Customers Are Willing To Wait 30 Years For These Frozen Japanese Croquettes

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, we have all dealt with shipping delays of our favorite items. However, your two-week long delayed Amazon package may not seem so bad after reading about Asahiya's three-decade-long wait list for its insanely popular Kobe beef croquettes.

Kobe beef is an incredibly rare meat with a registered trademark that can only be produced in Japan. According to Tasting Table via the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association, for the beef to be considered Kobe, it must come from a "black Tajima Wagyu steer or heifer, raised and processed in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan." There are also extremely strict regulations for the fat content and marbling. Such restrictions make all things Kobe a coveted food item.

Asahiya, a family-run butcher shop native to the Hyogo Prefecture, has been selling Kobe beef for decades. However, according to CNN, everything changed when they added their deep-fried Kobe beef and potato croquettes to their menu in the early 2000s. The croquettes' popularity was bolstered by internet stardom, and they racked up an incredibly long waitlist, according to the outlet. Would you wait 30 years for a specific meal?

Coveted Kobe beef

There are four types of Kobe beef croquettes that Asahiya sells, according to CNN, with the "Extreme Croquettes" being the most popular. When the business first started selling the croquettes online, they were selling them at a huge loss. The first "Extreme Croquettes" were sold for only $1.80 per piece, while the cost of the beef was one and a half times that. To maintain this business strategy, the business only made 200 croquettes a week.

Over time, the cheapness of their luxury beef products caught the attention of online buyers. When popularity grew, in part thanks to a local news story, the company did not forgo its quality ingredients and time-consuming preparation methods. But, CNN notes that production did increase to 200 croquettes daily.

While current wait times are around 30 years, some customers that jumped on the bandwagon sooner had a shorter wait time. According to a Sora News article, one Twitter user placed an order for croquettes on September 8, 2013 and received it order in 2021, leaving glowing reviews.

These croquettes are only available for domestic orders in Japan. However, if you're willing to take a trip to Japan, you can cut your wait time drastically. According to CNN, Asahiya's Kobe city storefront location sells two types of beefy croquettes: "Tor Road," made with short loin, and "Kitanozaka," made with lean beef. Due to the crazy high demand, the butcher shop probably has expansion in its future.