The marbling or fatty infiltration of meat has become one of the hallmarks of quality for products of bovine origin. Consumers of this type of product know that it is synonymous with juiciness, tenderness and flavour. Genetics take on special importance in this highly desired characteristic and, specifically, the Wagyu breed is acclaimed for being one of its exponents.
At Finca Santa Rosalía we have been dedicated to raising and exporting authentic Wagyu beef for more than 18 years. Below we will explain what marbling is, its importance for this breed and what our cattle are like.
What is meat marbling or infiltration?
Marbling is the intramuscular fat that is embedded in the muscle of the animal. It is not the fat of the skin or the fat that surrounds the muscles, bones or joints… It gets its name from the similarity of its veins with those that characterize this material.
Marbling is always synonymous with juiciness, tenderness and flavor; It is one of the basic criteria to mark the quality of the product. According to the Japanese scale there are twelve degrees that go from a cut with no marbling (0) to the maximum degree (12). The higher the score on the scale, the more appreciated the piece will be. For example, Wagyu beef, synonymous with excellence and quality throughout the world, should always rank between 6 and 12.
Likewise, certain cuts feature more marbling than others. The rib, entrails and loin are among the most marbled pieces, while the rump or sirloin tend to have less fat. That is why the inspectors always observe the muscle of the loin, specifically between the 12th and 13th rib to determine the degree of marbling of the animal.
When cooked, the fat in the piece melts, mixing with its own juices. The resulting broth keeps the meat moist and makes it a unique experience. It produces a lubrication of the palate that stimulates the taste buds and salivation. At the same time, it achieves an exaltation of flavor and aroma that is combined with a great softness that facilitates its chewing, one of the most desired attributes when we consume beef.
Marbling in wagyu worldwide
The Wagyu breed has one of the most appreciated meatsin the world. Originally from Japan, it was protected from human consumption for centuries. For this reason, it has hardly undergone genetic changes derived from crossing with other breeds.
Its high content of marbled fat, added to the great tenderness of its muscle fibers and its unique aroma, is what has led it to receive such a distinction. Marbling is its main characteristic and what makes it stand out from other bovine families and gives it a unique texture.
Few are the wagyus that are raised in meadows and pastures for at least a year.
The high demand for their meat worldwide has meant that more and more wagyus are raised in feed lots, limiting their exercise, with the aim of promoting a much faster fattening to slaughter animals under 30 months of age.
Degree of infiltration in wagyu meat from Finca Santa Rosalía
Santa Rosalía is the first Wagyu farm in Europe. We can be proud to say that our loins have a minimum marbling of 6. Specifically, it is between 7 and 8 for full spines and between 6 and 8 for skin spines.
Since the beginning of the year 2000, a selection of the purest lines of this breed has been bred on the farm, using a sustainable system that ensures the maximum welfare of the animal; as well as for the quality and food safety of the final product.
The degree of infiltration, as we have mentioned, is usually linked to the animal’s own genetics, although other determining factors are the feeding and care that the animals receive throughout their lives. One of the keys to obtaining this supreme quality meat is the philosophy of animal welfare. Finca Santa Rosalía seeks to minimize the stress level of the animals with a semi-extensive breeding system, where the animals They have parks with more than one hundred square meters of extension for each animal, facilities equipped with piped music and biodegradable straw pellet beds. Another of the peculiarities is the type of food based on cereal muesli (corn and barley, basically), corn silage, olive oil, flax seeds -rich in Omega3-, beer bagasse and they are even given organic wine from the cellars of the farm itself as a natural antioxidant for infiltrated unsaturated fat.
The fat present in this wagyu meat from the Santa Rosalía farm, due to the diet and special care, provides beneficial effects for human health, since it is very rich in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega 3, 6 and 9, which reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood, preventing cardiovascular diseases.
All animals are slaughtered stress-free and strictly taking care of all animal welfare requirements. All of them are over 40 months old and weigh around 1,000 kilograms.
In the quartering, the pieces are selected with great care, separating those that are destined for direct sale from those that will be used to produce hamburgers and other elaborated products. The loins are selected with special care and go to the maturation room where they will be for 45 days to achieve an incomparable flavor and texture.
The cycle is completed without leaving the farm, supervising and controlling the quality of each of the products until they are packaged, following strict health and traceability controls based on the IFS standard.
The result is a product clearly superior to any other bovine breed. The Wagyu meat from Finca de Santa Rosalía stands out for its r extremely tender and juicy, with a fat that, unlike that of other animals, is healthy for human consumption.
You can enjoy them in the grill restaurant of Finca Santa Rosalía, located a few 25 minutes southwest of Burgos, where you will also have the opportunity to meet our animals first-hand and taste our wines from organic farming.
Another option is our De Santa Rosalía restaurant, in Bilbao, where each and every one of our products arrive directly from “Finca Santa Rosalía”. Or also and for more comfort, you can buy in our online store and in less than 72 hours you will have our Wagyu beef in your house.