Actually, I wrote this post only because I couldn't pass up the title. I’ve also used a footnote to get rid of something that has been festering in my brain for a long time.
The five teppanyaki restaurants and two steakhouses in the new Tokyo Michelin serve as a good reminder that, for the gaijin foodie, Japan is the MBL of beef*. And it’s no different for the nouveau richein China.
Unfortunately, in one of the greatest of ironies**, Japanese beef has been banned in China since 2001, after Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy was discovered in Japan. So Chinese Customs are frequently catching smugglers posing as tourists trying to smuggle in large amounts of Japanese beef, according to this Sankei report.
* I understand that Kobe beef is quite popular at expensive weddings and bar mitzvahs in the U.S. Which raises the question: Where do they find kosher Kobe beef? And yes, that’s where Kobe Bryant’s name comes from. Only a quirk of fate saved him from being named Fugu Bryant, or Matsutake Mushroom Bryant. Which in turn raises yet another question: Could Torii Hunter just as easily have been named Minaret Hunter?
** In fact, this is a double irony. Can you spot them both?