Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kobe or not Kobe? And Who's Jimmy Buffett?

       Last quarter my class went on a tour of the Bush Brothers meat warehouse, we couldn't stay long due to the fact that they were very busy with the holidays coming up, however we did learn one important lesson which stuck with me, but boggles my brain now.  We were told by one of the owners himself that Kobe beef cannot be purchased in the United States, it is only raised in Japan and is not imported to the US.  As I'm sitting in class a few weeks ago, the chef starts talking about how great Kobe beef is  and how expensive it is to buy and I couldn't believe my ears, "this is confusing"  I thought to myself  we were told it's not imported here.  During one of our breaks, I approached chef and mentioned this, he said he believes the US now raises Kobe beef, I told him what we were told at Bush Brothers and he said it may well be that the US is now raising Kobe, "things in the food industry chage rapidly sometimes"  he said.  I was still uneasy especially when he approached another instructor and asked him, he didn't have a concrete answer either, all he said was he "believes" the US raises "wagyu" beef.  What?....What does one have to do with the other?  The confusion only grew deeper, I decided to let it go and do some research of my own.

         The information my research yielded me should have satisfied me but now I was thinking "if this is correct than that means even the chefs at school are confused about Kobe".  During lab the following week I approached chef again, with a serious demeanor I said "chef I was still confused about the Kobe beef issue and decided to do some research"   "and....?" he answered  "what I understand is that America does a "knock off" if you will of Kobe beef and that is called "wagyu beef" the confusion comes in the term used to describe it "Kobe style" wagyu beef, as it is called in most ofl the articles I read.  Chef looks me in the eye noticing  my confusion he says "you worry about wierd things"  "no, no I said, I need the right answers here if I am going to write about these things I need to know the facts"  all of a sudden I felt like "grasshopper" from the "Kunf Fu" series asking "master what is the true meaning of life?"  I saw myself grasping his chefs' coat and tugging at it in an effort to jar his brain, in an instant I collected myself and realized that maybe, just maybe I enlightened the master...hmmm..... On the midterm Chef dedicated a true or false question to the topic: True or False wagyu beef is the American form of Kobe beef, very cool.  The difference between Japanese Kobe and American wagyu is in the marbling, nonetheless it's the ultimate in beef, I can't tell you that "first hand" though, can't afford to try it just yet, darn!  The word is it costs about sixty bucks for six ounces or so.   If you've read this and find you have more information I would love to know about it, so feel free to comment and thanks. 

      Another rather important question occurred to me about a month ago, when Chef shared with the class that during our next two-week break from school he is going to see Jimmy Buffett in concert and  have a great old time, I sat in my seat thinking "big deal, I never even heard of him, this must be a Florida thing "  I am a music aficionado, but the name didn't even ring a bell.  Squirming in my seat now due to curiousity, I stared into space trying to get a clue as to who he was, but nothing.  As my peers left the classroom for a break, I stayed behind in hopes I could catch chef alone and ask the question of the quarter "who's Jimmy Buffett?"  When I did, his eyes rolled up into his head and he literally threw himself to the floor pretending he had fainted at the notion I didn't know who Jimmy Buffet was, I apologized while laughing, "tell me what he sings" I said "maybe I do know him"  "Ok" he said lifting himself off the floor  "a popular one is Margaritaville" "ooooohhh!" I said, of course I know his music and lyrics too, just wasn't familiar with his name.  Turns out Jimmy Buffet is quite popular here in Florida and with good reason, he's got some great songs, I found out a co-worker is also into Jimmy Buffett and she was even able to tell me where he hangs out, she said "go to the Square Grouper in Jupiter, he's there a lot"  "good to know" I said.   Now I know this has nothing to do with food, but I did learn it at school and as you've read Jimmy Buffett seems to be an integral part of Floridian life.  Thank you so much for reading, take care!

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