Matsusaka beef is named for the region of Mie Prefecture where these black-haired wagyu cows are grown. Only virgin female cows can be designated Matsusaka. Run by Hiroki Ito, Ito Bokujyo produces meats with not only the finest A5-grade ranking but also the highest marbling ratio (BMS), which for A5 is measured from 8 to 12. “Ninety percent of our cattle are A5, with a BMS ranging from 10 to 12,” Ito notes proudly.
“In my father’s day all of our herd was Tajima, which is still a fine pedigree. But lately we’ve been shifting to cattle from Kagoshima. Feed quality is critical, too. We use organic rice straw for roughage and a carefully formulated blend of concentrated feed. And we provide our cows with a clean, stress-free environment.” The herd totals 500 now, a number Ito hopes to increase to 2,000 in two years and 5,000 within a decade.
（The Cuisine Magazine /August 2017）