Certified Angus Prime
Posted 14 September 2003 - 11:47 AM
Do you have an opinion on Certified Angus Beef in general, and specifically the Certified Angus Prime that seems to be available at a few steakhouses around the country? Is it a legitimate product or just a lot of hype?
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Posted 17 September 2003 - 08:40 AM
The first thing to keep in mind is that Certified Angus Beef (CAB)
designates a brand not a breed. And just as any brand from soft drinks
to refrigerators, markets its brand, so CAB is supported by promotional
strategies and tactics to gain a competitive advantage in the
marketplace through brand recognition and customer loyalty.
CAB prime brings a tiered pricing strategy into the marketing mix.
The physical characteristics established to distinguish CAB from other
Angus and crossbreeds include no hump and no floppy ears. But Angus beef
is common. In fact, the majority of beef we sell comes from Angus
crossbred cattle, but does not come under the CAB brand.
As far as the quality of the product, you'll find a greater difference
in CAB Choice which comes from the upper 2/3s of Angus cattle when
compared to unbranded USDA choice. The visual difference, as always, is
in the degree of marbling. There is less difference between USDA prime
and CAB prime.
So when you are in a restaurant, the real taste and texture differences
between USDA prime and CAB prime are the same distinctions you'd make
when comparing any prime graded beef: How was it aged (wet or dry) and
how long was it aged. And, you'll find that the length of aging can vary
greatly ... from only a few days. At Lobel's we dry age beef for up to
42 days. If the menu doesn't tell you, ask your server about how they
age their meat ... if at all.