Japanese Wagyu Beef Is Back

After a 2-year break, the coveted beef can be sold in the United States again
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

What’s that? You had Wagyu beef just last night?

Unfortunately, whatever Wagyu you’ve had in the last couple years wasn’t from Japan — imports of authentic Japanese Wagyu beef were banned in April 2010 due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. While the disease rarely infects humans, global exports of this luxurious beef were halted due to foot-and-mouth’s highly infectious rate between animals.

Now, nearly three years later, DeBragga meat distributors are now offering authentic Wagyu straight from Japan, both through wholesale and online retail channels. In a press release, the company says it deals exclusively in the highest-quality beef, designated A5, and is selling to restaurants, hospitality industry business, and individual consumers.

As The New York Times reports, restaurants in the last two years have been making do with Wagyu cattle raised in the United States or Australia, but it’s not the same. According to them, American Wagyu is "beefier-tasting, more like a super tender, classic American steak," while Australian Wagyu is "closer in flavor and texture to the Japanese, but shy of the ultimate Wagyu experience."

Guess you’ll just have to try it to find out.

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