Many diners and chefs are often amazed after they have tasted Kobe Beef for the first time. The flavour profile, the higher amount of intramuscular fat, and the claims that it is healthier than other meats, gives this beef a distinct advantage over other options.
The reason why the meat consistently is of a higher quality is also due to the restrictions around meat that is classified Kobe. Firstly, to be truthfully called Kobe Beef, it needs to come from Tajima-gyu cows that have been born and raised in Hyogo Prefecture. The cows should not be cross bred with any other Wagyu cows, and the lineage is often checked for verification. It is because of this, there are only a few thousand cattle that can be rightly classified as Kobe Beef each year.
Every head of cattle is different and produces various grades of meat. Kobe Beef has strict standards on this as well. To be correctly labelled, no piece of Kobe Beef has to have the highest grade of A4 or A5. In terms of the marbling as well, it must have a score of at least 6 (one less than the maximum of 7).
To help give chefs and consumers a way to verify the steak they are purchasing, each piece of beef will be assigned an ID number that will allow it to be tracked back to the cow it originated from.