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(Forbes)   Ever bought Kobe beef in the US? Congratulations, you've been duped   (forbes.com) divider line 152
    More: Interesting, Kobe beef  
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8375 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Apr 2012 at 7:58 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-12 09:06:53 PM  
The USDA is out of control. The Customs agents enforcing the USDA regulations don't know half the regulations and are seizing food products entering the country based on whim rather than any law.

The law should be simple:
Food for personal consumption and gifts, fitting in luggage and carry-on containers should be OK
Food for wholesale or retail consumption should pass USDA regulations

It's the idiotic and unclear regulations of the USDA and Customs that gets things like yogurt which is served on the plane confiscated at the border.
 
2012-04-12 09:07:17 PM  

explodingtaco: This is nothing compared to the great Doritos-bag-filled-mostly-with-air scam.


You wouldn't want a bag of Doritos without the air. It would be all crumbs.
 
2012-04-12 09:14:06 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: The USDA is out of control. The Customs agents enforcing the USDA regulations don't know half the regulations and are seizing food products entering the country based on whim rather than any law.

The law should be simple:
Food for personal consumption and gifts, fitting in luggage and carry-on containers should be OK
Food for wholesale or retail consumption should pass USDA regulations

It's the idiotic and unclear regulations of the USDA and Customs that gets things like yogurt which is served on the plane confiscated at the border.


Not saying things with the USDA are perfect or even good, but the food restrictions are intended to keep diseases like Mad Cow away from our shores.
 
2012-04-12 09:29:12 PM  
The USA always talks about free trade, getting rid of trade barriers but the USA doesn't have to do that, just other countries.
 
2012-04-12 09:30:14 PM  

GreenAdder: Oh, like anything Kobe-related isn't a complete meltdown.


Know how I know you've never looked at a map of Japan before?

hint: because Kobe and Fukushima are practically opposite ends of the country
 
2012-04-12 09:34:30 PM  

12349876: AverageAmericanGuy: The USDA is out of control. The Customs agents enforcing the USDA regulations don't know half the regulations and are seizing food products entering the country based on whim rather than any law.

The law should be simple:
Food for personal consumption and gifts, fitting in luggage and carry-on containers should be OK
Food for wholesale or retail consumption should pass USDA regulations

It's the idiotic and unclear regulations of the USDA and Customs that gets things like yogurt which is served on the plane confiscated at the border.

Not saying things with the USDA are perfect or even good, but the food restrictions are intended to keep diseases like Mad Cow away from our shores.


That's just a clever way of restating protectionist policies.
 
2012-04-12 09:38:25 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy:

It's the idiotic and unclear regulations of the USDA and Customs that gets things like yogurt which is served on the plane confiscated at the border.


But how else will we keep the evil Kinder Eggs out of the hands of our children??????? I guess you want kids to choke and die because we all know that parents are completely incapable of keeping their own kids safe! Thank goodness we have the government to inspect every truck, suitcase, and body orifice looking for the root of all evil in America around Easter, and that is the Kinder Eggs!!!!!
 
2012-04-12 09:40:07 PM  
Even if you could import real Kobe beef, nobody is going to prepare it in a way that shows off the texture, grain, and mouth-feel of the product. If you are serious about sushi you have probably encountered a similar grade of 'meat' quality in tuna (bluefin).
First is maguro. This is regular high quality tuna suitable for sashimi or nigiri. Most common form of sushi/sashimi.
Second is toro. This meat is only from the underbelly of the tuna and is very fatty/oily.
Third is chutoro. Technically a subset of toro, has higher fat content.
Fourth is otoro. A subset of chutoro having even more fat and flavor.
Fifth is sunazuri. This is a further subset of toro which has visible ribbons of fat and combines the extremely high quality flavor of the best toro with an obvious presentation benefit. We are getting into restaurant gimmicks now...

The very best toro is extremely fatty with an almost velvety mouth feel. The difference between it and basic maguro is striking. That is what the difference between regular beef and Kobe is like. You can get top quality toro at better sushi restaurants in the US. If eating toro-quality or better is how you spend your money, than perhaps you should try real Kobe sometime.

