The Jew And The Carrot

The Great Brisket Crisis of 2014

By Michael Kaminer

Arby’s Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich has launched a brisket crisis. Credit: Arby’s.

Guard your briskets!

Brisket prices are skyrocketing nationwide as voracious demand for a “limited edition” Arby’s brisket sandwich eats into supply for the prized cut of meat.

Fueled by a hugely successful online marketing campaign, the fast-food giant is consuming more than a half-million pounds of brisket every week to keep up with its 3,300 stores demand for the “Smokehouse Brisket Sandwich,” whose schtick is that it smokes for thirteen hours.

At Jewish-themed restaurants around New York, brisket already commands premium prices. At the tourist-friendly Carnegie Deli, a brisket sandwich will set you back $17.99. Mile End’s smoked-meat sandwich, made of seasoned and marinated brisket, is a relative bargain at $15. A brisket sandwich at Katz’s Deli — albeit perfectly cooked and stacked sky-high — clocks in at $17.45. Owner Jake Dell says he’s eating the cost of the brisket shortage on the back end. “I can’t change my prices every week. Prices are only going one way and it’s clearly not down,” Dell told the Forward.

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