12 (Mon) June 2017
Taste Test: Hanwoo 2 v 1+
(see most recently 5.026 Modeum)
with the Family, and the Folks
Hanwoo is graded on the basis of marbling, in descending order from 1++ (1st tier), 1+ (2nd tier), 1 (3rd tier), 2 (4th tier), 3 (5th tier). The higher the tier, the higher the price.
At this restaurant, which is sells meat at butcher shop prices, the 2 costs 8,999 won per 100 grams, compared to 16,000 won per 100 grams for 1++. The same cuts would likely sell at triple to quadruple prices in a pure restaurant setting.
We bought a platter each of the 2 and the 1++, both ribeye, for a side-by-side comparison.
WINNER: 2. The 1++ was certainly more succulent, given all the marbling. But the 2 was reasonably tender, as any decent ribeye would be, and I tend to prefer meat with a bit of chew. Flavor-wise, they were both excellent: clean, rich, beefy. In the end, after we started mixing them up on the grill, they were indistinguishable. Factoring in value, the 2 thus came out on top.
The results here are in line with previous side-by-side taste tests of meats (see also 6.089 Standard v Speckled Ribeye, 4.214 Korean v American Beef), which similarly gave a slight edge to the pricier cut but concluded that the marginal return wouldn’t justify the higher cost.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)
(See also RESTAURANTS IN KOREA)