“Gyutan,” or beef tongue, is the latest trendy cut of meat to hit Japan’s culinary world, according to a profile in The Columbian. The tongue is so popular right now that there is at least one dedicated cow-tongue restaurant in Tokyo, where there are 28 different preparations of the humble tongue.
Just as the U.S. has recently lifted the ban on European-imported beef, Japan loosened its restrictions on American-imported beef in 2013. Both bans stemmed from the discovery of mad cow disease in the countries of origin.
Now, American-imported cow tongue has risen by 150 percent in 2013 over the previous year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. In Japan, cow tongue is a delicacy which has been turned into ice cream, barbecue, and soon, potato chips.
The American consumer doesn’t want it, so let’s export it to somebody that does,” Pete Bonds, president of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association in Fort Worth, told the Columbian.