Wagyu beef is rumored to be one of the highest quality experiences a meat lover can have. However, not many have had the pleasure of experiencing it for themselves. This is because wagyu (or “Japanese cow”) beef can only be had at high-end or even Michelin star restaurants. The average U.S. consumer can only speculate about the rich, delicate taste as they’re often priced out of this one-of-a-kind experience. This is the problem that Wagyu Haus, an online wholesale vendor, hopes to change.
Wagyu Haus has collaborated with farmers in the Japanese prefectures of Kagoshima and Hokkaido to create a high-quality selection of premium wagyu. This carefully crafted collection of authentic A5 Japanese wagyu debuted in April. It features four select cuts prepared by in-house experts and has since made its way across professional and domestic kitchens in America. “We want to become the market leader in wagyu,” says Wagyu Haus founder Peter Dong. “And to become a reliable and trusted source, we’re providing more exposure and availability to restaurants, butcher shops, and other meat retailers for an unrivaled culinary experience.”
This ambition comes as no surprise. Wagyu Haus was founded in 2019, during a time when the wagyu industry was experiencing an unexpected rise in popularity among Japanese consumers. According to the Ministry of Finance, exports totaled 29.7 billion yen ($268.8 million) in 2019, up 20% from the previous year. Since the market was so rich, Wagyu Haus had a perfect opportunity to come together with wagyu farmers to bring this elusive premium meat closer to American consumers. Though the industry has grown here in the States with American variations of wagyu, Japanese wagyu is an entirely different experience.
Wagyu Haus’ website not only showcases their collection but also helps bring more insight about the history and practices of authentic Japanese wagyu. Wagyu farming has a long and storied history in Japan, and this has led to the meticulous process that farmers still adhere to today. This process is so precise that there are only four breeds of cows herded for this delicacy: the Japanese Black, the Japanese Brown, the Japanese Shorthorn, and the Japanese Polled. But don’t despair. These cows are treated akin to royalty; they are kept in free-range, mountainous terrains where they eat well and live their best, stress-free lives. During winter, farmers will even mass cows’ legs to keep their muscles from cramping in the cold.
The results of this careful, ethical farming can be clearly seen, even all the way here in America. Wagyu beef has a unique marbling, which contains essential fats such as omega-3 and omega-6, that help aid in boosting cardiovascular health. Not only that, it’s high in protein and is a prime source of Vitamin B. “It’s important to have food that tastes good and is good for you,” says Peter Dong, “and wagyu’s benefits can’t be denied. We aspire to bring more awareness and accessibility to this meat so that everyday people can enjoy this product with their friends and family.”
It takes small steps to help an industry grow, but Wagyu Haus isn’t deterred by the challenge. Wagyu Haus’ April collection is currently available for restaurants and supermarkets to order directly to their kitchens. This is only the beginning as Wagyu Haus hopes to introduce a wider range of Japanese cuisine for American consumers to enjoy and plans to do one savory, unforgettable cut of wagyu at a time.
To learn about Wagyu Haus and its mission to bring accessibility to the U.S. market, please visit its website at https://wagyuhaus.com/.