All Wagyu meat is not equal. But only Fullblood Wagyu IS Wagyu. This is the most important thing you have to know about Wagyu, differentiating between Fullblood and Crossbreed Wagyu.
For everybody a German Shepherd is a German Shepherd as long as it is not crossed with another dog breed. Same goes for Wagyu. Wagyu is Wagyu and means what it means:
The genes of the beef is 100% from Japanese Wagyu breed. It exist 4 different breeds in Japan who are called 100% Japanese original breed. Japan has been very reluctant at exporting their animal "diamonds" genes to any country and anybody. Actually Japan only accepted to sale the genes Male and Female few times in history and in very little quantity. Few farmers outside of Japan discovered the opportunity given to them to breed the 100% Japanese beef. It took them over 20 years to breed a sufficient number of animals to make it potentially viable as a business. In fact a long time and expensive investment. Picture below show a Japanese Black Cattle, quite smaller compared to Angus breed.
Below picture shows a Black Angus Cattle, roughly 30% bigger in size when it turns adult than a Japanese Cattle. Therefore crossbreeding will help getting adult cattles of a bigger size, therefore more kilograms of meat to sale.
So why Full-blood Wagyu or nothing? Because they are no regulation in the market to prevent people from offering something that people are calling Wagyu but is not Wagyu.
So what is it? Crossbred Wagyu. Crossbred Wagyu is the crossing of a male Wagyu (Japanese) with an Angus female. Doing so you will give you a Crossbred Wagyu.
Why doing crossbred wagyu? Crossbred Wagyu is a cheaper way to promote your meat as Wagyu. The 100% Wagyu cows are much smaller than crossbred Wagyu/Angus. It takes 3 years to grow the cattles, no matter what is the bred. So if you are going to spend 3 years of your time waiting for the animal to be ready to be sold and your meat to be sold in an easier way, then... You will breed crossbred, you will get about 30% more meat for your time and you will be able to sale it for a higher price and it will be easier for you to sale it!
BUT... Sorry, this meat is NOT Wagyu, it is a crossbred sold to you at the price of Fullblood...
Is there so much difference between Crossbred and Fullblood?
Well, the number 1 is that people need to be honest and telling you what you are buying. Professionals know that the price difference between Crossbred and Fullblood is BIG and they also know that the name WAGYU is "easy" to promote. Restaurants have more chance to sale steaks for higher price is they sale WAGYU, but because few of us know what is the difference between WAGYU and CROSSBRED WAGYU, many places will offer you CROSSBRED for the price of WAGYU. Many professional also don't know about the difference between the two.
So, for the purpose of being honest, ONLY WAGYU Fullblood should be labeled as WAGYU.
What about TASTE, TEXTURE, TENDERNESS?
Here stands the REAL difference between WAGYU and CROSSBRED... But here we need to add more information to understand better what you are buying:
Wagyu and Crossbred Wagyu grown outside Japan is mostly graded according to the level of MARBLING (The very special fat found in Wagyu and Crossbred). Picture is describing the WAGYU grading we are using (the meat we are sourcing is Australian grown).
So Fullblood Wagyu Versus Crossbred Wagyu?
Well... Due to the fact that this 2 different quality of meat are between expensive to very expensive... And after tasting other high quality meat from other countries and bred, we could clearly see that spending so much money for Fullblood Wagyu was a WASTE of money... IF the grading of your meat is lower than M7, DON'T BUY WAGYU...
***Wagyu with a marbling over M7 is about 1% of the 5% of the best. It does not compare to any other meat we know. ***
So we started comparing M7 Full-Blood Vs Crossbreed and the results have been extremely clear. The results we got are combined experience of customers testifying to us that our quality of steak does not compare to any.
M7 Crossbred Wagyu is already excellent and is beating by far most other bred of meat we could try on our way. BUT when you taste it side by side with M7 Fullblood you will understand immediately that Fullblood is at a totally different level of juiciness, tenderness and flavors.
As of today, we can say from our own experience and our customers experience that we don't know of any better quality of meat available to cook steaks in a Western way. We are open to discovering different taste and even better! But truly.... Today we could not find anything better!!! Our purpose is to offer you the best steak in Hong Kong!