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Bulk retailer’s online storefront is a treasure-trove of choice Japanese cuts

Tim Nelson
June 12, 2018

Bulk-buying superstore Costco has made a name for itself by flipping the quality over quantity mantra on its head. It’s the kind of place where you can buy 48 beers for about $10, but isn’t exactly an ideal source of master chef-worthy ingredients. But as it turns out, this bastion of bulk buying is secretly home to some of the most select slabs of beef in the world.

It’s strange but true: you can actually buy Wagyu beef directly from the Costco website. They’re selling finely-marbled slabs of everyone’s favorite buttery, Japanese beef in a variety of different cuts like filet mignon and New York strip. Many carry an A5 rating, the highest possible grade on the Japanese beef rating scale. The “A” indicates the cow provided an exceptionally high yield of usable meat, with the “5” indicating exceptional quality of those cuts.

So how did this beef bounty even make its way to everyone’s favorite big-box retailer? It seems to be the product of a partnership with a company called Authentic Wagyu. According to Costco product descriptions, Authentic has “established relationships with all 10 USDA approved processing facilities in Japan,” which offers “the advantage of hand selecting the ‘very best’ cuts and grades for our Costco members.”

Of course, Costco’s bulk habits die hard. If you want your hands on some Wagyu filet mignon for example, you’ll have to buy two total pounds of the stuff for $429.99. If you feel like making a more sizable investment in some of the world’s best beef, you can also take out a loan and throw down $1279.99 for 13 pounds of New York Loin Roast.

So if you’ve always dreamed of eating the finest Japanese steaks, why pay for a plane ticket to Tokyo when you can get hoard some prime cuts of the world’s best meat in your freezer for the same price? Sure, it may not taste as good as if you ate local beef at a top-flight Japanese steakhouse. But if we can’t have pounds of beef shipped halfway round the world online and have it delivered to our doors so that we can ruin it on our grills, the American dream is well and truly dead.

 

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