Kobe Beef Burger - "The best burger I've ever had"
From coast to coast restaurants have recently been putting $50, $100 and even $150 gourmet burgers on their menus. If you are not familiar with the infamous kobe beef burger then you are probably baffled by why someone would pay such a high premium for a gourmet burger. The kobe burger is made of the highest quality beef in the world - wagyu beef also known as kobe beef. The kobe ground beef that is used to make the burger comes from wagyu cattle.
Wagyu cattle, which originated in Japan, produce beef that is MUCH better than prime beef. It is so tender and highly marbled that the USDA beef grading system does not even have grades high enough to grade it. The reason for the superior quality starts with genetics, the Japanese have always cherished their cattle and for millennia their herd was closed to crossbreeding. This resulted in cattle with very distinctive and desirable characteristics.
Feeding and management techniques also contribute to the superior quality of wagyu. The Japanese pamper their cattle. They feed the cattle beer during the summer months when they eat less to increase their appetites, brush the cattle with sake to soften their coats and even give them massages to relieve stress. All of these rather bizarre management methods come together to produce beef that is much more tender than USDA prime beef.
Until about 30 years ago the Japanese didn't allow exports of their prized live wagyu cattle so it was kept out of reach of most of the world. Beginning in the 1970's however, they finally began exporting kobe animals to America and today the majority of kobe beef is produced in America.
Today more and more US restaurants are starting to feature the kobe beef burger and other premium kobe cuts on their menus. Unfortunately finding a restaurant that carries kobe beef burgers is difficult, even if you live in a major metropolitan area. Many of the restaurants that do carry kobe hamburger significantly markup the kobe beef price, and some even seem to be in a contest to see who can put the most expensive burger on their menu.
You are also unlikely to find kobe hamburgers at your local grocery store or butcher shop. By far the best place to buy kobe beef is online through a gourmet meat distributor. There are several reputable online distributors who sell kobe gourmet burgers.
I have ordered wagyu online several times and each time was an absolute delight.
When I first bought kobe burgers I was expecting a good burger, but nothing could have prepared me for how much better they are than USDA prime burgers. I can honestly say it was the best burger I've ever had. Since then whenever I'm craving a burger I order some wagyu ground beef. The price difference is really minute considering the the massive difference in quality. If you have never had a kobe beef burger you are missing out!