Why Olive Wagyu Is Often Called The Rarest Steak In The World

The world of Wagyu steaks is a costly yet intriguing space. Notorious for their intensely marbled meat, Fine & Wild explains that Japanese beef has a legendary status thanks to its strict rearing and grading criteria that ensure melt-in-your-mouth quality. While it can already be hard to get your hands on Hokkaido Snow Beef, there's another cut that's even harder to come by. Dubbed the rarest steak in the world, Olive Wagyu is the luscious steak you need to know about.

According to Bon Appétit, wagyu (which translates to "Japanese cow") often refers to four Japanese breeds: black, brown, polled, and shorthorn, all of which boast the genetic advantage of extreme marbling. Naturally, even within the realm of wagyu, some steaks are more prized than others, given their unique rearing processes. Enter: Olive Wagyu.

The rich flavor and fine-grain marbling of an Olive Wagyu steak is the result of feeding cattle, exclusively from the Kuroge Washu (black) breed, a diet of toasted and caramelized olive pulp, reports Crowd Cow. Naturally, because of the cow's special diet, CNBC explains that the yellow-tinged steaks have hints of umami, notes of olive oil, and a buttery quality thanks to an abundance of mono-saturated fats. But, what began as one cattle farmer's mission to repurpose waste from olive oil production on the island of Shodoshima has turned into something much bigger. The only problem is that despite the demand for beef, it remains nearly impossible to acquire.

Only a handful of olive-feed cattle exist in the world

Generally speaking, Business Insider reports that the length of the fattening process, along with the cost of feed, can increase the price of the beef when cattle go to auction, which is why Olive Wagyu can cost upwards of $300 for a single steak.

The meat is incredibly difficult to source. Not only is the steak hard to find in the US, but it can even prove challenging when searching in Japan due to the number of cattle being raised. With just 2,200 heads of the specific cattle to exist in the world (raised strictly in Japan's Kagawa Prefecture), Forbes explains that only a few are harvested each month. However rare the steaks may be, they aren't completely unattainable.

Should you happen to get your hands on an A5 Olive Wagyu — a limited amount of steaks are available through the online delivery platform, Crowd Cow — cooking it correctly is important. Since the beef is rich in both fat and flavor, The Wagyu Shop recommends opting for a smaller portion, seasoning simply, and cooking to rare for the ultimate tasting experience.