The USDA Foreign Agriculture Service and the U.S. Meat Export Federation recently partnered with a Belgium-based meat importer and distributor to host the first U.S. beef tasting event this fall, according to the USDA.
The event was funded by the FAS' Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development program.
Approximately 130 Belgian chefs learned more about preparing less-familiar cuts, including flank steak, chuck eye roll, briskets and shoulder clods. Higher quality cuts only account for 25% of U.S. beef exports to the EU.
Recipes prepared at the tasting included top sirloin with barbecue sauce, tartar of shoulder clod with artichoke and top blade with beets.
According to the USDA's Erin Tindell, USDA's FAS representative, chefs were interested in preparing the less-expensive cuts, which can be 40% cheaper than primary cuts.
Mary-Ellen Smith, agricultural attaché at the FAS office in The Hague, said, '"Typically, secondary cuts from European beef cannot be used for finer dishes, so the Belgian chefs were intrigued by the various cooking methods that take advantage of the unique marbling in U.S. beef," she said. "Events like these help introduce new U.S. products not only to the chefs that prepare them but to the thousands of European consumers that they serve,"' according to Tindell.
The U.S. began exporting high-quality beef to the EU under a negotiated tariff rate quota for non-hormone treated beef in 2009.