Wagyu 101 – Palm Beach pictured

Kagoshima Tataki (A5 Japanese Wagyu) with pickled ginger sprouts, shishito, crispy garlic and mitsuba. Photo by Piper Jones

“Wagyu is totally different from any steak you’ve ever had,” says Eric San Pedro. “When you eat it, you can’t believe it’s beef. It is so mottled that your body temperature will make the fat and the meat will literally melt in your mouth.

San Pedro’s love affair with Japanese Wagyu began years ago when he discovered him in Las Vegas, and it quickly became an obsession. He started to get in touch with people who could deliver the product to his door and gradually developed a network of suppliers and suppliers, which led to the opening of Palm Beach Meats (located near Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach) in June.

“We ship Japanese Wagyu from prefectures that customers typically cannot find, and we also focus on Australian Wagyu in the highest marbling grades,” he explains. “But we are not just a butcher’s shop. We have a selection of top quality local produce, and there are vegetarians who come every week. The store also organizes pop-up lunches and dinners on weekends.

Cuban sandwich with smoked ham and braised Kurobuta pork, photo by Visual Honey
Cuban sandwich with smoked ham and braised Kurobuta pork. Photo by Visual Honey

For those who are buying Wagyu for the first time, San Pedro shares his advice on what to look for.

Buy fresh meat. Wagyu freezes well, but not for a long period of time.

Look for a certificate of authenticity. Each piece of meat is followed by a number and each supplier must have documentation.

Wagyu is classified according to the degree of mottling. In Japan, 5 is the highest; in Australia it’s 9. However, not everyone likes the same level of wealth.

Evaluate before you buy. There are no consistent ratings for the American Wagyu, so assess the mottling with your eyes.

Don’t be put off by the cost. You will only eat 3 or 4 ounces at a time and end up spending less than in a restaurant.

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