There are a lot of good reasons to love the Treasure Valley in particular and Idaho more generally, too many to list here. This specific reason is one you may not have known even existed: American Wagyu beef. If a kind of beef available from the fine dining Boise has to offer doesn’t seem like it should qualify as a good reason to be here, read on.

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What is Wagyu Beef?

Wagyu beef is widely regarded as the finest beef in the world. Wagyu refers to a specific group of Japanese cattle breeds. The most commonly raised of them is the Japanese Black. These particular cattle are special because they are born with a unique genetic predisposition that results in the beef produced by them having a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids than the beef produced by typical cattle.

Those higher omega counts result in an increased ratio of monounsaturated fats to saturated fats. And those technical specifics matter because the result is beef that is the most finely marbled in the world. The most finely marbled beef in the world means the most tender and delicious beef in the world.

Even if the name “Wagyu” seems unfamiliar to you, there’s a fair chance that you’re already a bit familiar with it. Like wines in France, Wagyu beef from Japan is identified by the region in which it’s raised. Those regional varietals include Õmi beef, Matsusaka beef, and Kobe beef.

That last one might ring a bell. Kobe beef is simply a variety of Wagyu beef, certainly one of the most widely recognized. While Kobe is appropriately prized for the excellence of its marbling and its resultant taste and tenderness, it’s as well known as it is due to some popular and tenacious urban legends.

For instance, sadly for the Wagyu cattle of the Kobe beef district, they are not massaged by the ranchers raising them, they’re not fed beer and sake, and they’re not serenaded with soothing classical music. There are pretty strict regulations regarding the raising of Wagyu cattle, but for the most part they’re raised in a pretty traditional way.

As mentioned, that’s not to say that Wagyu beef is any less amazing than the buzz suggests, just that it got that way genetically rather than as the result of boozy cattle getting massages.

American Wagyu Beef

American Wagyu beef, as you may have guessed, is beef from those same Wagyu cattle that are raised right here in the U.S. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find Wagyu beef in the states. Since Wagyu is a rare commodity and fraudulent claims of Wagyu being served can occur, finding American Wagyu beef being served in one of the finer downtown Boise restaurants is likely the safest and most certain way to experience some of the finest beef.

As for how fine the beef actually is, traditional American beef is rated by the USDA, with the designation of “Prime” awarded to the best of the bunch. Only the top 3% of American beef earns Prime status—the juiciest, most tender, best textured, and best tasting. Wagyu beef exceeds that standard considerably.

According to the necessarily more intensive Japanese beef marbling standards (BMS), American Prime cuts rate around a 4-5 out of 12. Wagyu beef generally ranks a 9 or higher. Which means that even a pretty average serving of Wagyu beef is twice as tender and delicious as the best-rated USDA Prime.

It’s truly an experience.

About Chandlers

Chandlers has repeatedly been voted the best restaurant in Boise, bar none. As the Treasure Valley’s premier steakhouse, Chandlers offers guests world-class service, the most incredible steaks, the best seafood Boise has to offer, and an ambiance second-to-none. The extensive menu at Chandlers features seafood flown fresh to Boise on a daily basis and handpicked, locally sourced ingredients.

Make a reservation for an unforgettable meal at Chandlersboise.com