United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, separates
beef into eight different grades: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard,
Commercial, Utility, Cutter and Canner. Most restaurants serve
Prime or Choice beef and only about two percent of all beef
graded by the USDA qualifies for Prime distinction.
grading program is Certified Angus Beef, a
designation awarded by Wooster, Ohio-based Certified Angus Beef
LLC. The mark applies to approximately eight percent of all
USDA-graded beef that derives from Angus stock and meets certain
quality criteria. A cow that provides Angus certified meat must have Angus parentage and a coat that is at least 51 per cent black.
Do not confuse Prime beef with the prime rib the prime
rib refers to the location from where the meat is cut, not the
graded quality of the beef. The grades refer primarily to the
amount of fat marbling in the muscle; Prime beef must contain
no less than 8 per cent intramuscular fat. And you wondered why
it tasted so good.