They say chocolate makes everything better, and apparently1 premium2 wagyu beef is no exception. For the past 10 years, the Mayura Station Farm in southern Australia has been feeding its full-blood wagyu cattle chocolate and other sweets mixed with their regular feed, and the results have been spectacular.
When Scott de Bruin, managing partner at Mayura Station, returned to his father's farm in the Limestone3
coast of Australia, in 1998, he knew he wanted to do something special to make their beef stand out from that of other luxury cattle farms around the world. But he didn't know exactly how he was going to do that, so he consulted a cattle nutrition specialist from Japan and spent two years experimenting with different feed before deciding on the final daily ration4
for his wagyu cows - a special mix of regular feed, chocolate, gummy bears, strawberries and cream flavored gummy snakes. Each cow eats up to 2 kilograms of ground and partially5
broken chocolate delivered by Cadbury's every day.
Adding chocolate to the daily diet of cows at Mayura Station started out as a simple experiment, but it ended up making their luxury beef one of the most appreciated in the world. "Many of my customers come to enjoy Mayura beef two to three times a week. They love how the beef has the perfect balance of fat, rich flavor and tender texture6
," Michelin star chef Umberto Bombana told Forbes Magazine.
Shane Osborn, Head Chef and Co-Owner of Arcane7
Restaurant in Hong Kong, added that its unique sweetness, hint of nuttiness and buttery texture make Mayura beef "the ultimate steak".
Although he first started feeding his cattle chocolate in 2006, Scott de Bruin claims that he only realized how important it was to the quality of the meat in 2010, when he decided8
to take it out of the animals' diet to make the meat pinker and more marbled. Two months later, clients started phoning in and asking 'What have you done? Your Wagyu doesn't taste like it used to anymore'. So de Bruin immediately reverted9
to including chocolates again.
De Bruin says he begins feeding calves10
chocolate when they are 30 months old, but only a bit of it, with the ration increasing the closer they get to the slaughterhouse. "The last two rations11
are about producing as much marbling as we possibly can, so that's why they consume such a high-calorie ration," he said.
Asked if the milk chocolate has a negative effect on the cattle's health, Scott de Bruin says "No, unlike humans - who may start eating chocolates at a very young age for over several decades – these cattle (raised on chocolates for only four months) won't see the long-term negative effects of chocolates in their system."