Going to Costco can feel like embarking on a treasure hunt; some of the best products require a physical visit to the store. And sometimes, you strike gold and stumble upon an incredible deal that creates buzz on the internet. During a recent trip, one shopper purchased what they believed to be a standard beef loin flap steak, a cut similar in flavor to skirt steak but more affordable. However, upon closer inspection, the beef appeared surprisingly marbled, resembling the much more expensive Wagyu beef. Eager for expert opinions, the shopper turned to Reddit, where both self-proclaimed professional butchers and Costco employees chimed in.
Comparing the $11.99 per pound beef to a cut of Wagyu flap meat side by side reveals striking similarities. The marbling creates the characteristic webbing throughout the meat, and fine striations are visible within the beef. If this turns out to be Wagyu beef passed off as USDA Choice, the shopper scored an incredible deal, considering that the high-end cut can cost more than $100 per pound.
Is There A Possibility This Is Genuine Wagyu?
It's unlikely in the technical sense and probably just an exceptionally delicious, high-quality piece of meat bought for a steal. And if, by chance, it is indeed Wagyu, it's likely to be American Wagyu, rather than Japanese Wagyu. One commenter pointed out that A5 Japanese Wagyu typically comes with an authentic distributor seal and is found in the freezer section of most Costcos.
Most opinions in the Reddit thread leaned toward the belief that this is heavily marbled Prime meat, an upgrade from Choice, being sold as Choice due to labeling regulations. A self-proclaimed butcher confirmed it as marbled flap meat and explained that most facilities don't separate flap meat to label it as Prime, even if it meets the criteria. "That's why once in a blue moon you will see some pieces that look this nice," they wrote.
Another butcher supported this notion, saying, "We've definitely gotten Wagyu-looking meat in and sold it as choice because A) it would screw up our inventory if we sold it as anything else and B) Wagyu is a breed of cattle so we couldn't legally sell it as that." In any case, the original poster acquired a high-quality piece of meat at a fantastic price. They also reported that it tasted amazing at several temperatures but was the best at medium, the ideal temperature for Wagyu.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.