The meat of the Wagyu is often referred to as Kobe beef. Because the term "Kobe beef" is protected and reserved exclusively to Tajima cattle from the Hyogo Prefecture (which lies in the region of Kobe), Wagyu meat is also known as "Kobe-Style"-beef.
The unique characteristic of Wagyu meat is the marbling grade of the meat. Compared with all other cattle meat, Wagyu have the highest fat marbling content. This is owing to the fact that Wagyu cattle are already genetically predisposed towards marbled muscle. The feeding methods then additionally enhance the marbling. Massaging the animals has an additional positive effect and adjusts the marbling. All of these characteristics make the Wagyu-meat the most expensive meat in the world.
Through centuries of isolation in Japan, the genome of the Wagyu breed remained almost unchanged. However, in Europe and America, many steps have been taken to raise cattle with a low fat rate. This can also cause the beef to loose flavor.
Typical descriptions of Wagyu meat are terms like rich, tasteful, juicy, nutrient-rich and healthy, mostly due to the numerous amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. These “healthy fats” tend to stay in a 2:1 ratio to the saturated fatty acids. This characteristic is unique to the Wagyu. Due to the large proportion of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, Wagyu meat helps to maintain a low cholesterol diet.
It can be said that Wagyu meat is not only a delicious pleasure, but also a healthy alternative to other kinds of beef.