What is 7X beef? Is it Kobe, Wagyu, or something else?

Is 7X Kobe beef?

In a word, no. Kobe beef comes from a particular strain of Japanese cattle (the Tajima), and must be born, fed, and fabricated in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Unless you live in Japan, or paid precious-metal prices for some of the mere 6600 pounds of Kobe that have been sold in the US since it was legalized in late 2012, you probably haven’t had real Kobe beef.

Though legendary, Kobe is an acquired taste. It is bred to be exceptionally fatty, and to be eaten in small amounts. You’d no more want to eat a Kobe strip steak with asparagus and a side of potatoes than you’d eat twelve ounces of foie gras. It’s delicious, but best consumed in moderation.

Unfortunately, Kobe is not a protected designation, and the beef market is rife with misleading labeling. Most Americans who have been served Kobe beef have actually had “American Style Kobe Beef.” That beef often has some Japanese ancestry, but the herds have been diluted with other breeds — mostly Angus — to produce a steer with better marbling and fat retention than other American breeds, but nowhere near the level of pureblood Japanese cattle.

Is 7X Wagyu beef?

In a word, yes. But the explanation isn’t that simple. Wagyu is a generic term for Japanese cattle, and need not refer to breeds with extensive marbling — a Holstein milk cow from Hokkaido is technically “wagyu.” Furthermore, Wagyu sold in the United States need only be one-quarter Japanese (the rest, again, is usually Angus), and that quarter doesn’t need to be from the same breed of Japanese cattle. American-raised Wagyu does tend to be of a higher quality than industrially farmed beef, but there are no guarantees about its genetic makeup beyond the 25-percent minimum, and certainly no claims made about how it was raised.

7X is pure Japanese beef, raised from one single breed with a 100-percent-pure bloodline. Like the beef produced from Kobe’s famous Taijima breed, 7X Beef is renowned for its intense marbling, unmatched flavor, and surprising tenderness. But where Kobe breeders work to make their end product a curiosity of extreme beef breeding, 7X cattle are bred and raised to create the perfect steak: toothsome, flavorful, and unbelievably juicy.