For me, I would never pay that kind of money when there are so many more factors that go into a steak's quality. For example, aging has a profound impact on both mouth-feel and flavor. I really don't understand the deal with grass-fed beef. Beef that went directly from a lifetime in a field to the slaughterhouse is going to be lean, and lean beef has little flavor. Now, the feed-only beef is not as good for different reasons. Feedlot cattle grow very fast and move relatively little. They have good marbling, but the muscle is underworked resulting in less flavor. The ideal is for cattle to be raised on grass, but corn-finished. This allows appropriate muscle development as well as benefiting from rapid fattening at the feed lot for the month prior to slaughter.

So for the best (non-Kobe) steak:
Angus (breed)
Corn-finished
Prime grade
Aged (dry)
lightly seasoned
and for God's sake, don't cook it past medium!
 
2012-04-12 09:43:21 PM  

madgonad: Even if you could import real Kobe beef, nobody is going to prepare it in a way that shows off the texture, grain, and mouth-feel of the product. If you are serious about sushi you have probably encountered a similar grade of 'meat' quality in tuna (bluefin).
First is maguro. This is regular high quality tuna suitable for sashimi or nigiri. Most common form of sushi/sashimi.
Second is toro. This meat is only from the underbelly of the tuna and is very fatty/oily.
Third is chutoro. Technically a subset of toro, has higher fat content.
Fourth is otoro. A subset of chutoro having even more fat and flavor.
Fifth is sunazuri. This is a further subset of toro which has visible ribbons of fat and combines the extremely high quality flavor of the best toro with an obvious presentation benefit. We are getting into restaurant gimmicks now...


Sushi primer. Everything you need to know about sushi, including ranks of tuna.

Link (new window)
 
2012-04-12 09:53:32 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: madgonad: Even if you could import real Kobe beef, nobody is going to prepare it in a way that shows off the texture, grain, and mouth-feel of the product. If you are serious about sushi you have probably encountered a similar grade of 'meat' quality in tuna (bluefin).
First is maguro. This is regular high quality tuna suitable for sashimi or nigiri. Most common form of sushi/sashimi.
Second is toro. This meat is only from the underbelly of the tuna and is very fatty/oily.
Third is chutoro. Technically a subset of toro, has higher fat content.
Fourth is otoro. A subset of chutoro having even more fat and flavor.
Fifth is sunazuri. This is a further subset of toro which has visible ribbons of fat and combines the extremely high quality flavor of the best toro with an obvious presentation benefit. We are getting into restaurant gimmicks now...

Sushi primer. Everything you need to know about sushi, including ranks of tuna.

Link (new window)


I love that video.

i29.photobucket.com
 
2012-04-12 09:53:39 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Sushi primer. Everything you need to know about sushi, including ranks of tuna.

Link (new window)


yeah, I've seen that before. It is pretty funny with only tiny bits of accuracy.
 
2012-04-12 09:53:48 PM  

Shostie: I wonder what lean, finely-textured Kobe beef would be like.


Ask a 19 year old Denver hotel worker.
 
2012-04-12 09:53:55 PM  

hubiestubert: The thing is, there is already Wagyu being bred in the US.

There is likewise amazing beef bred here already. Yazwinski Farms just down the road does the beef for the Inn, and it is stellar. Simply the cleanest beef I've had the pleasure to work with.

Go local. Find out what your area does best. Western Mass has some amazing beef and lamb. Some of the best asparagus in the world. Fiddleheads in season are fantastic. Not the best corn, but great local mushrooms, and some amazing produce.

Less hype. More local. Find the awesome stuff around you.


this.

'Black Angus' is another nearly meaningless beef variant.

There is so much good local stuff wherever you are, find it, embrace it, celebrate it. Then vacation somewhere else and find their good stuff. Vive la différence!

/stuff = vegetables, edible beasties, cheeses, wines, beers, or spirits, and so on...
 
2012-04-12 09:55:09 PM  

madgonad: and for God's sake, don't cook it past medium!


I like my Cows well done...

creditsuit.org
 
2012-04-12 09:57:32 PM  
Kobe Beef in the U.S. really isn't from Kobe?

Oh great. Next you're going to tell me that Rocky Mountain Oysters really aren't from the Rocky Mountains.
 
