Where’s the beef? Four decades away.
Thought the wait times for cronuts were ludicrous? The “Extreme Croquette,” a hyper-affordable potato and Kobe beef-filled disc, is so popular that people wait up to 43 years for one.
As of this month, there were 63,000 people on deck one of these lux latkas, which are sold at the Asahiya butcher shop in Takasago City in Western Japan, the South China Morning Post reported.
“We made affordable and tasty croquettes that demonstrate the concept of our shop,” Shigeru Nitta, the third-generation owner of Asahiya, told CNN in 2022.
But bad news for fans outside of Japan: They’re currently only hawked online domestically, per The Takeout.
Founded in 1926, the family-run meat purveyor started selling Kobe beef croquettes — which are sold frozen in boxes of five for $18.20 ($3.24 a piece) — in the years following World War II.
However, these haute potatoes only started flying off the shelves in the early 2000s after the company began hawking them online, which resulted in the four-decade-long wait times.
These high-fallutin hashbrown’s appeal lies in the fact that they make “exclusivity” accessible — like Steve Jobs did with the Apple computer.
For starters, customers pay three dollars a piece for something that contains 30 grams of prime A5 Kobe, the highest grade available based on marbling and other factors.
Nitta sources his plush protein from three-year-old cows raised by a farmer he knows personally.
He then speedballs it with “Red Andes” potatoes, a uniquely sugary tater grown on a farm that exclusively supplies his store.
Due to the sky-high cost of ingredients (the croquette costs more to produce than its retail price), Nitta’s not making any money on these golden nuggets. At least in the short term.
“I estimate we are losing 300 yen on every croquette,” lamented the butcher, who initially tried to stem the financial hemorrhage by only producing 200 croquettes a week. They’ve since upped production to 200 a day to keep up with demand.
For Nitta, the Extreme Croquettes are an investment, as they help turn customers onto the idea of buying premium beef online.
“We started selling them because we wanted people to have a taste of high-quality, diced Kobe beef and to encourage them to buy other cuts of beef from us,” the entrepreneur declared.
It may take a while for customers to make up their minds given that they won’t receive their croquettes until the 2060s. We suppose that all good things come to those who wait….for both buyer and seller.
“I feel sorry for having them wait,” admitted Nitta. “I do want to make croquettes quickly and send them as soon as possible, but if I do, the shop will go bankrupt.”
Customers can tide themselves over in the interim with Asahiya’s three other croquette varieties.
These include the Premier Kobe Beef Croquettes, which only has a four-year wait time.