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A Japanese breed of cattle highly prized for their meat (the name comes from Wa meaning Japanese, and gyu meaning cattle, which is delicately laced with marbled fat. This is traditionally eaten in two ways, either grilled as a thick steak, or sliced extremely thinly and eaten raw as sashimi. Beef from these animals is known as Kobe beef.

The animals are nurtured on a diet that includes rice beer, and massaged on a regular basis – to ensure their well being.

It seems likely that the animals were originally breed as a draft animal, as the Buddhist traditions of Japan decreed that only fish and animals with two legs could be eaten. This was decreed 'irrational' by the Meiji emperor in 1873’ opening up tremendous culinary possibilities.

British herds have been established,so you can now buy this very expensive beef in Britain – see our Mail Order section.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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