Japanese Wagyu lifts the ban, so what have we eaten at Japanese restaurants in recent years?

2019-12-26 | Taste of Art and Art original |

The Ministry of Agriculture has done a good thing recently: lifting the ban on the import of Japanese beef. This means that authentic Japanese Wagyu finally returned to the Chinese table after 18 years.

But one question is puzzling: So what have we eaten at Japanese restaurants in these years? This involves another deeper question: what is Wagyu?

No: 1 one

The chronicle of Japanese Wagyu beef begins with the chopsticks beef that Emperor Meiji took the lead in.

Before that, Japan had a ban on meat for thousands of years: people feed on fish, shrimp, crab, shellfish and vegetables, and cattle are only production tools. This is actually the same as the ban on the slaughter of cattle in ancient China, and the nature of the Indians who regarded cattle as gods.The reason is the same: compared to eating meat, the grain produced by cattle for farmland is more important to farming civilization. Obviously, Japan relies on the authority of state-religion integration to endorse the legal existence of cattle, which is more important than the Chinese government ’s king law.Valid. In ancient China, there were countless Li Zhi and Lu Zhishen who wandered on the edge of society, "making a pot of wine, two pounds of beef"; there were also countless farm cattle slaughtered as old cattle and sick cattle to satisfy people's appetite.

But in Japan, cattle farming is really just cattle farming. When they are old and poor, they will barely become the junk food of the bottom of the society. They have been eating seabream for thousands of years.Fish, sea urchin, and tofu. This brings up an intriguing coincidence: the more you do n’t eat, the less people will deliberately cultivate it as a food trait. In addition, the island's mountainous terrain prevents crossbreeding between cattle.The area of ​​arable land is small, and there is not much room for cattle to play a role.

So, Japanese cattle have been labeled as having less meat production, less strength, and no crossbreeding advantages long ago. Compared with Chinese old cattle and big buffaloes, they are standard "inferior breeds." If you say in Chinese,The Japanese "倭" has a color of derogation and ugliness, so this word describes the short and lazy Japanese cattle with extreme precision. In 1853, the United States opened the door of Japan with the "black ship incident". In fact, the entire process was actually related to Chinese and English.The Opium War was very similar. Like the Westernization Movement, the Japanese began to vigorously learn from the Meiji Restoration and fully learn from the West. The Emperor Meiji took the lead and launched a revolution in beef eating throughout the country.

When you eat beef, you can't stop anymore. The Japanese with taste buds open are surprised to find that although the domestic cattle can't work, they don't taste good. The meat is small, but the texture is tender and juicy; strengthSmall, but with a very high ratio of inter-fat fat, the Japanese call it "Frost Drop." In contrast, although there are many Chinese yellow beef, the texture of the old wood can only be stewed until crispy to import; while Japanese beef is gentlyYou can get a loose texture when you fry it. Even without cooking, you can slice it and eat it raw. It also has a good taste.

This not only surprised the Japanese people, but even Europeans and Americans also praised this rich beef. According to Norman Herbert's "History of the Japanese Restoration", the first steakhouse opened in JapanIt was funded by an Englishman in the early 1890s. It is conceivable how surprised and exciting the European friend was when he ate Japanese beef. In 1899, the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo opened the first Japanese beefYoshinoya, a rice specialty store. Later, it became one of Japan's most historic chain restaurants and the most symbolic symbol of Japanese beef.

No: 2 贰

To a certain extent, the rise and fall of Japanese beef in this century is closely related to Japan's national transportation. After the beef industry has flourished for more than half a century, Japan has suffered the biggest trauma since the Meiji era: defeat in World War II.

The power of the two atomic bombs is ultimately limited, but the economic and livelihood issues caused by the long-term war have deeply stabbed the post-war generation: they ca n’t even eat meals, and several people are still looking forward to eating beef. More deadlyWhat ’s more, in more than half a century, Japan ’s infrastructure has developed rapidly, and cattle breeds have grown wildly and grown wildly. After the war, cattle breeds from China and the United States flowed into the country through various channels. After various crosses, the former was plump and tender.The blood of native cattle is becoming thinner.

