Other common names: American Style Kobe Beef
The Japanese Black Cattle is the most common breed of "Wagyu" Cattle, and accounts for more than 80% of Wagyu beef that is bred commercially. "Wagyu" refers to several breeds of cattle developed in Japan which are genetically predisposed to producing meat which has intense marbling and a high percentage of oleaginous unsaturated fat. Kobe beef, considered by many to be the premier tasting beef in the world, comes from the Tajima type of Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle in Hyogo Prefecture.
In the United States, most of the American raised Wagyu are crossbred, or "percentage" Wagyu. "Percentage Wagyu" may be F1 or first generation (50% Wagyu); F2 (75% Wagyu) and F3 (87% Wagyu). The American herd size of Fullblood Wagyu, or 100% Wagyu, is quite small compared to the Japanese or Australian herds. In the United States, the most common Wagyu cross has been to the Angus Cattle. The meat of the Wagyu x Angus provided the balance of marbling and red meat desired by American buyers. This crossbreed has been named American Style Kobe Beef.
Appearance / health:
Japanese Black (Wagyu) Cattle have an appearance which is similar to Angus Cattle, except that they are horned and lighter in the rump and legs. In the U.S., most Wagyu are de-horned. Mature bulls can weigh over 2,000 pounds.