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Feb 20, 2017 @ 9:25

These Animals Live Better Lives Than You Do

Discriminating diners may willingly shell out for premium product, but it’s always nice to know what, exactly, you’re paying for. Here’s a peek behind the scenes at what goes into raising the animals that are destined to become some of the most luxurious ingredients in the world.

Matsuzaka Beef

In Japan, beef is graded on a 12-point marbling scale (the higher the number, the more layers of fat). While the well-known Kobe beef scores a six, Matsuzaka’s clocks in at a whopping 10-12, making it arguably the finest beef in all the land. Matsuzaka cows are kept virginal during their time in remote Mie prefecture, which farmers swear affects the taste of the finished product. They’re also plied with beer to encourage their appetites, massaged regularly with a stiff brush to evenly distribute their fat, and generally coddled for all three years of their life (an unusually long life for beef cows). The result is beef so richly marbled as to resemble fine art. It literally melts in your mouth should you be lucky enough to snag a bite, which—at over $200 per pound wholesale—doesn’t come cheap.

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