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Is Wagyu the Most Overrated Steak in the World?

Food and Drink By
Kampo Wagyu beef
Slices of Kampo Wagyu beef sit inside the kitchen at the Kounosuke grilled-beef restaurant. (Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

For steak lovers, the higher the quality of beef, the better the sizzling finished product. Or so the conventional wisdom goes.

Wagyu, for example, is known for its tenderness and marbled fat content that melts in a diner’s mouth and commands top prices at some of the finest steak restaurants in the world. In Japan, the cows are massaged and fed diets are strictly regulated by the government to meet high standards.

Is Wagyu Steak the Most Overrated Type in the World?
(Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)


But is it really all its cracked up to be?

According to Bloomberg, there is something for steak lovers to chew on. Author Frank Turner tells the publication that he hates the overpriced beef, because its flavor doesn’t last long enough on the palate. (The Englishman has a forthcoming book, Prime: The Beef Cookbook, set for U.S. bookshelves in May.) Canadian author and journalist Mark Schatzker is a little less harsh but no less direct:

“It’s a great and wonderful thing….But it’s not steak. It’s completely different. It’s more like foie gras. Steak is bloody: You know you are eating an animal. It satisfies your inner cave man. Wagyu is more refined—and I don’t mean superior.”

Bloomberg food critic Richard Vines certainly questions if its worth the price: At Wolfgang Puck’s CUT in Beverly Hills, a 2 oz cut of wagyu from Japan’s Miyazaki prefecture costs $140.

Watch this video from Eater that argues the other side of the beef.