What To Eat in the Hida Neighborhood: Hida Beef
May 29, 2013 § 1 Comment
Tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness – is how I describe this good piece of steak I had in a not so recent dining episode somewhere in Hida Takayama. In fact, most of our meals were of this black-haired Japanese cattle breed.
Our very first meal in Takayama was this wonderful set meal at a French Bistro called Le Midi,
we then had it Teppanyaki style in Hirayu,
Yakiniku style in a hole in a wall,
in a bun found in stalls everywhere,
we queued in line to have taste of this minced Hida beef cutlet,
and delighted in the city’s specialty, Hida Beef grilled on a magnolia leaf with Hoba miso (another of their delicacies) – all garnering a truly satisfying two-thumbs up from me.
Raised in the Gifu Prefecture, Hida Beef or Hida-gyu, as it is called, is one of the reasons how I found myself in Hida Takayama. Although widely known (and for obvious reasons) for its wonderfully preserved city and beautiful sceneries, for foodies, it is its premium beef that reigns supreme in this city. Sharing the same class (but not exactly the limelight) as Kobe and Matsuzaka, Hida, like other wagyu beef, has beautiful marbling that prevents the juice and aroma from escaping from the meat and helps maintain its tenderness. The cattle fattened for 14 months, and its meats are ranked from grades 3-5 (with 5 being the most premium).
In my humble opinion, I find that Hida beef boasts of the buttery taste found in some wagyu beef but does not possess so much of the fatty richness, highlighting more the flavor of the meat. If you find your way to Takayama, do splurge on at least a meal of Hida beef. If, however, you start dreaming of Hida Beef, do not hesitate, head out to Takayama at the soonest chance you get.