What’s this? Daisuke Matsuzaka has challenged Kobe Bryant to a game of one-on-one? Or is Dice-K going against Masahiko Kobe on an episode of Iron Chef?
Neither. In fact, it’s a battle of the beef.
As you may be aware, Kobe beef has become de rigeur in the finer steakhouses and uppity restaurants. It’s revered for its well-marbled texture, tenderness, and flavor. Some people swear it is the best-tasting beef they’ve ever had. It’s also not unusual to see it on menus with a 3-digit price tag next to it.
However, there is an even better type of beef — if you believe the food critics of Japan — and it is called Matsuzaka beef. Rumor has it, the cattle are raised on beer and massage, which in turn produces a meat that melts in your mouth.
What does this have to do with the Mets? Nothing at all. However, being that most Mets fans live near the American epicenter of international cuisine, I wonder if the combination of this beef’s quality combined with the arrival of Dice-K will create a new sensation in New York restaurants. I am absolutely amazed that no one yet has linked the two Matsuzakas – the beef and the pitcher – in this the age of crossbranding. And won’t it be a fantastic joke to see “Matsuzaka Beef” on a chi-chi NYC menu at an astonishingly high price? How many times will the waiter have to tolerate a patron asking “yes, but what is the posting fee?”
Hey, I feel a publicity opportunity here. Imagine this: a restaurant announces that there will be just one dish of Matsuzaka beef served on a particular evening, and the lucky patron will have to negotiate with the chef on the price per pound. Naturally, there will be a sealed-bid auction for the right to that negotiation.
Of course, the above will likely not happen — at least, not until the Mad Cow-induced bans on imported beef are lifted (you didn’t think that $100 Kobe strip was really from Japan, did you?). Or until some genius marketer exploits the anticipated Dice-K sensation by repackaging all the American-bred “Kobe” beef as “Matsuzaka”.
Remember, you heard it here first.