguishable by any untrained palate. It is just a piece of meat and nutritionists have not given their verdict on whether it provides more protein to the body than any other average Joe-beef out there in our meat markets or grocery stores. But until you are in a position to try it for the heck of it, spend your Benjamin on some other more meaningful and rewarding things than a piece of meat called Kobe-beef, that will like every other food, become an excreta within the next twenty four hours of their consumption. Simply put, Kobe beef is just another over-hyped piece of meat product being propelled by the marketing machine of corporate America and the rest of the world into our purchasing periphery, period!