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2010-10-30

>marbled ribeye beef, "flower" or "frosty" cut, 꽃등심, 霜降り肉

(Moved from Oct 19, 2008)

Talk about apples and oranges.

Bon vivants routinely attempt good-natured taste-offs, and the quest for the best tasting beef is no exception. Ever since wagyu
(和牛) or Kobe beef rose in prominence, diners have been asking for, and at times disappointed by, the exquisitely prepared dish, as steak or otherwise. It does not help that expectation tends to be rather high when you pay a hefty premium.

Well, not every cut of a wagyu or the pricey 한우 (hanu) tastes the same (do I get to say "duh"?) which definitely makes it an advantage to be friendly with your butcher.

Cattle breed makes a difference, so do feed and age (and preparation.) But the most important criterion is which part of the animal the cut of meat comes from.

Taste is a subjective matter, but one consensus is that the tastiest cut hails from a specific rib area, with rich marbling and just the right balance of flavor. In the part of the world where beef is most treasured, minutely classified and priced accordingly, this would be the "flower" or "frosty" cut - 꽃등심 / 霜降り肉, which are mostly translated as marbled "sirloin". It's a general mistranslation owing to their antiquated dictionaries. What they are looking for is closer to prime rib, rib steak or rib-eye roll area rather than sirloin, within thoracic (not cervical or lumbar) vertebrae 1 through 13. (Cows have 13, humans have 12.)
Another taste criterion: It helps if the cow was fat and idle. (Requiescat in pace.)