2012-04-12 10:07:22 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: 12349876: AverageAmericanGuy: The USDA is out of control. The Customs agents enforcing the USDA regulations don't know half the regulations and are seizing food products entering the country based on whim rather than any law.

The law should be simple:
Food for personal consumption and gifts, fitting in luggage and carry-on containers should be OK
Food for wholesale or retail consumption should pass USDA regulations

It's the idiotic and unclear regulations of the USDA and Customs that gets things like yogurt which is served on the plane confiscated at the border.

Not saying things with the USDA are perfect or even good, but the food restrictions are intended to keep diseases like Mad Cow away from our shores.

That's just a clever way of restating protectionist policies.


You keep telling yourself that and enjoy your bird flu and Kudzu.
 
2012-04-12 10:07:56 PM  
If you think a special beef that costs $2000/pound in Japan is going to somehow make it over to the States and be available for $20 sliders or $50 steaks, then you are apparently pretty goddamned stupid.
 
2012-04-12 10:08:26 PM  
I liked the part in TFA about the ten-digit ID number so you know which animal your steak came from.


/His name is Colin....
 
2012-04-12 10:11:12 PM  

LeroyB: Kobe Beef in the U.S. really isn't from Kobe?

Oh great. Next you're going to tell me that Rocky Mountain Oysters really aren't from the Rocky Mountains.

Heck, they aren't even OYSTERS!

I enjoyed seeing a Forbes columnist calling for more government regulation.
 
2012-04-12 10:13:50 PM  
If you want a really good steak, find a butcher willing to dry age the 'prime rib' of a local, grass fed milk cow for between 28 and 35 days...
cut into steaks between 1.25" and 1.5" thick. Grilled on a hot (lump, not briquettes) charcoal barbecue, with a cast iron grill to your personal preference of doneness.
Kobe...no.
But dayum... and still way cheaper than the trip to Japan.
 
2012-04-12 10:17:37 PM  

madgonad: Even if you could import real Kobe beef, nobody is going to prepare it in a way that shows off the texture, grain, and mouth-feel of the product. If you are serious about sushi you have probably encountered a similar grade of 'meat' quality in tuna (bluefin).
First is maguro. This is regular high quality tuna suitable for sashimi or nigiri. Most common form of sushi/sashimi.
Second is toro. This meat is only from the underbelly of the tuna and is very fatty/oily.
Third is chutoro. Technically a subset of toro, has higher fat content.
Fourth is otoro. A subset of chutoro having even more fat and flavor.
Fifth is sunazuri. This is a further subset of toro which has visible ribbons of fat and combines the extremely high quality flavor of the best toro with an obvious presentation benefit. We are getting into restaurant gimmicks now...

The very best toro is extremely fatty with an almost velvety mouth feel. The difference between it and basic maguro is striking. That is what the difference between regular beef and Kobe is like. You can get top quality toro at better sushi restaurants in the US. If eating toro-quality or better is how you spend your money, than perhaps you should try real Kobe sometime.

For me, I would never pay that kind of money when there are so many more factors that go into a steak's quality. For example, aging has a profound impact on both mouth-feel and flavor. I really don't understand the deal with grass-fed beef. Beef that went directly from a lifetime in a field to the slaughterhouse is going to be lean, and lean beef has little flavor. Now, the feed-only beef is not as good for different reasons. Feedlot cattle grow very fast and move relatively little. They have good marbling, but the muscle is underworked resulting in less flavor. The ideal is for cattle to be raised on grass, but corn-finished. This allows appropriate muscle development as well as benefiting from rapid fattening at the feed lot for the month prior to slaughter.

So for t ...


So for the most part, you're basically spot on, but I'm going to make some pedantic corrections:

-Angus as a breed is widely diluted and there is little more than marketing behind it now. There are many very good breeds of domestic cattle. Rather than searching for an Angus, just find a good local butcher that knows their stuff.

