What Is Colby Beef?

Sometimes misheard as "Colby," Kobe beef is one of the most famous dishes a gourmand can enjoy. A single steak cut from this rare meat can sell for hundreds of dollars. This beef has a unique history and development that makes it special to fans of exquisite meats.


Kobe is the capital of the Japanese prefecture of Hyogo. It is here that the Wagyu breed of cattle has been raised according to strict tradition for more than 2,000 years. Though Wagyu cattle can be raised anywhere, true Kobe beef is raised and slaughtered in Hyogo. Much like how sparkling wine made outside of France is often mistakenly called Champagne, the term "Kobe beef" is often used erroneously. Beef raised in the Kyogo tradition in other locations is properly referred to as "Kobe-style" beef.

Treatment and Diet

To say that Kobe beef cattle are well care for is an understatement. These pampered cows are given sake and beer mash as part of their regular diet. They are also treated to daily massages to keep their muscles relaxed, resulting in more tender meat.


Kobe beef is prized for its rich marbling and tenderness. A cut of Kobe beef is of such high quality that if it were cooked at the same high a temperature as a regular steak, it would liquefy. Kobe beef has plenty of beneficial fatty acids, as well as the benefit of being hormone- and antibiotic-free.