Germany: Long gone are the days when only local breeds of beef cattle were to be found on German meadows.
The German meat industry banks on diversity: many breeders have specialized in well-known international breeds of cattle (and further developed them through cross-breeding). As a result, quality beef from Black Angus, Charolais, Limousin and Hereford cattle does not have to travel halfway around the world to arrive on the meat counter of even the smallest local butcher. The breeders have even ventured to use German Wagyu.
France: Gourmet chefs from the land of “haute cuisine” swear by the meat of the powerful white Charolais cattle. They are bred almost exclusively for meat production, have plenty of exercise and are fed on natural foods. The heavy, muscle-packed animals do not tend to form fat. Their pink-colored flesh, therefore, is quite lean, has correspondingly fine veins of fat and has a relatively dense consistency.
Italy: The Razza Chianina is considered the largest and oldest cattle breed in the world. Beef labelled‚ amici della chianina‘ is rare and expensive. And that, even though Tuscan cattle can weigh up to 1,500 kilos. It is no coincidence that they are the suppliers of the gigantic Bistecca alla Fiorentina. The so-called Porterhouse steak, a classic of Italian cuisine, is prepared on the charcoal grills. Tender, juicy meat and a fine marbling characterize the pieces.
Japan: For connoisseurs, the best of the best: the meat of the Wagyu cattle from the Kobe area. The pampered cattle receive beer daily as part of their high-quality diet and are massaged. Thanks to its unique fat grain, the meat is as soft as butter, and the delicacy, if you are ever able to buy it, commands top prices – up to € 1,000/kilo.
South America: The Black Angus cattle of Argentina still usually graze outdoors all the year round. For two years the animals of Scottish origin graze in the wide-open spaces of the Pampas and feed totally naturally on the grasses and herbs. Their meat has a dark red color, is tender and has a strong flavor, and shows a continuous marbling.
USA: The predominant breeds are Black Angus and Hereford from the West of England. The USDA (US Department of Agriculture) vigorously monitors the labelling of 100 million cattle in eight quality grades. Steak meat ranks in the top three categories: with “select”, “choice” and the top quality “prime”. It is the most tender, has the finest marbling and the most aromatic flavor. The premium beef is reserved for delicatessens and top restaurants.