-Prime grade is kind of a minimum qualification. Imagine a school test scoring system where you get the following:
70-100 = A (prime)
50-70 = B (choice)
30-50 = C (select)
b>Inspect your meat. For the amount of money you're likely to spend, you want to make sure you get as close to 100 on the scoring systems, rather than a 70-71 that many stores will try to sell first. A good butcher will stand behind their product. Poke and pull (but don't tear or damage), smell, and look. A prime steak should have many small veins of fat, not very large deposits (some cuts, such as a ribeye will always have a single large fat deposit due to biology). Color should be light red to pink, some mild browning/greening is natural and ok, as long as the meat smells and feels fresh and has been kept chilled. Do not judge the quality of the beef on price. Some of the best prime I can get is a 45-day aged prime for sale regularly at $16/lb at a local butcher. The closest Central Market sells a good quality prime, but fresh - not aged - for $19-$26/lb and it's just simply not as good.

-Lightly seasoned = salt and pepper only. By that of course I mean: a "dry-brine" with salt and pepper for ~hr at room temp. A *small* touch of finishing salt should be added as the steaks are pulled off the heat. For good beef, anything else literally ruins the flavor. If you don't like the strong beef flavor and you want a marinated or heavily seasoned steak - that's fine, just don't bother ordering top-shelf beef because you literally will not be able to tell the difference.

-Aged beef is the shiat.
 
2012-04-12 10:20:00 PM  
Nope, but I laugh at the "American Kobe Style Beef Hot Dogs" they sell at the grocery store.
 
2012-04-12 10:29:26 PM  

Gough: I liked the part in TFA about the ten-digit ID number so you know which animal your steak came from.


/His name is Colin....


Meet the meat (new window)
 
2012-04-12 10:29:38 PM  

LeroyB: Kobe Beef in the U.S. really isn't from Kobe?

Oh great. Next you're going to tell me that Rocky Mountain Oysters really aren't from the Rocky Mountains.


My reaction as well. It's like "Angus" - the terms "Kobe," "Wagyu", and so on, at least in the U.S., mean exactly dick. It's marketing fluff, meant to confuse consumers.

If you want Kobe-style waygu beef, look for "American Certified Kobe Beef®,"
"Certified Wagyu Beef®," or "Certified Kobe Beef®"
(new window) - it's not actually Kobe beef, but it's similar enough to enjoy like Kobe beef. It doesn't have the lineage, cachet, or mystique of real Kobe beef, however.

If you must demand authentic Kobe beef, well, don't demand it here, because you aren't going to get it. That's one of the lines between "foodie" and "food snob," to me. If you're a "foodie," one of the above domestic certifications will give you a reasonably similar experience. If you're a "food snob," well, throw a tantrum all you want, buttercup, but you're not going to get it here in the U.S. - hop a plane, visit Tokyo, eat it there.
 
2012-04-12 10:30:30 PM  

meat0918: Nope, but I laugh at the "American Kobe Style Beef Hot Dogs" they sell at the grocery store.


Wait - seriously? That's ballsy, that is.
 
2012-04-12 10:40:03 PM  
The "protected designation of origin" is more of a European thing.

Real Kobe, Stilton Cheese, Champagne, Melton pork pies, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, etc. are PDO products. In the USA it's a matter of making it that style, not of making it in that place.

Here we have the free market to judge things. In Europe it's a matter of preventing competition.
 
2012-04-12 10:49:22 PM  
In Japan you get to dine on true Kobe Beef.

In the US, the lobbyists are trying to sneak "pink slime" into everything.

www.wildvlees.com
I wish I could HATE this country to death.
 
2012-04-12 10:51:01 PM  

wildcardjack: The "protected designation of origin" is more of a European thing.

Real Kobe, Stilton Cheese, Champagne, Melton pork pies, prosciutto, parmesan cheese, etc. are PDO products. In the USA it's a matter of making it that style, not of making it in that place.

Here we have the free market to judge things. In Europe it's a matter of preventing competition.


Actually it's about defending the localness of a thing. Anyone, anywhere can make anything "in the style of" but you can't make Champagne in Walla Walla, however small you can get your bubbles.
 
2012-04-12 10:52:14 PM  

bemis23: -Aged beef is the shiat.


Yep. It sure is. I don't consider myself an outstanding griller, I still have much to learn. I'll never forget the first time I bought dry-aged prime from my local butcher - it was better than $60-80 steaks I've had at steakhouses around the country. My conclusion is that chefs at steakhouses suck. Anyway, you can dial back the quality when slowcooking/smoking. The benefits drop as cooking time lengthens.
 
