So, yah, how ’bout that Canadian beef?

During a recent visit to Québec, we happened upon an opportunity to do a little meat-spotting. While meandering the aisles of a Costco store, the delicious-looking Canadian beef in the Meat Department made for some mouth-watering picture-taking–and a few questions.

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Many steak-lovers world-wide are well aware of the Prime/Choice distinction in grades of American beef–thanks in great part to several great American Steakhouses. Fewer of us know that plenty of exquisite beef is raised on the rich soils of Canada and graded with slightly different names and criteria. Perhaps the difference is not in name alone.

Canadian and U.S. Beef Grading Standards

Canada Beef, Inc. has been getting the word out to chefs and foodies that they have beef to offer that will dazzle you with its marbling and–of course, flavor. Their comparative grading chart http://www.canadabeef.ca/us/en/quality/Standards/default.aspx raises more questions than it answers, but the deep, ruby red meat and distinct, white marbling in the Québecois Costco meat department sure provided lots of enticement for exploration.

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We would love to learn from you what your experiences are with different sources of beef, as well the type, grade and cuts you prefer to dry age for different purposes. Please weigh in on the UMAi Dry Forum: http://www.drybagsteak.com/forum/13-general-questions/3230-canadian-vs-american-beef-grades-your-thoughts#4461

Dry aging beef in UMAi Dry bag is real dry aging

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Dry aged Beef is a result of a process of dry aging: During Dry Aging the following happens:

  1. The word Dry means: Moisture evaporates from the muscle creating a mature beef flavor
  2. The word Aging means: Meat’s natural enzymes break down the fibrous, connective tissue in the muscle thereby tenderizing it

Dry aging using UMAi Dry Bag accomplishes both of these goals as concluded by numerous scientific studies conducted by Kansas State University and Auburn University

http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Processing/Dry-aging-using-vacuum-packaging-provides-savings

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0309174009002484

The results from these studies has shown that Dry Aging using UMAi Dry Bags achieves the unique nutty, buttery Dry Aged Flavor and the texture tender enough to cut with a fork.

Dry aging has been typically done with half carcasses of beef hung in cold storage lockers for 14 – 35 days following slaughter.

The half carcasses were typically wrapped in cheese cloth like material to prevent insects and other pests from reaching them.  For most restaurants, households and food safety conscious people that type of dry aging is not an option today.

Subprimal steak cuts of beef, such as whole striploins (NY strip), 7-rib ribeye (bone-in or boneless) sections, top rounds (sirloin) can be dry aged in open air. However, in restaurant and household environments the need for special designated coolers, sanitation concerns, smells coming from dry aging beef, cross contamination of flavors and microorganisms make the open air process quite problematic.

The UMAi Dry Bag provides an isolated environment for the beef to dry age. There is no need for special coolers and special sanitation/cleaning. The UMAi Dry Bag provides the protection that most consumers desire in the Dry Aging process.

The Process of Dry Ageing in UMAi Dry Bag received the National Restaurant Association Food and Beverage Innovation Award in 2011.

UMAi Dry bags are sold successfully in over 70 countries worldwide.

So is UMAi Dry bags real dry aging? Try it out and judge for yourself.