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About Wagyu Cattle

The word Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle - the word "Wa" translates as Japanese or japanese-style, and "gyu" means cattle.

Wagyu are cattle that are genetically predisposed to intense marbling and to producing a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. The meat from Wagyu cattle is known worldwide for its marbling characteristics, increased eating quality through a naturally enhanced flavour, tenderness and juiciness, and thus a high market value. Several areas in Japan are famous for the quality of their Wagyu cattle, and ship beef bearing their areas' names. Some examples are Kobe, Mishima and Omi beef.

Wagyu were initially introduced to Japan as a beast of burden to help cultivate rice during the 2nd century. By order of the Shogun, the cowherd in Japan was closed and eating meat from any four legged animal was prohibited from 1635 to 1838. Because of Japan's rugged terrain and isolated areas, different breeding and feeding techniques were used such as massaging or adding beer or sake to their feeding regimen.

It is suggested that this was done to aid in digestion and induce hunger during humid seasons but appears to have no effect on the meat's flavour. Massaging may have been to prevent muscle cramping on small farms in Japan in which the animals did not have sufficient room to use their muscles.

Our Wagyu herd comes from some of the finest Wagyu bloodlines and were imported as embryos from Canada.

Northumbrian Wagyu is traditionally dry aged on the bone to enhance the tenderness potential of the meat.

© Northumbrian Wagyu 2017

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