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Mar 9, 2008 09:28 AM

Ordering Kobe Beef

Can anyone recommend a great website (or downtown butchery) that'll ship Japanese Kobe Beef to Toronto? Not American or Canadian, mind you, I want the real deal.

By the way, I heard that Canadians are now allowed to order this type of beef, whereas before we could only get Kobe-style. I have no idea what any of that means. I just want an actual Japanese cow on my plate.

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    1. Pusateri's claims to have it for something like $200/lb. I have not, and will not, be trying it.

      1. I think there was an article in the Toronto Star this week regarding genuine Kobe beef shipped from Japan.
        You can get it at Pustieri and another butcher (I think) Camerons(?)

        1 Reply
        1. re: 5andman

          Interesting to see the pics. Quite a substantial marbling difference.

        2. There is no real Kobe beef in GTA. There is only Japanese Wagyu beef, such as the kuroge beef from Gunma region, which you can get from Pusateri's. The article in Toronto Star or whatever is misleading. Real Kobe beef is even more expensive, eventhough you have it in Japan.

          14 Replies
          1. re: skylineR33

            i thought I read or heard once that actual kobe is not allowed to be exported from Japan, to maintain exclusivity or something...

            1. re: skylineR33

              All Kobe Beef is of the Wagyu breed of cattle. Kobe refers to the region and the guidelines of how the cattle are fed and raised. Most of the Kobe beef is actually raised under strict guidelines from farms in California which are then shipped to Japan. Someone in Canada must be feeding these beasts sake and beer which is part of the the cattle's diet. That and a nice massage.

              1. re: Culinary Seductions

                Probably you are wrong, I have talked to chefs in Japan, the sake and massage thing are not true. Anyway, you can check the certificate of the beef, if it is raised in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture, it is real kobe beef. It is just that easy. Otherwise, it is from other regions or countries. And in Toronto, you won't be able to get real kobe, or let us know if you aware of any but I doubt.

                One thing you are right though, Kobe beef are Wagyu beef. However, not all the Wagyu beef are Kobe beef.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Wrong JAPANESE Wagu from Kobe has been available in Toronto for 6 months it is imported straight from Japan with certificates.

                  1. re: OnDaGo

                    OnDaGo is correct. Imported Japanese Kobe beef is availible in Toronto, and arrives with a certificate of authenticity and frozen. The wholesale price is in the $ 150.00 per pound range and the average weight of a striploin is listed as 18 -20 pounds which is
                    $ 2850.00 each for a whole strip. The options to get smaller pieces are availible from the suppliers listed above and all you need do is ask to see the certificate from their supplier in Japan. Or you can get a piece of the Canadian Wagu which is a bargin at $ 60.00 per pound for a whole striploin, again 18 -20 lbs each which is only
                    $ 1140.00 for the piece. Happy grilling.

                    1. re: OnDaGo

                      Where, OnDaGo or meathead2 ? The one from a previous thread shown is from Kagoshima. Yes, those are Wrong kobe beef.

                      Here is the cert from a previous thread, see the word "Kagoshima" ? Those are Wagyu beef from Kagoshima Prefecture, not kobe, you can called them Kagoshima beef. The other one I see at Pusateri's is from Gunma. Where do you get real kobe beef from Hyogo Prefecture ? You still have not told me. They claim it is real kobe, but it is not, dude.

                      I would like to know too! Please tell me if you do, or do some study before replying by what mean "kobe beef", or you don't even know what you are eating.

                      1. re: skylineR33

                        Are we splitting hairs at this point? Yes Kobe beef needs to come from Kobe and in particular Kuroge Wagyu (a.k.a. Tajima) cattle. It all starts with the breed!!

                        However would it be safe to say that the difference between Kuroge Waygu beef farmed and raised in "kobe" style from other Japanese regions would likely be minimal. Especially compared to the difference between "North American Kobe" and "Japanese Kobe".

                        I'm sure other Japanese prefectures have pure bred Tajima cattle which is not the case with most North American Wagyu cattle. Edit - I just checked the certificate skyline posted and the breed is indeed Kuroge Wagyu.

                        The marbling of the beef at Pusateri's is impressive and probably good enough for most North American standards.

                        1. re: Apprentice

                          Kuroge Wagyu means 黒毛和牛, a general term. High Quality Kobe, Gunma and Kagoshima beef, etc are all Kuroge Wagyu.

                          However, there is a difference in price eventhough you cannot taste the difference between different kinds of Wagyu beef. And if one like to call a Toyota a Lexus, it is just a joke to someone.

                          1. re: skylineR33

                            Fair enough I'm not disputing there may be a difference in price or taste between "real" Kobe Beef and the stuff at Pusateri's I stare at everytime I go. You seem to know a lot about Asian cuisine so I'll pose two questions, if I may:

                            1) If not "Kobe Beef", what should other high quality wagyu beef from Japan be labelled?

                            2) Would the average North American know the difference in taste between Kobe beef and the Japanese Wagyu at Pusateri's to eschew the latter?

                            1. re: Apprentice

                              As I pointed out in other thread, one of the reason restaurants or butchers in North America used "kobe beef" to label wagyu beef from Japan is probably for convenience because most people in NA only aware of the term "Kobe beef". I only point out the differences here so people knows more about this and what they are actually eating with the $$$ the spend.

                              Restaurants in Japan label the beef "Kobe Beef" if it is from Kobe, Matsusaka beef if it is from Matsusaka, etc. Or use the general term "Kuroge Wagyu" for unbranded high quality wagyu beef. The price is of course not as expensive, however it does not mean the quality is not good, they can also be very good quality.

                              I think it should be labelled "Japanese Wagyu Beef - Kobe styled", may also include the origin of it. It really has nothing to do with Kobe if it is not from Kobe.

                              I would like 'no' in your 2nd question. However, this is relative, there are people who can tell the differences.

                              1. re: skylineR33

                                Thanks for the explanation skyline.

                                1. re: skylineR33

                                  Agree with skylineR33. Just like Champagne comes from Champagne, France and if it comes from other regions it is vin mousseux but not Champagne; Kobe beef comes from Kobe.

                                  Let me add one more note from Wikipedia (神戸ビーフ). It explains to you the difference between 神戸ビーフ and 神戸牛, both translated as "Kobe beef".

                                  The Tajima beef (a breed of Kuroge Wagyu) raised in Kobe is labelled "Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ)" if the grade is A, B4, BMS6 or above. Other grades are known as "Tajima beef (但馬牛)".
                                  Kobe beef is sometimes referred to or known as "Kobe gyu/Kobe ushi (神戸牛)"

                                  However, JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) Kobe labelled and sold the beef below the "Kobe beef (神戸ビーフ)" grade as "Kobe gyu / Kobe ushi (神戸牛)". Because of this the farmers and the butchers in Hyogo are demanding a higher and more strict standard setting.

                                  So, the English term "Kobe Beef" can be actually two things in Japanese; 神戸ビーフ and 神戸牛. Not that it is relevant to the current discussion on this thread (神戸ビーフ and 神戸牛 both come from Kobe anyway) but just so that you know what to look for when you are shopping for Kobe beef.

                      2. re: skylineR33

                        I heart from a Japanese they are really feed them with sake in summer time. Anyway, I try that in Japan in the form of steak, burger and shabu shabu. They all taste sooooo incredible juice.

                        1. re: pokerdan

                          Yes they do, but only when TV crew is around shooting.


                    Saw this article on Kobe beef from 2004. Draw your own conclusions.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MIKELOCK34

                      Note the word "most" in the last paragraph, that's why it made the cow actually raise in Japan so much more expensive.