Have you tried Kobe beef in America in the last two years? Larry says: No. You haven't. This Forbes writer goes through the issue of Kobe's reality and reputation, and posits that the very specific beef's reputation has been stolen, here. It's all interesting, but skip to here if you're short on time for a sort-of-summary version -- that's both more subtle and more clear on several points.
Ever wonder about wasabi? (The REAL wasabi, I mean?) Take a look here.