If you've never heard of Wagyu beef before, you don't know what you're missing. Based on the bad news I'm about to deliver, that could be a good thing.
Wagyu beef, literal translation "Japanese Beef," is a delicacy and a treat among even the foodiest of foodies. What makes it so special is how it's raised. For Wagyu beef, genetics is everything, and the bloodline should be kept pure for the best taste.
This beefy treat is known for its heavy marbling, which gives it a much more savory flavor than regular Angus beef. According to CNN, Wagyu are generally bred upward of 30 months to get that evenly distributed marbling that makes it so flavorful.
Even in Japan Wagyu beef dishes generally cost anywhere from $40 to $140, with the cheaper ones being mixed with Angus beef, and the most expensive purely consisting of Wagyu. Popular dishes made with Wagyu include beef tartar, thinly sliced Shabu-Shabu and the most familiar way: grilled steaks.
The common misconception is that this beef is fattening because of the presence of, well, all that fat! But it's actually a much healthier meat, since it's only high in the good fats and Omega-3's.
So, here's the bad news. The Nikkei Asian Review reports that Wagyu beef may be nearing its end. Prices are climbing at an alarming rate and high prices do not mean better quality meat. On the contrary, poorly bred and mixed bred cattle are being sold at top prices because demand is high and supply is low.
If I've talked you into trying the delicacy, you might want to consider doing so as soon as possible. Wagyu may not be around much longer, and if it is, it isn't likely to stay pure.