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Welcome to NEFF's Kitchen History.

A NEFF kitchen is full of inspiration. For over 135 years, we've been developing kitchen appliances for people with a passion for cooking. These are the people who inspire our greatest ideas. We share a love for nutritious ingredients, good food and cooking enthusiasm. And because Cookaholics are always on the lookout for new inspiration, we're pleased to share unique stories from our global food producers.

Our story collection is inspired by the people who grow, nurture and source wonderful produce. Their food then inspires us to create new recipes that make cooking even more of a pleasure. NEFF invites you to the table. Bon appetit!

Ifor Humphrey's happy cows

A visit to the pastures of Wales


These Japanese cattle are the newest stars on the gastronomic horizon. Now being reared in Europe, NEFF visits a breeder in the heart of Wales.

Wagyu beef: a tender temptation from Wales

In the midst of the lush green hills of Montgomeryshire lies the little village of Abermule. Here, farming and livestock breeding are passed down from generation to generation. Although breeder Ifor
Humphreys feels himself to be a part of this tradition, he has his own approach. His small Wagyu operation is a prime example of the highest standards of quality in a market based on mass production.

Wagyu beef has a unique marbling. Extremely fine veins of fat run through it that melt when cooked, making it indescribably juicy, tender and flavourful.

800 kilograms live weight


A satiny black coat, shiny nostrils and a brawny body consisting of 100 percent pure Wagyu beef - Abramovich, the breeding bull from Abermule, is an impressively massive animal. This powerful fellow - with the proud Russian name - is the jewel of Ifor Humphreys’ herd in North Wales. This bull has it good: In the lush pastures of the hilly emerald countryside, Abramovich is able to inseminate his cows naturally - without technological aids. “He’s a credit to his name,” says breeder Humphreys, proudly adding: “He can easily service 40 cows.” Per season, that is.
Raising Wagyu cattle has put Humphreys far ahead of the curve. Connoisseurs look upon Wagyu meat as the ultimate delicacy, and it's currently in high demand. On the market it sells at a premium price of around 200 Euros per kilogram of tenderloin - much more if the quality is especially high. “Wagyu meat has unique marbling. The finest veins of fat run through the meat and melt when cooked, making it indescribably juicy, tender and flavourful,” boasts breeder Ifor Humphreys.
It’s been seven years since the Welsh farmer and third-generation breeder seized the opportunity to switch from traditional breeds such as Angus and Limousin to Wagyu cattle. At that time 50-year-old Humphreys heard about the quality of this Japanese breed - which is now also being raised in the U.S. and Australia - and imported an embryo. Nine months later Abramovich, his breeding bull, was born.
However, this bizarre-sounding story of a test tube birth is as far as modern technology goes. Upper Bryntalch Farm in Wales operates much as it did in the previous century - a deliberate choice on the part of Ifor Humphreys. “I have a great deal of respect for organic structures,” explains Humphreys as he chugs along on his 60-year-old Fordson Major Diesel. He’s on his way to visit the pasture where 40 cows and calves graze peacefully alongside a herd of 300 sheep.
Sometimes a new calf is born during the night and can be seen taking its first steps in the early morning light. “Wagyus calve easily, which is why they’re able to give birth up here on natural pastures,” says the breeder.

I have a great deal of respect for organic structures



In contrast to other cattle breeds, which are ready for slaughter at just over 18 months, Wagyus are allowed to live up to 30 months. During their final 5 months, they’re kept in stalls to monitor their weight and gradually prepare them for their final transport. “That’s also when we start giving them massages and a daily ration of beer,” says Humphreys. In Japan the cattle are massaged to keep them from losing muscle tone in the stall and they’re given beer to stimulate their appetite in hot weather. Ifor Humphreys follows this tradition, though for different reasons: He wants his cattle to become accustomed to human touch, and a marginal amount of alcohol in the blood helps lower their stress levels.
“In the long production chain, transport and slaughter are the weakest links,” says the experienced breeder. “My animals aren’t used to human contact. I try to calm them with massages.” And because he himself finds the ale from the local Monty’s Brewery so delicious - especially the golden Sunshine - his cattle are also allowed to lap up the yeasty beer, and do so with gusto.
Twice a day the cattle enjoy delicious yeasty beer from "Monty's", the local brewery.

