Australian Farm’s Wagyu Beef Comes from Chocolate-Eating Cows

Finding a menu that has wagyu listed on it isn’t a difficult task. The real challenge, it seems, is finding a restaurant that actually stocks this wonderfully marbled Japanese beef. Sure, many places drop the “w” bomb on their menus, but the real deal is rarely found. One Australian farm’s wagyu beef is legit, though, and they ensure its unique qualities by factoring in chocolate.

No, we haven’t ever had chocolate mixed with beef before. No, we don’t really want to any time soon. Yes, we are puzzled by this combination, but Mayura Station Farm isn’t. In fact, they thrive on it.

Let’s start with a question: What’s the beef? By definition, wagyu itself means “Japanese style beef.” The expectation for wagyu is usually that it’s an incredibly fatty piece of marbled meat. Thus, in order to stand out amongst a sea of wagyus, “wagyus,” and what-are-yous, Mayura Station Farm has been feeding some of its cows chocolate.

A managing partner at the farm, Scott de Bruin, started doing this in 2006. Why? He couldn’t find what he was supposed to feed the cows. Chocolate seemed like a fine replacement. (We can’t argue with that logic.)

The sentiment is one that’s familiar to the nutritionally conscious: It all has to do with macronutrients. “I broke down the feed into the nutritional components and then pieced it together, inventing my own feed recipe,” de Bruin told Munchies. “The macronutrients are the same, or similar, but we are getting there a slightly different way.”

Feeding cows chocolate may not be the best recipe for cattle longevity. The cows raised by Mayura Station, though, live a short, chocolate-filled life. “People ask me about the ethics of feeding chocolate to cows. But they’re not on a long timeline here,” says de Bruin. “They are going to go to baby cow heaven soon, but this way they are happier and taste better.”

The piece on Munchies goes on to say that only the calves get the Augustus Gloop, if you will, diet. The “calves spend the first 6 months of their lives with their mothers, drinking milk and grazing the fields.” After this, “they’re weaned from their moms to embark on a set of six carefully designed ration schedules.”

The actual chocolate isn’t implemented into the calves’ diets until they’re 30 months old. From this point on, they’re fed more and more chocolate until they are sent for slaughter.

While your animal-loving, vegetables-only friends may be appalled by this, de Bruin swears the cows are happy. “All I can say is that in those last four months, they are really, really happy cows,” he says. “They’ll be sifting through the feed, trying to find the chocolate. And if you have it in your hand, they’ll trot after you. It’s like giving kids candy. They just love it.”

We’re not sure what the cows actually love, but we do know that people love the unique texture and flavor of Mayura Station wagyu. Similar to the terroir associated with French wine, beef is heavily influenced by the environment its raised in. When you add a little chocolate into that environment, delicious things can happen.

Being able to trace Mayura Station Farm’s wagyu back to a single location is something special, and it makes this wagyu much more preferable than those other what-are-yous.

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