A meat shop in Japan has such a huge fan following that Kobe beef croquettes here have a waiting list of 38 years. According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Shigeru Nitta’s butcher shop is located in the central Japan prefecture of Hyogo. It makes deep-fried beef and potato dumplings in the form of cubes of grade A5 Kobe beef – the highest quality ranking of the rarefied delicacy – from three-year-old cows that have been raised locally, the outlet further said in its report.
Nitta combines the beef with “Red Andes” potatoes grown on a farm that sends supplies only to his shop. The potatoes are known for having a high sugar content. He finally adds onions from Awaji Island, in the inland sea off Hyogo Prefecture.
The croquettes are known as “kiwami”, which means “the ultimate”. Each croquette is around 10cm across, and weighs 100 grams.
They can be ordered in boxes of 10 and are delivered frozen. A single croquette sells for 300 yen (US $2.05).
“I estimate we are losing 300 yen on every croquette that we sell because the beef that goes into them is so expensive,” Nitta told This Week in Asia. “But 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.”
Due to the low cost, the business is booming, with Nitta operating two shops and his business expanding.
The reason for such a long wait is that Nitta and his staff only produce 200 croquettes every day, according to SCMP report. He said that the order list has around 63,000 names and if people place an order today, they won’t be receiving their orders until the year 2062.
The meat shop was founded in 1926 and Nitta is the third generation of his family to operate the company, taking over in 1994.