The best beef in the world?

by on June 1, 2008 at 6:12 am in Food and Drink | Permalink

There is a new winner and yes it is Kobe Beef in Kobe, Japan.  It lives up to the hype, if you are in Kobe just try any of the better beef establishments in town.  My personal list now reads as follows (in order, of course):

1. Kobe Beef, Kobe, Japan.

2. Dry-aged beef in Hermosillo, Mexico.

3. Southern Brazil, near Curitiba.

4. Lockhart, Texas, most of all the brisket at Schmitty’s.

Maybe Argentina is next in line and it might place higher if I had consumed countryside barbecue there.

And yes, Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman are right: you should eat less beef.  But Kobe is not the place to abstain.  The reality is that eating beef in Kobe will make it very hard for you to eat beef almost anywhere else again.

A. H. Paschal June 1, 2008 at 7:37 am

I’m a Texan and I say that Argentina should be at least fourth on your list, and here’s why: They do it without any of the fancy spices that we need for brisket. Argentinean beef is just that, and it’s a beautiful thing, better than any beef I’ve had in my entire life in Texas. So take note because this is probably the only time you’ll hear a Texan say that his state isn’t the best at something, especially something like beef.

Gannon June 1, 2008 at 11:33 am

You are completely nuts if you believe that
Mexican, Brazilean or Texan beaf is better
than Argentinian meat.
Argentina’s bife (beef) is soft
as butter and tastes delicious. Only Japanese
beef might be better.

Yan Li June 1, 2008 at 12:01 pm

I have heard those Japanese cows lived a very pampered life, drinking beer in the summer, listening to Mozart all year round, getting massages every now and then, etc.

Townleybomb June 1, 2008 at 1:58 pm

I concur with your ranking of Japanese beef, but I do feel obligated to toss in my two yen and point out that “Kobe beef” is generally known as “Tajima beef” in Japan, as that’s the rural area where it was bred and most of it is raised. I lived there for several years, and it’s a beautiful area, with fantastic crab as well as beef– the hot springs town Kinosaki is a great overnight trip from Osaka and Kyoto.

Anonymous June 1, 2008 at 3:37 pm

re:#4, Texas Monthly magazine just released its new rankings of best bbq places, and there’s a new king. It’s a previously unknown place in Lexington, TX, and it’s only open between 8AM and noonish on Saturdays. I’m already planning a pilgrimage.

Tom June 1, 2008 at 6:43 pm

You don’t need beef; you can get bison-most of it is grass-fed-right here in the US. It’s much better for you than beef or any of that other CAFO meat. To bad most urbanites have no idea what is fed/administered to animals in those places.

Bernard Yomtov June 1, 2008 at 8:33 pm

I can’t do the rankings, having not had most of the beef on your list. But if there is some that’s a lot better than Argentine beef I’d be amazed, and very anxious to try it.

The beef down there is delicious.

Phillip Capper June 1, 2008 at 9:38 pm

It makes me very sad that what is undoubtedly the best beef in the world is only obtainable in its country of origin, save for a very few outlets in Brisbane and Sydney.

The beef cattle of Vanuatu are all mongrels that find it hard to eat the grass faster than it grows and produce meat that is incomparable. In February I had the opportunity to eat a Vanuatu steak in a good restaurant and follow it with one in a very good New York restaurant (at 4 times the price) within a few days. Having made the comparison I feel now that I have little choice but to go back to Port Vila every time I want to eat beef.

Russell Nelson June 2, 2008 at 1:24 am

I had a one pound Kobe beef hamburger once.

Yes, it *was* that good.

No, I didn’t pay for it.

Rich June 2, 2008 at 1:33 pm

McDonald’s Big Mac!

Micheal D. June 5, 2008 at 7:05 am

For me number one is ex equo Kobe beef, and beef I ate in small, familly run restaurant in Poland. Maybe the setting(woods and lakes) was just right but it was great.

Jay M July 22, 2008 at 1:43 pm

Pete up there almost hit the nail on the head until he started praising the angus hereford mix. The “best beef” may be from Kobe prefecture, but the treatment of those animals makes confinement veal look like a day at the spa. It is simply horrific. So if I am to rule out the Japanese cattle, then the best beef in the world, in my opinion, is Brandt Beef from Brawley, California. I have purchased and served well over a million pounds of beef, and the Brandt product has no equal.

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lee February 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm

easily Alberta Beef in Canada. ive never had anything else literally melt in my mouth. Love me some Kobe beef from Japan too

Ezequiel May 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Best beef in the world is ARGENTINA BEEF no doubt, your rank is wrong! BIFE DE CHORIZO y BIFE DE LOMO best in the world.. Brazil?? your are wrong they us cows from argentina, they only had CEBU from india, only the PAMPAS COWS are the best!! :) Try an ARGENTINIAN ASADO, then you tell me… Greetings from Buenos Aires.

texano May 31, 2009 at 2:40 pm

i may have some authority in beef we do grilling 5 nights a week and most of the times we have at least aged dark angus i have tasted argentinian beef, texan beef ,kobe beef and mexican beef
im not sure what is the best but has to be between the kobe and the mexican beef
for taste nothing beats the mexican beef when you get a tasty beef in texas chanzes are that beef came from mexico, the texan beef is tender but lacks the taste of the mexican beef the secret is not what they eat but where they eat there is a zone in mexico from tamaulipas state to chiuhuahua state including nuevo leon state that produces grass that makes this beef taste better but not only the beef the best goat in the world is in this particular zone where the “cabrito al pastor” is a god’s plate (just born goat grilled)i know gringos than have travel hundreds of miles just to taste again that plate ( they said they have trayed in other parts in mexico and usa but is not same) argentinian is good but not to the standards of northern mexico where a culture of cowboys still alive (note im talking about only of beef of north mexico i know beef in other parts in mexico is not that good) my favorites cut to grill are ribeye, outside fajitas,inside fajitas (marinated) loaded ribs,cage free chiken marinated with pinaple and orange juice and a lot of garlic (all natural from a friends ranch), and of course grilled baby goat (born that same day never tasted milk) all this with charro beans(bean soup with cilantro chile tomatoe, onions sausage) pico de gallo, guacamole, melted white cheese with mexican sausage hand made flour tortilla and a lot of coronas

JLS February 12, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Amarillo chipped beef at the truckstop.

Marius April 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I do agree on the Kobe beef in a class of it´s own. For second place it´s very close between Argentina and Normandie in France but I will have to go for the Normandie one and the T-bone steak (Cote de Beauf).
Because of feeding close to the atlantic shore where grass contains alot of salt the taste is amazing :-)
When in France (Normandy) try it. A very good place to try it would be Chez Patoch in the city Caen.

Chub November 2, 2010 at 1:11 am

Matsuzaka and Mishima beef are both considered better than Kobe in Japan.

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