Japan offers a number of unique beef-based dishes. Sukiyaki, for example, features beef boiled in a shallow iron pan using a soy-sauce and sugar sauce.
Japanese people have a highly refined taste for the meat used in their food, and there are over 200 brands of beef in the country. Among these, Saga Prefecture’s eponymous Saga beef is known for its impressive quality, and ranks highly in many wagyu (Japanese beef) competitions.
The history of Saga beef can be traced back to 1983, when a cattle-rearing group in Saga conducted a research program that led to the successful export of quality beef. It didn’t take long for its value to be recognized, and by 1988, Saga beef established itself as a leading beef brand. As production rapidly increased, certification requirements were established for the brand, and the sweet, rich taste of Saga beef grew to be enjoyed worldwide.
A strict certification standard has been set for all official Saga beef. First, the beef must come from a black-haired Japanese cow grown raised in an agricultural-association-designated farm. Second, it must mark above 7 out of 12 in the Beef Marbling Standard set by the Japan Meat Grading Association. Any meat that does not meet these standards is not considered Saga beef.
Saga beef cattle are raised using expert breeding techniques in the rich natural environs of Saga Prefecture. The calm climate, beautiful water and clean air form ideal conditions for cattle rearing. Raised through the careful management of local farmers, the processed meat is distinguished by a beautiful, fine-grained marbling known as tsuya-sashi, or glossy marbling.
Though the term washoku may bring forth images of fish and vegetables, Japan also boasts a well-honed sense of the quality of beef that can stand strong anywhere in the world. Why not try some delicious Saga beef and discover it for yourself?
Ariake Saga Airport
9476-187 Kawasoemachi Oaza Inuido Saga City Saga Prefecture
1-14-38 Ekimaechuo Saga City Saga Prefecture