As Father’s Day grows near, we decided to a quick Q&A with our fresh meat and seafood sales director, Chris Smith. What, exactly, is wagyu, and what does dry-aging meat do to it? Check out his answers, and then head to your local Harmons. Surprise your dad with an excellent cut of wagyu or dry-aged beef. It will make for a Father’s Day he’ll never forget.
Q. Can you tell us a little about Wagyu beef and what makes it so special?
A. What makes it so special is the flavor and tenderness. We should call it American Wagyu, because that is where it comes for. Wagyu is a breed of cattle originally from Kobe, Japan. You may have heard it referred to as “Kobe” beef.
Q. What is the Wagyu we sell in our stores? Does it come from Snake River Farms? Do we only sell American Wagyu?
A. Yes, we only sell American Wagyu from Snake River Farms.
Q. Harmons sells Wagyu and also dry-aged beef.* Have you tasted both and what is your opinion of them?
A. The dry-aged beef we sell is prime grade angus from Meyer Natural Beef. Yes, I have tasted them both. The difference I have noticed is the flavor. Dry-aged prime beef has a little bit of a nutty flavor to it that comes from the dry-aging process which condenses the flavor over the 14–21-day procedure.
Q. Do you personally thank wagyu is the best steak?
A. I think both Wagyu and dry-aged steak have their plusses. It’s very much a personal taste thing, but I love them both.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?
American Wagyu beef from Snake River Farms are raised in the northwest region of the United States and are a cross between angus beef and pure breed Wagyu beef. It is featured in some of the finest restaurants in the country, and is some of the best beef you can get anywhere.
*Dry-aged beef not available in all stores.
Chris Smith has lived in Utah his entire life, and he started his Harmons grocery career in 1982 in the meat department. For a brief time he ran the Kitchen at the Harmons East store (now known as 7th Street), and then ran the bakery department at the East Store for a few years before returning to the meat department to open the Cougar store in 1995. He moved to the Support Office in 1988, and has worked there ever since, serving as the meat and seafood sales director