Japan Just Won The World's Best Steak Award

Given the tremendous reputation that Wagyu beef enjoys, many people would probably be surprised to learn that until 2022, Japanese beef had never garnered a prestigious title at the World Steak Challenge. That's all over now, as a prime cut from the Land of the Rising Sun has finally claimed the honor of "World's Best Steak."

According to the World Steak Challenge website, the annual competition based in Dublin, Ireland started handing out awards to amazing beef products in 2015 and with the exception of 2020, has continued that tradition each year since. The awards have gone through some evolutions over the years, but the 2022 competition gave gold, bronze, and silver medals for fillets, ribeyes, and sirloins in addition to the World's Best Steak/Producer honor.

Previous winners of the World's Best Steak/Producer award have ranged from Australia to Finland, the latter of which has taken the title home three times. Japan's win brings some variety and further builds the reputation of beef that comes from the nation.

Japan's steak takes the cake

According to Food & Wine, 2022 was the first year that a Japanese competitor vied for this title, meaning the country is now "undefeated" in the World Steak Challenge. Food & Wine says Japan's winning steak came from its Kagoshima region, which purportedly provides great grazing due to its warm weather and plentiful water to raise cattle with. According to Crowd Cow, Kagoshima raises "happy cows," and its beef was a winner at the 2017 Wagyu Olympics.

The winning steak in Dublin bore the name "Akune Gold" and claimed more honors than World's Best Steak. It also won the titles of World's Best Sirloin and World's Best Grain-Fed. However, despite the acclaim surrounding Japan's first entry into the competition, NextShark adds that Ireland actually garnered the most accolades, taking home 54 medals in the 2022 competition. Among other countries to submit winning cuts are Australia, Northern Ireland, and Poland. While there was no American submission that received any honors, a grocer that many in the United States should be familiar with was among the winners.

The World Steak Challenge website reveals that Aldi U.K. won gold medals for its fillet and ribeye. The same parent company, Aldi Süd, oversees the stores in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Perhaps at some point in the future, some Aldi U.S. steaks will win similar high praise.