When it comes to any premium or luxury product, it’s handy to know how to tell what’s authentic and what’s fake — especially when that product is food.
Kobe beef, produced solely around Kobe City in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, is the world’s most luxurious cattle meat. Because it is so world renowned, some beef producers may try to sell counterfeit Kobe beef in an attempt to dupe customers wanting an expensive steak.
Authentic Kobe beef has a very limited presence in the United States but continues to grow with demand, according to Forbes. The scarcity is traced down to Japan’s strict grading. Of about the 3-4,000 qualifying cattle, 90% of the meat remains in the country while the rest of the world gets what’s left.
The United States gets less than 5,000 pounds of Kobe beef each year, which is really dismal, but still better than nothing.
So how do you go about identifying real from fake Kobe? There are three easy ways:
- Pay attention to your serving. The real Kobe should come boneless, and it’s usually a filet, ribeye or strip steak, BravoTV said.
- Ask for a certificate. Inside Edition visited restaurants back in April to find those claiming to serve Kobe beef. One of the fakers in NYC sold a Kobe beef lunch for $110. When the diner sought for certification, the restaurant owner was caught in a mistake and had to change the menu to Japanese Wagyu.
- Mind your first bite. First impressions last with Kobe beef, thanks to its delicious fat. The first bite is said to be the best, with succeeding ones being less tastier.
Now that you know the basics, you won’t fall to overpriced burgers, sliders and hot dogs ever again.