Slow Food: fine and regional


Ifor Humphreys’ fine, small-scale operation also happens to be in line with current trends. Discussions of factory farming and animal transport gradually create an awareness of the link between quality on the table and the way the animals are raised. A happy cow produces much better meat. In any case, there’s a growing community of consumers who would rather eat good meat less often than buy mass-produced meat at dumped prices. There's also a growing number of good chefs who, like sommeliers, can tell you the history of their meat.
They know exactly how the animals lived and what they ate. They’re familiar with the butchering process because they’re sometimes present for it and they also monitor the meat’s aging process.
Grass-green pastureland as far as the eye can see. Frequent downpours even in summer ensure rich fertility.
Humphreys sums it up: “There’s more than one way to raise animals. Anyone who eats meat should do so with respect and awareness that an animal gave its life.” He believes that extraordinary quality and correspondingly high prices are necessary steps on the way to conscious enjoyment. It may sometimes cost as much as 100 euros. That’s a lot of cash, even for someone who's well off. But once people have been educated, they never want to eat industrial meat again. They’d rather have high quality less often if means an unforgettable flavour experience.

Who is Ifor Humphreys?


This Welsh farmer's operation is the antithesis of mass production. When he visits his cows in the pasture, he greets them with a fond “Hi, girls”. Fifty-year-old Ifor Humphreys comes from a farming family. His father and grandfather also raised livestock, mainly sheep. For seven years, Ifor Humphreys has been breeding Wagyu cattle. He also owns a cemetery where village residents, neighbours and friends can find their final resting place.

High-quality Wagyu beef - why it's so expensive


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Wagyu beef (sometimes incorrectly called Kobe beef) originally came from Japan and its export is still prohibited. Populations outside the Kobe region came from animals that were shipped to Australia via the U.S. in the mid-90s for scientific purposes. What’s so special about this cattle’s meat? For centuries these animals were used only as beasts of burden until finally, due to outside influences, the Japanese came to appreciate the taste of beef. “The result was a bloodline with intramuscular fat that runs through the meat in fine lines and is responsible for its especially fine flavour,” says Rachel Godwin of “Alternative Meats”. This Welshwoman is one of Britain’s few female meat experts and she markets Ifor Humphreys meat in renowned shops including, for example, the food department at Harrod’s in London.

With aging, the meat becomes unbelievably tender and develops a variety of undreamt-of aromas.


Rachel Godwin knows: “The higher the percentage of intramuscular fat, the better the quality.” It can reach up to 12 points on the marbling scale, which works a little like Robert Parker’s point system for select wines. In Europe, however, such high scores are extremely rare. Humphreys’ meat, which is a cross between Wagyu and Angus or Limousin, achieves scores of around 6. By the way, you can order it online and have it delivered directly to your home.
HereShop for Wagyu

60
kg

is the average amount of meat - mainly pork - that Germans eat per year. Americans eat 92 kilograms, although in their case it’s almost exclusively poultry.

85
%

is the humidity level required for dry aging. This is the process by which good meat is made even better. At temperatures of 2-3°C, the meat loses weight and by the end of the process may weigh as much as a third less. This makes the meat more tender - and more expensive.

71
%

of those surveyed by the GfK market research institute said they would be willing to pay more for good meat.

170

is the cost of 250 grams of tender Wagyu filet mignon with a quality score of 9+. The gourmet’s motto: Better to enjoy with all the senses and to offset the cost afterwards by eating simpler, less expensive dishes.

85
%

of Germans eat meat almost daily. Although organic products are on the rise, there’s still nothing like nationwide acceptance. According to recent studies, organic beef accounts for six percent of the market.

81
%

would buy local meat if it were available.

The best cut


The quality of Wagyu beef is so high that you don’t necessarily need to eat filet mignon. Rib-eye, T-bone and chuck steaks also have an intense flavour.

The flavour is in the fat


Intramuscular fat gives the meat a delicate, mellow flavour. Sauce would be a sin, which is why restaurants always serve Wagyu beef plain, and usually unaccompanied by side dishes.

High-quality meat is good for you


Beef is 21 percent protein. Because of its specific amino acids, this protein is easily metabolised by our bodies.
Excellent meat requires very little salt, pepper or oil. Simply drizzle with oil and place straight into the pan. The heat will caramelize the outside layer of the meat, creating an incomparable flavour. Crisp on the outside, juicy and finely marbled on the inside: an explosion of flavour on the tongue that is not soon forgotten.

Where is Abermule?


Abermule is a small village in Montgomeryshire, Mid Wales. The Severn, Great Britain’s longest river, runs through Abermule. Road signs throughout the region are written first in Welsh and then in English, a practice that is somewhat controversial politically. Welsh efforts toward independence are not always seen as positive by the rest of the United Kingdom.

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