The city of Yonezawa is the proud home to one of Japan’s finest cuts of beef, up there alongside popular brands such as Matsusaka, Maesawa and Kobe beef. The beef has incredibly marbled texture, as a result of fattening up the cows with copious amounts of rice straw, and the end result is the beef melts in your mouth (literally), thanks to the low melting point of the fat.
Yonezawa’s history as one of Japan’s beef capitals goes back to the late 1800’s, when a hungry Englishman called Charles Henry Dallas, found himself working as an English teacher in the region. On a trip down to Yokohama, he took a cow down with him as a souvenir, and once his foreign friends had a taste of the delicious cow, word soon spread about the quality of Yonezawa’s cows.
The beef is best enjoyed rare, so you can really enjoy the juicy texture and you’ll find the beef to be so tender, you’ll barely need to chew. Having been lucky to travel Japan extensively and try its many famous beefs, I must say, Yonezawa is probably the best I’ve ever had. It’s a tragedy that people living outside Japan don’t know what they’re missing out.
Western beef simply doesn’t compare – although it’s certainly far cheaper.
WHERE: Yoshitei, 吉亭
ADDRESS: 1-3-46 Montomachi Yonezawa Yamagata