The United States played an important role at this stage. As the country with the highest degree of agricultural science and technology in the world at the time, the United States helped the Japanese government in various agricultural revitalization policies during the period. One of them was to protect the cattle of Japanese origin. AfterThe government improved and improved the breeding of cattle and cattle in counties across the country. Finally, in the early 1950s, the four major breeds of black-haired Japanese cattle, brown-haired Japanese cattle, short-horned Japanese cattle, and no-horned Japanese cattle were finally identified.Collectively, and among these four types of cattle, the black-haired Japanese beef with the highest proportion of more than 90% is the type of Japanese beef that overseas customers can eat.

Beginning in the 1960s, with the rapid recovery of the Japanese economy, the selection and breeding of Japanese cattle has become more and more systematic. It must be said that the Japanese nation has a very high talent for the breeding of agricultural products, relying on barren and narrow land,Has cultivated world-renowned Shizuoka tea, Ehime orange, autumn Komachi rice, Kobe beef, etc. Although this is related to the early take-off of the Japanese economy and a high degree of modernization, but in essence, it is related to Japan ’s scarce natural resources and pursuitThe national character of the ultimate and caring raw materials has a deep relationship.

In just over ten years, Japan has perfected beef grade standards and cultivation standards, and the meticulous level has impressed masters in the United States. USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture divides beef quality into 8 grades, the best three grades PRIME, CHOICE, SELECT are raw or steak; the middle three levels Standard, Commercial, Utility are generally stewed, braised or made into burgers; the worst two levels Cutter, CannerMostly it is used to feed dogs. But Japan has refined it into a double indicator of ABC + 54321. Letters and numbers refer to the beef retention grade and meat quality grade respectively. Step retention is the proportion of the edible part of a cow. The higher the meat content, the more representativeThe fatter the beef is, the higher the grade; the main criteria for the meat quality grade are the muscle fat content and color. The larger the number, the higher the muscle fat content and the even distribution. The five grades were later subdivided intoTwelfth grade. Only the best beef can be awarded A5 certification.

In this way, Japanese Wagyu is divided into fifteen levels, and its degree of refinement is more than double that of the United States. In essence, this is also an example of the Japanese nation's good at learning-and then improving, and they use Chinese tea drinking cultureThe story of upgrading to tea ceremony, flower arrangement skill to flower ceremony, and game game to chess game is exactly the same. No: 3 How did A5 Wagyu be born? Breeding and selection alone is not enough. In many Wagyu franchised stores,Often advertised as "listening to music and drinking beer". In fact, it is not so reliable. Listening to elegant music may change the way the cow thinks, but it does not improve the meat quality; drinking beer may make the cow good to a certain extentAppetite, but if long-term intake of alcoholic beverages, it can also lead to excessive excitement in cattle and reduce muscle fat content.

In fact, the most direct way to improve the quality of Wagyu beef is: grain feeding. Many laymen think that grass-fed cattle find their own forage and grain-fed cattle are fed by hand. So it must be that grass-fed is more natural and more advancedBut in fact, the opposite is true. Grain-fed cattle that feed grains such as rice, beancake, corn, etc., can get more calories, accumulate more fat, and eventually get a richer and more uniform "frost drop." But to match, grain-fedThe feed for cattle is also much more expensive than forage. For a piece of beef that can be called Japanese Wagyu, the minimum standard for the grain feeding period is 100 days before slaughter, and the highest standard is up to 450 days. More importantly, beansThe heat provided by grain-like grains is converted into unsaturated fats in Wagyu cattle. Compared with saturated fats in most mammals, it has a larger molecular structure and a melting point as low as 18 ° C. It is different from ordinary lard and butter.The fat of Wagyu is liquid at most normal temperatures, which gives it an unparalleled mouth-feeling taste. The mouth-feeling here is not an adjective, but a narrative description. In fact, this kind of meatAnimal fattening is also available in China, but we do n’t use it on cows, but on ducks. The final product is specifically for roast ducks. The fat and delicate stuffing ducks. The most delicious thing in the world is cholesterol.On the basis of grain feeding, supplemented with certain alcoholic beverages and artificial massage, it promotes the blood circulation of cattle to make the subcutaneous fat uniform. This breeding process may not seem difficult, but it requires great patience and careful arrangements-This is what the Japanese nation is good at.

