Akaushi Explained

What is Waygu?

Wagyu simply translates to Wa = Japanese and, Gyu = Cow. There are four (4) breeds or strains of Wagyu with only the Japanese Black and Japanese Brown (Kumamoto line) available outside Japan. The Japanese Brown are also referred to as Red Wagyu or Akaush.

More about red waygu (Akaushi)

Of the four Japanese breeds of cattle, Akaushi is the one known in its native Japan as the “Emperor’s Breed.” The more dominant Kumamoto line was improved by crossbreeding Simmental with Hanwoo (Korean Red), which was formerly used as a “work horse” during the Meiji Era. It was certified as indigenous Japanese beef cattle in 1944. Akaushi cattle can be distinguish by the dark points on its nose and feet.

Herd of Red Waygu cattle photo
Herd of Red Waygu cattle mobile photo

The cattle were developed to withstand the challenging climate and physiographic features of Kumamoto as well as the discriminating taste of Japanese consumers. Akaushi cattle did not exist outside of Japan until 1994, the year eight females and three males were shipped to the U.S. on a specially equipped Boeing 747. 

Among the characteristics of Akaushi beef is its intense marbling which means the cattle place fat inside the muscle not on the outside. Marbling is the most reliable component of teat taste and tenderness The breed is unique in that it continues to add this intramuscular fat (AKA marbling) as the cattle grows. Akaushi fat is also finer and more consistent throughout the meat that traditional English cattle, like Herford cattle. When cooked correctly, this internal marbling bastes the steak from the interior to ensure juiciness and depth of flavor. Akaushi beef also boasts higher levels of oleic acid (the good fat found in olive oil) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than other beef, and has more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat. It’s not a lean product—it’s more of an anti-lean product—with its value and health benefits derived from its marbling.

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