2012-04-12 10:53:40 PM  

madgonad: Even if you could import real Kobe beef, nobody is going to prepare it in a way that shows off the texture, grain, and mouth-feel of the product. If you are serious about sushi you have probably encountered a similar grade of 'meat' quality in tuna (bluefin).
First is maguro. This is regular high quality tuna suitable for sashimi or nigiri. Most common form of sushi/sashimi.
Second is toro. This meat is only from the underbelly of the tuna and is very fatty/oily.
Third is chutoro. Technically a subset of toro, has higher fat content.
Fourth is otoro. A subset of chutoro having even more fat and flavor.
Fifth is sunazuri. This is a further subset of toro which has visible ribbons of fat and combines the extremely high quality flavor of the best toro with an obvious presentation benefit. We are getting into restaurant gimmicks now...

The very best toro is extremely fatty with an almost velvety mouth feel. The difference between it and basic maguro is striking. That is what the difference between regular beef and Kobe is like. You can get top quality toro at better sushi restaurants in the US. If eating toro-quality or better is how you spend your money, than perhaps you should try real Kobe sometime.

For me, I would never pay that kind of money when there are so many more factors that go into a steak's quality. For example, aging has a profound impact on both mouth-feel and flavor. I really don't understand the deal with grass-fed beef. Beef that went directly from a lifetime in a field to the slaughterhouse is going to be lean, and lean beef has little flavor. Now, the feed-only beef is not as good for different reasons. Feedlot cattle grow very fast and move relatively little. They have good marbling, but the muscle is underworked resulting in less flavor. The ideal is for cattle to be raised on grass, but corn-finished. This allows appropriate muscle development as well as benefiting from rapid fattening at the feed lot for the month prior to slaughter.

So for t ...


Week, first off, I do occasionally splurge for some top grade toro. Second, I actually prefer grass fed because despite it's leaner quality, the taste is still more intense than grain fed beef, which seems bland by comparison. But, dry aged is the best of all worlds. I often get a large dry aged t-bone and that's enough for all four of us at home to eat for dinner.
 
2012-04-12 10:59:48 PM  

madgonad: bemis23: -Aged beef is the shiat.

Yep. It sure is. I don't consider myself an outstanding griller, I still have much to learn. I'll never forget the first time I bought dry-aged prime from my local butcher - it was better than $60-80 steaks I've had at steakhouses around the country. My conclusion is that chefs at steakhouses suck. Anyway, you can dial back the quality when slowcooking/smoking. The benefits drop as cooking time lengthens.


Yep, most do. It is just that people have to justify in their minds paying $50+ for a meh steak. That is how all of these steak houses get such rave reviews when only a handful of them are actually good, and only a few of those are worth the premium you are paying for the steak.
 
2012-04-12 11:01:42 PM  
This is where having a cattle ranch is nice. They aren't Kobe but the registered Angus hand raised and selected steaks that I have in my freezer are as close as you can get in this country. Usually we pick two calves a year and set them aside to be raised for our freezer, after they are a year old we pick the best and continue raising it for the freezer and sell the other to a friend. Takes a little extra effort but makes for a great year worth of beef.

\No they don't get massages and they don't drink beer.
 
2012-04-12 11:05:36 PM  
meanwhile in America

fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net
 
2012-04-12 11:24:12 PM  

taxandspend: Meh, it's the same thing with Santa Maria style barbecue. If you're eating it at a restaurant in the Santa Maria Valley (Hitching Post, Far Western Tavern) you're eating authentically cooked SM-style. I've had it, it's delicious. I've also had the "Santa Maria" style bbq down here in LA. It is not the same.


/Santa Maria is a terrible city to live in


Still gotta be better than Santa Clara....
 
2012-04-12 11:27:22 PM  

James!: Is this like how champagne isn't really champagne unless it comes from Champagne?


jasonbent.net

"Let me offer you.. a nosh. I must confess.. without the frogs, my cuisine - excuse me, "food" - has suffered.. but.. what have we here? [ holds out tray of vending machine snacks ] Bugles.. with cream cheese. We got.. ants-on-a-log - hello! Combos.. they cheese your hunger away! Enjoy!"
 
