The secret to why Wagyu is the ‘world’s luxury beef’ lies in the unique Wagyu marbling.
Marbling refers to finely dispersed, visible fat found between muscle fibre bundles within the meat, that gives it extra juiciness and flavour.
Achieving marbling in Wagyu beef is determined by the genetics of the animal and the nutrition in the feeding program. For breeding, producers use the genetic evaluation tools provided by the Australian Wagyu Association to determine the animals that have a high potential for marbling.
Australian Aus-Meat marbling grades range from 0 to 9+, with 0 being the lowest and 9+ being the highest and most valuable.
Futari Fullblood Wagyu beef comes in the five different marble score groups below:
When describing the sensation of eating Wagyu, people often use the words rich, juicy, buttery, caramel and beefy that is formed by the taste sensation, flavour and aroma on the palate.
The unique levels of unsaturated fats that are characteristic of Wagyu means that it dissolves at lower melting temperatures – it literally melts in your mouth.
The abundance and fineness of the marbling in the meat, represented by the marble score, creates that ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation and taste that is uniquely Wagyu.
What does F1 Wagyu mean? What difference is there compared to Fullblood Wagyu?
It comes down to the amount of Wagyu genetics that are in the beef.
Fullblood Wagyu is the pinnacle of Wagyu beef, with the characteristic high marbling so highly prized in Japanese cuisine and fine dining.
F1 Wagyu is typically 50% Wagyu and 50% another breed.
Australian Fullblood Wagyu typically average Aus-Meat marble score of 8, more than three-fold the average of any other breed. Wagyu can achieve marbling well beyond 9+.
Excerpts from the Australian Wagyu Association website www.wagyu.org.au