Irish beef was served in New York City for the first time in 17 years on Monday night, after a ban in 1998 saw all European beef restricted from entry into America.
At a swanky event in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Ireland’s agriculture minister, Simon Coveney, presented a sample of his nation’s beef to a crowd of chefs and food writers, and presented the case for Irish beef filling the huge American demand for red meat.
“The average American eats twice the volume of beef per head to the average European. So you take your beef very seriously,” Coveney said.
“If we are to be serious players in this market, we need to prove to you that we take our beef seriously,” he continued. “And we do.”
Monday’s event was held at Daniel, French chef Daniel Boulud’s two-Michelin-starred restaurant, which prepared a series of dishes with Coveney’s beef as a demonstration of its flavour.
“It does taste a little bit different to US beef,” Coveney told the crowd. Irish cattle are grass-fed, the minister said, and happily for Ireland “the fastest growing segment in the beef market in the US is actually the green beef, or grass-fed”.
The Irish beef last served in the US would be old enough to drive by now, had it the necessary appendages and wherewithal. The US imposed a Europe-wide ban on all beef on 1 January 1998, at the height of the BSE, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (aka “mad cow disease”) crisis.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Economy Minister John Deng (鄧振中) said Wednesday that Taiwan may ease restrictions on imports of American beef amid reports that it will allow in six kinds of beef parts to make it easier to join the U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc.
Deng, who is in Washington, D.C., for a visit, told a CNA reporter in Taipei by phone that the six types of beef under consideration — bone marrow, blood vessels, head meat, cheek meat, weasand and tallow — are not internal organs and therefore not banned by law.
But businessmen have not been willing to import these beef parts for fear of violating the law because the cuts have not been defined and classified clearly enough under the law, he said.
Deng stressed that the government will not open Taiwan to beef internal organs from the U.S. at the expense of public health or in contravention of laws passed by the Legislature.