Last Tuesday, while removing pin bones from trout fillets for a large party at the club where I chef, my manager introduced me to two gentlemen, Paul Dojo and Yasuo Iba. Both are salesmen from ADIRECT USA INC, importers of Ohmi Premium Wagyu Beef. After a sales pitch with intermittent translation, business cards exchanged, some waist bending, and an offer of a rib eye cut that was heavily marbled with fat, I cut off a piece to try sometime after the party. The salesman warned me that the beef had a low melting point. "Like chocolate," I said half jokingly. They laughed, then told me that they would be doing a demonstration with their steaks across the river in Edgewater, New Jersey at Matsuwa market on Saturday morning.
The following day, my sous chef and I finally tasted the very "phat" beef. Whew. Call my cardiologist! My first impression chewing the flash seared piece of marbled meat, (hardly your average USDA dry aged cut) this specimen has just a deceptively light taste of beef with airy, silky fat resonant on your lips and tongue. Safe to say you might want to take a couple extra Omega 6 pills immediately! When my boss squealed disgust, commenting that he didn’t like the beef’s fatty nature, I thought "fine by me cause it tastes very good to me!" And so I marked my calender Saturday morning for the demo at Matsuwa Market in Edgewater.
Matsuwa is a Japanese food emporium with all sorts of goodies, from beer, sake, rice, sushi,etc.. Like Mitsuwa market, which I wrote about yesterday, Matsuwa is located in New Jersey, just across the Hudson from Manhattan. It sits in a large mall complex with a number of different stores selling kitchenware, perfume to books. As well there is a large riverfront Japanese Steakhouse, if you’re not inclined to eat in the market’s busy food court. When I arrived we were greeted by sales reps for a baking company who offered long cookie sticks covered in chocolate. Hardly Japanese I thought, but my mind was swimming with visions of shabu-shabu pieces of Ohmi beef shimmering in water speckled with fat. We were directed to the back of the store where I located Paul, salesman for Ohmi. He welcomed me and we started to taste and talk Wagyu. After some introductions to Kazuko Nagao publisher of Pecopeco, a cool web foodzine, according to Kazuko’s card, for "hungry Japanese." All the while people were crowding around the Wagyu table, and I even made a
friend with an elderly gentleman who kept commenting that the beef was so good while he
tapped my stomach. Was he trying to tell me something? Anyway, Paul says he will talk with us about Wagyu in depth when he returns from the West coast. Stay tuned!