When it comes to the world’s best steaks, Japanese Wagyu beef stands above the rest. However, the prized meat, which only became available for export in 2012, is both difficult to find and very expensive to buy as a homecook. Starting tomorrow, though, Seattle-based startup Crowd Cow is changing that by becoming the largest single importer and online retailer of Japanese A5 Wagyu beef in the U.S., which they will ship directly from a Japanese farm straight to your door.
“Japanese Wagyu beef is rarely imported, and when it is, it usually goes through a distributor, so the final customer and even the restaurant are several layers removed from the farmer,” says Joe Heitzeberg, Crowd Cow’s co-founder. “It’s an honor and privilege to have developed a relationship with Itoham and Mirai Farm that we do not take lightly after personally seeing and experiencing the commitment by their team to preserve the integrity of the beautiful heritage of Japanese Wagyu beef.”
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For the first time ever, consumers will be able to buy specific portions of a Japanese A5 Wagyu cow online, directly from Mirai Farm in the Kagoshima prefecture of Japan. A5 Wagyu beef is a prized delicacy and known for literally melting in your mouth due to its unique fat composition that gives it a melting point of only 77°F. It’s legendary for its exceptional quality, flavor, and extensive marbling. Even the best USDA prime angus beef favored in most American steakhouses reaches less than half the level of marbling of Japanese A5 Wagyu. In addition, Crowd Cow’s Japanese A5 Wagyu beef has received the highest possible mark from the Japan Meat Grading Association, which gives each cow a score based on its yield (A-C) and level of marbling, firmness, color and overall quality (1-5).