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Five Words to Describe Mishima Reserve Wagyu Beef

  • Oct 01, 2018

When we began plans to bring Mishima Reserve Wagyu Beef to a wider audience, we knew we wanted to create a vocabulary to capture the multi-sensory experience of eating it. If we were going to put this amazing beef in people’s mouths, maybe we should put some useful words in there, too. For inspiration, we looked at two of our other favorite food groups: wine and cheese. Both are rich with their own vocabularies (notes of floral, cherry, or cedar) that serve as a kind of organoleptic bridge between the makers and consumers, and among the consumers and enthusiasts at large. 

Responsibility for this initiative fell to our lead Food Scientist, Paul McNeely. He surveyed the industry, from wholesale channels to consumer retail and restaurants, but he could find no demand in the beef world for talk of terroir. In short, he thought the cultural norms and context of beef consumption in the US wouldn’t support such an effort. Rather than admit defeat, Paul developed a new approach, one that would be more objective and effective in inculcating newcomers to Mishima Reserve Beef. 

The result is our 5-pointed spider cut graph, or cut profile, that provides a straightforward, visual vocabulary to describe individual cuts of our American-bred wagyu beef, as well as data-driven metrics to differentiate each cut (and grade) from another. Of course, each and every Mishima Reserve steak, brisket, roast or rib is tender, juicy, beefy, and rich, with its own unique “tooth,” but there is also a spectrum of experiences across the entire array of cuts we offer. This tool simultaneously assists with discernment and articulation of qualities that are essential in choosing the appropriate cut of beef, whether for a specific occasion, specific cooking technique, or a new experience.


Meat Graph



Look for a version of this graph on all product pages throughout the website.  

Tooth: Think about this as a combination of the relative force exerted in order to bite into the beef. The more tender the beef, the less force required in your initial bite.

Juiciness: Pretty straightforward, this is the relative amount of liquid released from the meat when you first start to chew it.

Tenderness: Similar to, but not that same as, “tooth.” They’re correlated, but Tenderness seeks to quantify just how quickly the meat breaks down in your mouth.

Beefiness: Yes, all beef shares the characteristic of Beefiness. This refers to the intensity of flavor that exists from cut to cut, and to a lesser extent, one grade versus another. 

Richness: Refers to the full dimension of what you taste, including the luscious fat, combined with the lingering intensity of the finish.