Sun, Feb 03, 2019 - Page 15 News List

Japan’s wagyu beef aims
to conquer the world

The government and producers have turned their focus to overseas markets amid declining domestic consumption and a shrinking number of farmers

By Anne Beade  /  AFP, TAKAYAMA, Japan

In Takayama, exports only accounted for 5 percent, or 43 tonnes, of the beef sold by producers in 2017, but that was already double the previous year.

The town has an abattoir that observes stringent rules and is one of just four in Japan certified to handle meat for export to the EU.

Increasingly, producers are also securing halal certification for slaughterhouses — which number about 200 in Japan — so they can export to Muslim countries.

After slaughter, the beef is put up for auction, with the carcasses displayed behind glass alongside cards ranking them according to a precise system based on the meat’s marbling, color, texture and the quality of the fat, abattoir director Mitsushi Kobayashi said.

“The Japanese seek above all to reduce the blood and muscle in the animal, and to develop the fat, the opposite of us,” said French chef Lionel Beccat, who has a Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo.

“The meat is sublime, it melts in the mouth, there are different notes depending on the cows — some are floral, others nutty, others spicy,” he said. “So the meat can be appreciated as it is, you just grill it and that’s it. It’s very Japanese, like sashimi.”

This story has been viewed 2396 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top