Essential Steak: The Blind-Tasting Test

By nogarlicnoonions on July 23rd, 2015

ExtremeFoodies’s Global Steak Symposium was at the Flat Iron in London. / Courtesy of

A while back, 42 members of the ExtremeFoodies community partook in a blind taste test of six steaks from around the world. The choicest selection of steaks were brought in and cooked by Flat Iron steakhouse on Beak Street in London.

Mark Schatzker, the author of “Steak,” led the symposium

The festivities started off early at 4 p.m. and soon after everyone was corralled to their seats. Mark Schatzker, the author of “Steak,” gave a presentation on (yup! you guessed it) steak! Being one of the foremost minds on the subject, Mark explained the taste of a steak from its breed, grazing habits and preparation. Above and beyond taste, he explored the evolution of man from an herbivore to an omnivore and how that genetically affected the human body and our taste buds.

Courtesy of

After the presentation, everyone was served a mound of steaks, labeled with flags 1-6, and were asked to taste and rate by their reference using a scorecard.

Steak Results

1. First Place - Yorkshire Highland


Yorkshire Highland won first place. / Courtesy of

Charles Ashbridge, farmer and butcher, reared the Yorkshire Highland steak at the tasting. The 30-month-old cow was finished with beer! Charles butchered the cow just a day before the tasting. Whether that made the difference is up for interpretation, but it won the favorite steak at the tasting by a wide margin.

2. Second place - A5 Wagyu

A5 Wagyu won second place. / Courtesy of

A5 Wagyu beef is the cream of the crop when it comes to the Japanese Black breed of cow.  The A5 denotes the fact it received the highest ratings for Yield (The A) and Quality (The 5). The impeccable breeding, as well as raised with scrupulous attention, made this a very close competitor for the top spot at the tasting.

3. Third place - Angus Mackay Highland Breed

Angus Mackay Highland won third place. / Courtesy of

The Mackay steak was a cut from the breed of Premium Scottish Highland. This long-haired, long-horned mammoth are traditionally leaner because they don’t need a large layer of fat. Their long, thick hair keeps them warm. Though the meat is lean, these beautiful creatures graze amazing quality grass, which packs each bite with amazing flavor.

4. Fourth place - USDA prime

USDA prime won fourth place. / Courtesy of

The USDA prime is the highest rank American bred cattle can receive, as only about 2.9% that go to slaughter receive the title. Though American feeding habits and breeds are not renowned around the world, this steak still represented the U.S. very well, coming in a tight fourth with a very tight race with the Mackay and the Wagyu.

5. Fifth place - Australian 270 day Barley Fed

Australian 270 day Barley Fed won fifth place. / Courtesy of

The Australian cattle industry is boasted as one of the largest exporters in the world. Most of its best meat and livestock is sold to Japan and the United States, and is known for its integrity, traceability and safety. This steak may not have been the most glamorous of the bunch, but was still very delicious.

6. Sixth place - New Zealand Wagyu

New Zealand Wagyu, top left, won sixth place. / Courtesy of

Wagyu is relatively new to New Zealand, which boasts some world-class fertile grazing pastures and weather conditions. While these attributes make New Zealand an extremely suitable place to raise Wagyu, our blind taste test found this particular steak to be the least appreciated of the nominees.

Meet the author


A dentist by profession, Anthony Rahayel is passionate about fine food and wine, travel and photography. An experienced globetrotter with knowledge of restaurants and hotels worldwide, he discovered friends and acquaintances often asked him for recommendations. He decided to pour his passions into Since its launch, Rahayel has accumulated more than 750 reviews and thousands of images of restaurants and hotels in major cit…... More