We know that WAGYU beef is delicious, but what is it exactly and how is different?Information supplied by the American WAGYU Association
WAGYU - is comprised of four different Japanese beef cattle breeds – derived from native Asian cattle. 'WAGYU' refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where 'Wa' means Japanese and 'gyu' means cow.
Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.
The unique taste and tenderness of highly marbled Wagyu beef makes for an unrivalled eating experience. That is why Wagyu beef is finding its way into the repertoires of Gourmet cooks and fine restaurants across the US.
Not only is it a gastronomic delight, but it’s healthy for you too. Health experts have discovered the mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in Wagyu than in other beef and, the saturated fat contained in Wagyu is different. Forty percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. The profile of marbled Wagyu beef is more beneficial and healthier to human health.
Wagyu is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Wagyu beef contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels. Foods that are naturally high in CLA have fewer negative health effects.