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Introducing the Award-Winning Shinshu Wagyu: A Hidden Gem from Nagano Prefecture

By Joe Heitzeberg - Co-founder and CEO of Crowd Cow. I'm on Instagram at @jheitzeb.

Hey there, Wagyu enthusiasts! We've got something really special to share with you today. We're excited to announce that Crowd Cow is now offering the exquisite and award-winning Shinshu Wagyu (信州和牛) from the beautiful Nagano Prefecture (長野県) in Japan. This is a beef that's been praised for its exceptional quality, tenderness, and flavor, thanks to the love and care given by the dedicated farmers in the region. So, let's dive into what makes Shinshu Wagyu stand out from the crowd.

Shinshu cattle farm in Nagano Prefecture

The Secret to Shinshu Wagyu's Unrivaled Quality

At the heart of Shinshu Wagyu's outstanding quality lies a focus on excellent hygiene, superior raising practices, and a perfect ratio of oleic acid. Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in certain vegetables and animal products. In Japanese Wagyu, oleic acid provides health benefits along with a softer texture and taste by changing the melting point of lipids in the beef.

The production of Shinshu Wagyu started around 60 years ago, in 1955, when the revered Tajima cattle were introduced to the region. Ever since then, the farmers in Nagano have been passionately working to improve their techniques and produce the finest quality Wagyu. And boy, have they succeeded!

The Apple of Our Eye: Shinshu Wagyu's Unique Flavor Profile

One of the most interesting aspects of Shinshu Wagyu is the occasional inclusion of apples in the cattle's diet. Nagano Prefecture, being the second most famous apple-producing region in Japan after Aomori, has its farmers sometimes incorporating this nutrient-rich fruit into their feed.

These apples not only add a unique touch to the local flavor but also provide a variety of vitamins and minerals which can influence the aji (味, flavor) and yawarakasa (柔らかさ, tenderness) of the beef, giving it a distinctive taste that's both subtle and refreshing. However, it's important to note that not every animal in the program is fed apples, so while it's a fascinating part of Shinshu Wagyu's story, it shouldn't be overstated.

Cattle grazing on world-renowned Nagano apples

From Calves to Cows: Nurturing Excellence at Every Stage

The farmers of Shinshu Wagyu take exceptional care during the crucial 12-15 month period when Beef Marbling Standard (BMS) is most likely to develop in the calves. The result? A beautifully marbled beef that melts in your mouth and bursts with flavor.

In addition to focusing on the development of marbling, Shinshu cattle farmers also pay special attention to the comfort and well-being of their animals. During the winter months, the cows are often dressed in clothes and neck warmers, and various methods are employed to keep them cozy and content.

The small-scale operation of Shinshu cattle farms allows for personalized care and attention to each animal's health, ensuring that the resulting beef is of the highest quality. The outcome? A smooth, tender, and melt-in-your-mouth flavor that'll leave you craving more.

Smooth, Tender, and Undeniably Delicious

The Shinshu Wagyu's unparalleled tenderness and melt-in-your-mouth flavor are a true testament to the dedication and passion of the Nagano farmers. The meticulous care taken in raising these cattle shines through in every bite, making it an extraordinary culinary experience that you'll savor and remember for a long time.

While Shinshu Wagyu, known as Shinshu Premium (信州プレミアム) in Japan, has been a well-guarded secret over there for years, we're excited to share this delightful beef with you. With only the equivalent of around 300 head of cattle worth of Shinshu Wagyu imported to the United States each year in total, you're in for a rare and exclusive treat.

Don't miss the chance to indulge in this hidden gem from Nagano Prefecture, and experience the mouthwatering flavor and tenderness that sets Shinshu Wagyu apart from the rest. Trust us; your taste buds will thank you!


Available now: Japanese A5 Wagyu

Crowd Cow works directly with some of the best Wagyu farms in Japan.

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