Wagyu Beef vs. Kobe – Steve Haddadin and National Wagyu Day

Wagyu, a classic from Kobe. Source: Pixabay, Photo: Steffen Zimmermann

Berlin, Germany (Gastrosofie). First things first: all Kobe is Wagyu, but very little Wagyu is Kobe. The answer to why is quite simple: Wagyu means „Japanese cow,“ specifically Japanese Black, Brown, Shorthorn, and Polled genotypes, which are genetically predisposed to develop fat inside the muscle tissue.

The fact that an Otto Gourmet press release dated 20 June 2024 refers to National Wagyu Day on 21 June and provides interesting facts about it is a good thing. The classic was once associated, indeed equated, with Japan in general and Kobe in particular. But marbled meat at best. But the once indigenous breed of cattle has travelled far and wide. Although only Tajima cattle from Hyoga Prefecture in Japan are considered purebred, gastrosophists know that the cattle from Miyazaki, Ohmi and Kagoshima are hardly any worse and that breeds of Wagyu cattle graze on many pastures around the world.
Wagyu cattle are also bred on German soils, but in Germany the extreme predisposition to fat storage does not seem to want to be further cultivated. Connoisseurs and critics also speak of sick cattle. In Germany, the opposite seems to be the case. The animals can and should move around and not be fattened to death. And that is a good thing.
But now to the Otto Gourmet press release in question: „National Wagyu Day has existed in the USA since 2022. It was created by a real estate agent from California. Without further ado, he chose his birthday, 21 June, as the date for the new public holiday.

Steve Haddadin describes himself as an avid steak lover. After savouring his first Wagyu steak, the Californian real estate agent was so enthusiastic that he wanted to delve deeper into the subject and read up extensively on the website of the „Japanese Carcass Verification Bureau[s]“.

However, while searching for a dedicated Wagyu holiday, Haddadin was disappointed to discover that one did not exist. He then decided without further ado to declare his own birthday, 21 June, as „National Wagyu Day“. On the website wagyuday.com, he explains three goals: On National Wagyu Day, the aim is to celebrate wagyu as a delicacy, to draw attention to the elaborate certification process and to encourage family and friends to enjoy wagyu together.

National Wagyu Day has now also been recognised by the American Wagyu Association, where it is used for marketing purposes. From 2024, the British Wagyu Breeders Association will also proclaim World Wagyu Day, but with explicit reference to Steve Haddadin.“

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