Actually, the so-called Japan's top three Wagyu Matsuzaka beef, Kobe beef, and Omi beef are not produced in Matsusaka, Kobe, and Omi, but these places have modern breeding farms and breeding techniques and traditions. FromHigh-quality calves selected and purchased throughout Japan are uniformly fattened in a fixed breeding farm for at least three years, and then flowed to the market. From a certain point of view, Japanese beef is used as a dish, and it has actually started from the farm.The personality cultivation of the last restaurant and chef just packed its personality. This is a height that most Chinese food can't reach so far.

No: 4

But in addition to Matsusaka, Kobe, and Omi, Japan also has more than 200 different large-scale farms. The cattle they breed are also different varieties of Wagyu. This is like European wine, even if it is only two dozens of kilometers apart.Each winery produces slightly different wines.

More interestingly, the West found that Japanese cattle were carefully selected and bred, which has surpassed their pride. The Scottish Angus cattle are also starting to "steal breed". That ’s right, likeChinese kiwi, tea, Brazilian rubber, etc. have the same history of being stolen by Britain and France. In 1974, 23 tubes of Japanese and cattle semen were shipped to Canada for scientific research purposes. In 1995, a Japanese named Takeda Masako, despite the opposition of his domestic counterparts againThe sale of 51 Japanese Wagyu 45 females, 6 males to Americans also led to their removal from the Japanese Wagyu Registration Association. In the years since, thousands of embryos have been in Iowa and TexasProduced laboratories and shipped them to Westholme Farm, New South Wales, Australia for implantation.

The outflow of these Japanese Wagyu herds has enabled the United States, Australia, Canada and other countries to soon have Wagyu beef breeds. After generations of cultivation and optimization, to this day, they have the quality that is not inferior to the Japanese Wagyu.

Especially Australia with vast pastures and suitable soil and water, is currently the world ’s largest exporter of Wagyu cattle. Although Australia ’s soil, climate, pasture, grain and rainfall are different from Japan, even in the same area, it willThe location of the ranch is different, which greatly affects the taste of beef, so that loyal lovers of Japanese native beef will have a "southern orange and northern sorrow" feeling.

But I have to admit that the taste of Australian Wagyu has also conquered a lot of old people who think that Japanese Wagyu is too soft, chewy, and the flavour of meat is too light. Eating beef is like wine tasting.Things that rely heavily on subjective feelings. Although French and Spanish wines are big fans, some people think they are not as enthusiastic as New World Chile and New Zealand wines.

So, in the eighteen years that China has banned the entry of Japanese domestic beef, there are still a large number of American and Australian Wagyu in domestic Japanese restaurants. The most unfortunate is the "fat-injected beef" with artificial injection of oil.Although it sounds like a fake and shoddy product, in fact, the fat injection technology is legal in most countries. Although there is a problem of perishability after fat injection, it needs to be frozen. But as long as the process is reasonable, the price is reasonable, and after cookingThere will be no safety issues.


In any case, reopening Japanese domestic beef imports will give more choices to domestic veterans and give them the opportunity to try more different flavors without a passport.

Whether it is pure Japanese Wagyu, American Wagyu, or even our own braised beef, stewed beef, beef noodles, are the natural choices of the tongue. My honey, arsenic, the true meaning of life, what is it?Come and taste a bit.

Text | Wei Shuihua

Head image | pixabye

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