2012-04-12 11:32:56 PM  
That article read as, "how can I tell everyone that I had Kobe beef in Tokyo and also be a huge douchebag who has to be in the gym in 26 minutes in the process? "
 
2012-04-12 11:47:29 PM  
I'm not sure where to get authentic Wagyu, but you can get genuine Akaushi beef in the US from here (new window).
 
2012-04-12 11:49:46 PM  

James!: Is this like how champagne isn't really champagne unless it comes from Champagne?


Although the legal framework for it only exists in Japan, think of Kobe as if it were like an EU registered Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) product. You can get a rough equivalent (waygu) but it's not really the same.
 
2012-04-12 11:50:01 PM  
I really like Outback Steakhouse.
 
2012-04-12 11:55:55 PM  

meds for the hypocrite: This is where having a cattle ranch is nice. They aren't Kobe but the registered Angus hand raised and selected steaks that I have in my freezer are as close as you can get in this country. Usually we pick two calves a year and set them aside to be raised for our freezer, after they are a year old we pick the best and continue raising it for the freezer and sell the other to a friend. Takes a little extra effort but makes for a great year worth of beef.

\No they don't get massages and they don't drink beer.


Then they're not much like Kobe beef at all.

Not even close, really. I swear to you a slice of raw Kobe beef is better than a whole steak of your cooked Angus, not that a whole steak isn't delicious.
 
2012-04-13 12:04:51 AM  

IanMoone: Crud. There goes my company. I was marketing Kobe Slime in place of pink slime!!!!


How to make "Kobe" burgers: add more fat to regular ground beef.
 
2012-04-13 12:14:23 AM  
Kobe beef is the second biggest scam in food right behind "Copper River Salmon."

Yeah, that's what it says on the wrapper, but that looks like some pale assed "Atlantic" farm raised Silver inside the package.
 
2012-04-13 12:20:58 AM  
Not news to some. We need to expose the Black Forest Ham scam next!

Someone wondered what the fascination was with grass fed beef. Cattle fed with corn have a way higher likelihood of having ecoli and even though you're cooking it you don't want to mess with it of you don't have too. Other people do it because feed lots are disgusting. Most people like the way it sounds.
 
2012-04-13 12:35:36 AM  

remotecody: Not news to some. We need to expose the Black Forest Ham scam next!


What about the whole Swiss cheese fraud?
 
2012-04-13 12:42:06 AM  
Tell your old man to drag Walton and Lanier up and down the court for 48 minutes.
 
2012-04-13 01:01:27 AM  
prestosavings.com

hai guys wats going on in this thread?
 
2012-04-13 01:12:08 AM  

madgonad: bemis23: -Aged beef is the shiat.

Yep. It sure is. I don't consider myself an outstanding griller, I still have much to learn. I'll never forget the first time I bought dry-aged prime from my local butcher - it was better than $60-80 steaks I've had at steakhouses around the country. My conclusion is that chefs at steakhouses suck. Anyway, you can dial back the quality when slowcooking/smoking. The benefits drop as cooking time lengthens.


Most steak places don't serve aged beef. It costs a lot of money to age beef, and most people don't know what aging is anyhow.
 
2012-04-13 01:22:05 AM  
I tried it, a friend ended up paying for it. It was good, but I definitely felt duped.

On the other hand, until it closed I could drive 10 miles and get a fresh, and I mean I saw it grazing last week, fresh steak, take it home, and blow any restaurant out of the water. Like a crust? I got that covered. Like the beef to speak for itself? I can do that. Like a sweet roasted, but not garlic, taste? I need practice, so maybe 50/50.

My pizza is better, my steak is better, my BBQ chicken is better (the sauce covered kind, not the real barbeque, I don't do that yet).

For gourmet, you really need to know where to go and what you're doing. And if you don't know the name of the guy cooking your entree, it's not gourmet.
 
2012-04-13 01:25:17 AM  

Shostie: I wonder what lean, finely-textured Kobe beef would be like.


Go ask Shaq
 
2012-04-13 01:32:32 AM  

Procedural Texture: GreenAdder: Oh, like anything Kobe-related isn't a complete meltdown.

Know how I know you've never looked at a map of Japan before?

hint: because Kobe and Fukushima are practically opposite ends of the country


It was a Kobe Bryant joke, bub. Went over your head, it did.
 
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