The Real Reason Anthony Bourdain Hated Kobe Beef

Anthony Bourdain was no food snob. He dedicated 12 seasons of his series "Parts Unknown” to exploring lesser-known cultures and cuisines across the globe, all of which were treated with the utmost respect. Though Bourdain tried more delicacies in his lifetime than most could ever hope to, there's one that he vehemently hated, and that's Kobe beef — specifically in burger form, as he told Town and Country in 2017.

This may come as a surprise to foodies everywhere, since practically anything with Kobe beef is drooled over, but it's precisely why Bourdain grew to dislike it so much. "The Kobe slider is an indication of a (part of the) economy that's threatening to me personally," Bourdain explained. "It's like bottle service at the nightclub; it's a societal ill. It's a clear example of nothing being added to the slider experience by using Kobe beef other than the price."

Business Insider reports there are more than 300 varieties of Wagyu beef, and Kobe is the best cut, which is why it's so expensive. It comes from the city of Kobe in Japan, and is taken exclusively from castrated bulls who are fed three times a day for two years until their body fat reaches 50%. The high percentage of fat creates a marbled texture, which lends itself to a unique flavor and tenderness.

Anthony Bourdain hated the type of people who eat Kobe burgers

Bourdain, who died in 2018, did of course appreciate the cultivation of Kobe beef; it's the reputation that he had a problem with. "No one who orders a Kobe slider wants the unctuous, fatty experience of ordering a Kobe steak," he told Town and Country. "What they want is bragging rights in front of (those) around them so they can all high five. It's part of the 'bro' culture I find troubling."

It's hard to argue with Bourdain's logic, considering it's actually impossible for Kobe beef to hold its shape when ground up as burger meat and served as a slider. Business Insider confirms that "Although Kobe is commonly seen on U.S. restaurant menus, customers should be wary of items like Kobe burgers, as authentic Kobe beef is too tender to be formed into a patty." If you see a Kobe slider on the menu, the news outlet warns that most likely it's "wangus" beef, a mixture of American-made wagyu and Angus beef, or worse, fake wagyu masquerading as "Kobe" under a ridiculously high price tag. Either way, the Kobe slider for this reason, was not Bourdain-approved, and if it had been up to him, it would be taken off restaurant menus for good.