Family run butchers Asahiya have been selling ‘Extreme’ Kobe beef croquettes for the past 20 years at a loss, and now have a 30 year waiting list for the meat snack
A particular Japanese delicacy is so popular you'll finally get your hands on a box in 2052 if you order today.
The 'Extreme' Kobe beef croquettes from family-run butchers Asahiya are arguably the most famous croquettes in the world.
The miniature treats are said to be incredibly moreish and fresh, using only the freshest ingredients from the local area.
For the past 96 years the family has been selling high quality meat snacks from their shop in western Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, and began making deep-fried potato and tender cow meat dumplings after WWI.
In 1999 Asahiya opened an online store to sell their products, only to find that people were unsure about paying top yen for beef, even if it was high quality.
Shigeru Nitta, who is the third-generation owner of Asahiy, decided to sell the locally sourced, hand-made croquettes as a loss leader, to try and give people a taste for the food and turn them into loyal customers.
"We sold Extreme Croquettes at the price of JPY270 ($£1.64) per piece… The beef in them alone costs about JPY400 (£2.42) per piece," Nitta told CNN.
"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."
So as not to lose too much money, the butchers only made 200 croquettes each week.
The reason they're so expensive – and possibly so delicious – is they are made fresh each day with meat from three-year-old female A5-ranked Kobe beef, as well as potatoes sourced from a local farm.
When a newspaper wrote about the croquettes in the early 2000s, they went viral.
Earlier this year one Japanese woman, who goes by @hayasino on Twitter, got her order of croquettes after waiting nine years for them.
She said she had put her order in on put in her order on September 8, 2013, and that it had been slightly delayed by a bad crop of the Red Andes potatoes that are used in them.
During the nine years she waited @hayasino had moved to Tokyo and got married twice, yet the croquettes still found their way to her, she said.
In 2016 Nitta stopped adding people to the waiting list as it was now longer than 14 years, only to reopen it in 2017 after huge demand.
Asahiya resumed accepting orders for these croquettes in 2017 but raised the price.
Even with 1,400 croquettes flying off the shelves each week, if you sign up now, you won't get your hands on a box for another 30 years.
Each box of Extreme Croquettes includes five pieces and costs JPY2,700 (£16.37).
Those on the list receive a regular email newsletter telling them how long it'll be before their box arrives.
To order, click here.
A recent poll of 2,000 people found that six in ten UK holidaymakers only go abroad because of the food.
While that may make sense when thinking about a delicious, crispy, deep fried croquette, sometimes the appeals of global cuisine are less obvious.
When the Mirror asked its reporters what the strangest things they had eaten were, there were some stomach turning answers.
Nigel Thompson, the paper's Travel Editor, has tucked into rattlesnake fritter and bison testicles in Texas, jellyfish in Hong Kong, and whole baby frogs in Thailand.
Stephen Jones, an editor, added: "Kung Ten in Thailand – translates as 'dancing shrimp' (it's LIVE PRAWNS ).
"Quite delicious actually. The idea is you get a ball of sticky rice and gather them up and try to get them into your stomach without them flipping on to the back of your throat and making you gag!"
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