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This Japanese Kobe beef delicacy has a 43-year waitlist for anyone who wants to try it

What started as a sample product has become a renowned dish with people waiting for over 4 decades to taste it and they simply can't get enough.

This Japanese Kobe beef delicacy has a 43-year waitlist for anyone who wants to try it
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @shimadakazue

It is not news that people are hardcore fans of certain types of food and will do whatever it takes to get a bite of their favorite cuisines. They are ready to pay thousands of dollars for food items and even travel across the globe for renowned dishes. CNN shared the astonishing news that people are now appearing on waitlists for food as well. The twist here is that they are waiting not just for minutes, days or weeks but for years to get hold of one dish that has been driving the globe crazy. Asahiya sold Kobe beef, a popular type of beef in Takasago City in western Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture known for its texture and taste since the 1920s. However, the early 2000s saw the invention of the delicious Kobe beef croquettes that had some savoring that people could not resist.

Representative Image Source: Pexels| Rene Asmussen
Representative Image Source: Pexels| Rene Asmussen

In 2022, the wait for the phenomenal dish was 30 long years, per the outlet. Undoubtedly, with the increasing demand, the stakes and the waitlist have increased. The Kobe beef croquettes now have a 40-year long waitlist and people are not settling without getting their hands on it. A third-generation owner of Asahiya, Shigeru Nitta, said, "We started selling our products through online shopping in 1999." He further mentioned that the product was only a trial at the time. When he took over at the age of 30, that's when the advent of the Extreme Croquettes, a variant of the Kobe beef delicacy, came into being. "We sold Extreme Croquettes at the price of JPY270 ($1.80) per piece… The beef in them alone costs about JPY400 ($2.70) per piece," Nitta explained.

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A post shared by 新田 滋 (@shigeru.nitta)


"We made affordable and tasty croquettes that demonstrate the concept of our shop as a strategy to have customers enjoy the croquettes and then hope that they would buy our Kobe beef after the first try," the owner added. To avoid losses, they made a limited number of croquettes. Eventually, the concept of the croquettes became popular and demand simply kept increasing. While this could mean profit for Nitta, he still had to be cautious. In 2016, Nitta decided to stop the production and making of the croquettes as the waiting period went up to 14 years.

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A post shared by 島田 和枝 (@shimadakazue)


As bizarre as it may have seemed, people were ready for the wait. We were thinking of stopping orders, but we got many calls requesting to keep offering them," Nitta said. "At that time, we raised the price to JPY500 ($3.40)-JPY540 ($3.65) with a consumption tax," he added. However, given the span of years and the economy, the rising of prices did not make a difference to Nitta's business. "We hear that we should hire more people and make croquettes more quickly, but I think there is no shop owner who hires employees and produces more to make more losses. I feel sorry for having them wait. I do want to make croquettes quickly and send them as soon as possible, but if I do, the shop will go bankrupt," Nitta explained.


Nitta also mentioned how the dish was some patients' motivation to complete their treatment and heal. Nitta received a call from the patient who told him, "I hope to live long without recurrence of cancer," just to enjoy the Kobe beef croquettes. "I still remember that. I was moved by the comment," said Nitta. The croquettes have moved from 200 a week to 200 a day and Nitta is doing his best to give the people what they desire while maintaining the family business as best as possible.

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