Having reached international fame, you may already be familiar with Kobe’s culinary specialty, known by many as Japanese Wagyu or “Kobe beef“.
Kobe Beef is distinguished by its tender, flavourful meat that is well-marbled with fat. The meat must pass a series of strict testing, as only the highest grades of meat with exceptionally high levels of fat marbling earn the Kobe Beef label.
Historically, eating meat was banned in Japan for more than a thousand years prior to 1868. Cattle in particular, were revered as working animals, for their role in helping sustain agriculture, and were not eaten during this time. Upon the opening of Kobe Port in 1868, Japan once again allowed foreign settlers, and began to adopt Western customs including meat consumption. One British businessman turned his attention the the particular Tajima strain of cattle, which has now become known as Kobe beef. Today, Kobe beef is perhaps the hottest meat in today’s marketplace, attracting to many food lovers from all over the world. Former U.S. President Barack Obama is noted to have specifically ordered Kobe beef upon his visit to Japan in 2009.
There are many different ways to enjoy Kobe Beef, such as steak, shabu shabu and sukiyaki. One of the best ways to enjoy Kobe Beef is at a teppanyaki restaurant, where a chef grills the meat on an iron plate before customers’ eyes – showing off their grilling and slicing techniques.
When visiting Kobe for the Rugby World Cup 2019, don’t pass up the opportunity to savour Kobe Beef!