Wagyu beef is heralded around the world as some of the best animal protein one can eat. Culinary professionals and gourmands alike praise its flavor and texture, and those qualities come with a high-end price tag. But why is wagyu beef so highly regarded? This episode of PBS's Original Fare attempts to explain.
Host Kelly Cox travels to the southern coast of Oregon, where a fourth-generation family of ranchers raises cattle that was imported from Japan before birth. The cows roam freely and forage on natural fauna and some planted greenery, which plays a big part in the quality of the beef. Craig Peterson, co-owner of a nearby steakhouse, lets Cox taste test a few varieties of steak, and while the wagyu, unsurprisingly, gets top billing.
But while the wagyu is delicious, Peterson believes all types of beef have a place in the market. He makes a case for the less-expensive cuts.
"People want meat," Peterson says. "They're going to buy meat that they can afford to buy, and that's why you have all these different types of styles out here that's available for everybody in America. I think that's a good thing."