Outside of Japan, Kobe beef is synonymous with exclusive beef from Japan. The term “Kobe beef” is legally protected and reserved for the thoroughbred Tajima cattle from the Japanese Hyogo prefecture, the administrative seat of which is the city of Kobe. Otto Gourmet is one of the first retailers in Germany to sell Kobe beef by portions.
Original Japanese Kobe beef is unparalleled in its tenderness – a true culinary revelation. The intramuscular fat of the cattle has an extremely low melting point of 25 degrees Celsius, giving the meat its uniquely creamy consistency. Not only does it quite literally melt on your tongue, it also releases a burst of umami (the fifth flavour) across your taste buds. The sensation cannot be put into words – you will have to give it a try.
No other meat is the subject of as many tales and myths as Kobe beef. Stories of cows receiving massages and beer abound – but this is not the whole truth.
How are Kobe cattle raised?
Kobe is a city in Hyogo prefecture. The name “Kobe Beef” is a protected designation of origin, much like “champagne”. For eight to ten months, the animals live on pastures in small herds, feeding exclusively on fresh grass. Afterwards, the cows – weighing approximately 1,000 kilograms at this stage – spend between 20 and 22 months in open stables, where they are fed a special mixture of rice straw, soya, brewers’ grain silage, corn, barley, wheat bran and pure spring water.
The animals are only “massaged” if their natural open-air runs are insufficient for exercise. In this case, the animals are given a specific kind of massage to yield better marbling – hence the myth about Kobe cattle.
Who breeds Kobe cattle?
Our Kobe beef is sourced exclusively from contracted farmers in Hyogo prefecture, all of whose animals are marked. This guarantees seamless traceability, from the trader to the breeder. The Kobe cattle breeders themselves document the lineage of each individual cow up to three generations.
Preparation tip for Kobe beef
Japanese Kobe beef must be prepared immediately after it is taken out of the refrigerator. The fat in this type of meat starts melting at room temperature. Cook the meat rare (at most) to preserve its pure, full flavour. Traditional Japanese methods of preparing Wagyu beef include sukiyaki, shabu shabu and yakiniku.