Love Kobe Beef? Well, You’ve Probably Never Had It [REPORT]

kobe beef in america doesn't exist

We’re not kidding. According to an article that debuted earlier this week from Forbes, its impossible to have ordered, bought or consumed authentic Kobe beef in the United States. Why don’t you let that sink in a bit.

That’s right. No matter how much you have spent or who your legitimate source was – you’ve been duped. swindled. psyched. bamboozled. hoodwinked. and a lot of other synonyms that could be generated by my prevailing wit, definitely not google and thesaurus searches.

We can all stand to learn a bit more about what true Kobe Beef is and isn’t. It IS produced by some of the world’s strictest legal standards and requires a pure lineage of Tajima-gyu breed cattle. It ISN’T massaged for hours by dedicated sous-chefs as part of the standard preparation of five-diamond restaurants. It IS beef that is born and raised for its entire life in the Hyogo prefecture and always a bull or virgin cow. It ISN’T an argument between the active LA Lakers legend and the most emotional basketball player of all time Pau Gasol.

The imitation beef you have been consumed probably has come from the Midwest, Great Plains, South America or Australia. Here’s the proof:

“It is now illegal to import (or even hand carry for personal consumption) any Japanese beef. Before 2010 you could import only boneless fresh Japanese beef, but none was real Kobe. Under Japanese law, Kobe beef can only came from Hyogo prefecture (of which Kobe is the capital city), where no slaughterhouses were approved for export by the USDA. According to its own trade group, the Kobe Beef Marketing & Distribution Promotion Association in Japan, where Kobe Beef is a registered trademark, Macao is the only place it is exported to – and only since last year. If you had real Kobe beef in this country in recent years, someone probably smuggled it in their luggage.”

Now you know.

(THX Forbes, Photo Credit to Wikipedia)


By Geoff Kutnick

Geoffrey Kutnick is the King of Soft Serve. Been placing ice cream in soup bowls at the buffet since '87.

4 replies on “Love Kobe Beef? Well, You’ve Probably Never Had It [REPORT]”

I have been saying this since about 1998 when I first learned what Kobe beef was and learned where it came from and the laws surrounding it. I never order it because I always thought it was a marketing tactic to just charge more for some beef from the mid-west. I hope there is some follow up to this and we (the beef consuming public) can be better educated about all the truths and myths of Kobe beef. Next up, dig around and see if “black angus” really exists and if it is what BK says it is! We might be surprised. Thanks for writing this, it’s nice to know my culinary indignation wasn’t some paranoia conspiracy theory hatched in my brain. Although, when they make the movie about Duff vs. The beef council, I request that my character be played by Jason Statham, Kevin Smith, or Seth Rogen, depending on the tone of the flick.

Basic rule of thumb: if you didn’t pay at least a few hundred dollars for your “Kobe beef” steak, there’s about 0% chance that it was real Kobe beef. Not saying that super expensive beef means its genuine, but rather a statement of how hard and expensive it is to get your hands on it. Wagyu beef usually isn’t really Wagyu either, but from a Wagyu-Angus hybrid.

The reason of this label fraud is, that people always like to go the easy way, understanding what they are consuming [or are not willing to understand at all]. Kobe is easier to understand and an easier “trademark” as Wagyu. If people would more care of the quality and not always so devote to “brands” it would be not that easy to fraud the customers.

Leave a Reply