A4 & A5 Wagyu gets its legendary flavor from intense marbling. Get ready for sweet, buttery, decadent delight with every bite.
And there's science to back up the happy dance our taste-buds are doing. Research shows that beef from Kuroge-washu contains more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as more monounsaturated fatty acids (a.k.a. the good fats) than other kinds of beef. In fact, the unique composition of A4 and A5 Wagyu means that it melts at room temperature, so it's no exaggeration when we say it "melts in your mouth." This is just another reason why Japanese Wagyu is considered the pinnacle of the beef world.
Since 1966, Japan's beef industry has held a nationwide competition every five years to crown the best beef in the country. It's called Zenkoku Wagyu Noryku Kyoshin-kai (全国和牛能力共進会) but it's known also as "The Wagyu Olympics". There are 11 prize categories, one of the more interesting of which measures the quality of the fats (looking for things like the health-promoting and umami-generating oleic acid). There's also an overall winner, based on the average of scores across the categories. In September 2017, Kagoshima beef took the top prize based on overall contest scores (総合得点による「団体賞」は、鹿児島県が１位). You could say that Kagoshima's A5 Wagyu is very best Japanese beef you can buy right now!
A4 vs. A5 Wagyu
In Japan, A4 and above marks the incredibly high standard by which luxury grade Wagyu in Japan is qualified, including Kobe beef. A4, in particular, is what true steak connoisseurs gravitate toward and is, simply put, the Wagyu lover’s Wagyu. Without compromising the umami-packed, melt-in-your-mouth experience for which Japanese Wagyu is famous, A4 offers a more balanced eating experience with a slightly deeper beefy flavor and less overwhelmingly rich profile. You can enjoy more of it in one sitting. A5, on the other hand, will leave you satisfied with just a slice or two because of its incredible richness. A5 is the highest grade of Japanese Wagyu with the greatest amount of marbling — a prized delicacy and extra decadent, special occasion treat everyone should try at least once.
How to Prepare Japanese Wagyu
The Ultimate Guide to Wagyu
Our Journey to the Inside of The Japanese Beef World
Japan Holds a “Best Beef Olympics” Every Five Years - Guess who won this year?
Why You Should Pay Attention to A4 Wagyu
Myths & Facts: Japanese Wagyu and American Wagyu
Why is "Kobe Beef" so famous?