Wagyu Branded Beef Judging Terminology
What does the Wagyu taste like? What flavours are present? And how does it feel when I eat it?
These are the questions our judges ask when comparing Wagyu beef.
Each aspect will be influenced by marbling, the firmness and texture of the beef, as well as the hints of how the Wagyu cattle were raised.
To describe how it feels to chew Wagyu beef we use: chewy, enjoyable-chewy, fibrous, granular, greasy, mushy, silky, tender, textureless, tough, very-tender, other.
The impression given from the release of the meat’s water-holding capacity on first eating defines the juiciness. The melted intramuscular fats in highly marbled beef will be a major contributor to this but will also include the consumer’s saliva. The salivation response will be tempered by aroma and hunger.
Descriptors: Very-dry, dry, slightly-dry, initial juiciness, very juicy, lasting juiciness.
There are five taste receptor groups; sweet, salt, bitter and sour plus the Japanese flavour ‘umami’ (which means beefy, savoury, brothy or delicious). There are up to 880 volatile compounds of different chemical classes reported in cooked Wagyu beef.
Descriptors: beany, bitter, buttery, caramel, cereal, chemical/medicinal, citrus, clean and fresh, creamy, dairy, earthy, fatty, fishy, herbal, kerosene, livery, low, putrid, metallic, nutty, popcorn, rancid, rich, rounded, salty, soapy, sour, stale, sweet, toasty, unami, other.
What does the Wagyu beef smell like? The perception of the volatile characteristics of food is perceived by receptors primarily in the nose.
Descriptors: Beefy, caramel, cardboard, cereal, citrus, sulphury, fishy, medicinal/chemical, herbaceous, putrid, stale, musty, livery, kerosene/solvent, low/faint, toasty, popcorn, fresh, floral, pungent, other.
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