There are many occasions where many of us wouldn't blink on paying more when our entrée specified our beef as 'Angus.....'. Similarly, not many of us know there is a difference between Angus and Certified Angus Beef (CAB).
All Angus beef are not created equal; in fact to be certified Angus, the certified beef has to meet strict quality standards and less than 8% of all beef earns the brand’s premium name.
Am I Eating Fake Angus?
Angus is the name of the breed of cattle. This breed frequently grades better on the grade scale, but that doesn't mean that Angus is a grade of quality or that anything you buy labeled Angus is going to be better than any other cut. It is compelling that most of us paying more for anything that is listed 'Angus beef' - be it in supermarket, steakhouse or even fast-food chains.
The Black Angus, or more commonly, Angus, is a black-hided breed without horns. The Angus breed has a number of advantages in the quality and production of the meat, and it quickly became a favoured breeding stock to reduce problems of over-breeding in other lines of cattle.
Because of this, and the general popularity of Angus by ranchers, it has become the most popular breed in the United States.
Certified Angus Beef (CAB)
Good quality Angus beef will be labeled with the logo "Certified Angus Beef," a brand created by the American Angus Association. This brand, established in 1978, requires the beef to pass 10 quality standards falling into three categories: marbling and maturity, consistent sizing, and quality appearance and tenderness.
The cattle must also be Angus by more than just a 51 percent black definition. Angus beef that’s not Certified Angus Beef may not be the guaranteed best available based on cattle lineage and quality standards, but demand for any Angus beef is growing.
However, if an Angus breed is not certified as CAB, it does not mean that these are not real or made with Angus beef, it is just a reminder that it may mean a lower quality of Angus range.
In short, Angus is the magic word for beef marketing, and with that Angus label, we are paying more for the beef or that dinner date.