Wagyu is well known for its nutty flavoured, fat-marbled meat and anyone who has been to Japan and been fortunate enough to both set eyes on, let along their teeth into, a wagyu steak will know what we mean. A Japanese breed, we are now lucky to have New Zealand-raised, grass-fed Wagyu available at Farro Fresh from Firstlight, so you can enjoy this amazing meat too.
Wagyu is often talked about rather fancifully (and incorrectly) in terms of the production and care of Wagyu cattle in Japan. Suggestions of daily massages and beer feeding sessions aren’t 100 percent true, but small farmers do have close relationships with their stock and do feed them everything from strawberries to grains, and sake and beer lees , a byproduct of the alcohol making process, as they believe this gives additional nutrients that can benefit the cows, make them more resilient to disease and certainly much happier.
In New Zealand, Firstlight has its Wagyu animals roaming free rather than being housed so they eat all that great grass we have so much off, meaning a rich and lush diet of grass and flowers that their stomachs are designed for. Firstlight is the only commercial-scale producer of grass-fed Wagyu beef, which delivers an eating experience that is always succulent, juicy and tender. Firstlight’s partnership with New Zealand company Wagyu Breeders gives it access to the best Wagyu bulls and cows outside of Japan, which keeps the bloodline strong, allowing all the natural attributes of the Wagyu cattle to come through that they have been working hard on for the past 18 years.
Firstlight work with a number of farmers based around the North Island. All their animals are 100 percent grass-fed on free-range pastures – with nothing added but fresh water, clean air, and sunshine. We are lucky in NZ to have such good grass, excellent knowledge of good farming practices and very happy cows, all of which makes for juicy and tender steaks.
Whether you opt for a succulent steak or go for a wagyu burger, it’s really well worth a try!