When you buy Kobe beef steaks, you’re buying more than just the meat. You’re also buying the experience, the thoughts, the emotions, the history that comes from this traditionally raised Japanese breed of Wagyu cow. When you buy Kobe beef, you are literally stepping into the stream of history.

Just imagine in your mind’s eye the first Wagyu cow brought to Japan in the second century, nearly two thousand years ago. Imagine the small boat sailing from the Asian mainland with its rough sailors. What is your surprise when you learn that Japanese rice farmers used the Wagyu cattle for work animals, not for food?

These rice farmers took their newly brought herds to their mountainous rice patties, no doubt, days journey across roads that we would consider barely foot paths. Once the farmers returned to their homes in the mountains, the Wagyu cattle were separated from the rest of the island. Over time, a very isolated breed of cattle with very specific genetic traits developed.

Imagine owning a Wagyu cow and never tasting the meat. That’s what happened in Japan for over one thousand years. The eating of any animal meat was banned until Japan opened to the West in 1868. When you cut into your Kobe sirloin steak, and the knife gently sliced the soft, buttery meat, you are only part of a practice going back 150 years. You are part of a select group of gourmands.

This group includes the emperor of Japan, Meiji, who reigned in 1868. After one thousand years, the first Wagyu cows was slaughtered, its marbled beef sliced paper thin, and then quickly broiled. When you lift your fork to your mouth with a piece of Kobe steak, you are quite literally sharing in a dish of kings and emperors.

What does the term “Kobe beef” inspire in you? What emotions, thoughts, feelings, fantasies? Post your comments and see if you share the same with others or if your reaction to the term “Kobe beef” is unique to you.

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