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As we enter the barbecue season, that tiny lovely sliver of a season stuck between “o-hanami” and the rainy season, the question on everyone’s mind is: What is Kobe beef? And what could make Kobe beef so special that people willingly pay over 10,000 yen for a steak?

I was with a Japanese friend, eating at one of our favorite Japanese restaurants, when I decided to ask her, “What is Kobe beef?”

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