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Topic: Brass Tacks

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April 15, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Lime shortage puts the squeeze on local bars and restaurants

A lime garnish? You won't see that anymore on your cocktail with this lime shortage. Photo by Genevieve Alvarez / The Seattle Times

A lime garnish? You won’t see that anymore on your cocktail with this lime shortage. Photo by Genevieve Alvarez / The Seattle Times

You may not be familiar with “limepocalypse” but if you eat out, and especially if you drink out, you felt it – through your wallet or through your taste buds. Something doesn’t taste right.

There is a  lime crisis, with bad weather and a disease killing citrus trees, which has  caused a shortage in Mexico, the world’s largest lime producer and exporter.

A case (175 limes) goes for around $110-$130, three times higher than what it cost in February.  And to make matters worse, bartenders complain that  due to the poor crop, the lime produces only a half-ounce of juice. (It’s an ounce per lime in a good year.)

In recent months, the price of limes has skyrocketed. In a story that’s stranger than fiction, the Mexican drug cartels now are hijacking lime trucks and selling limes on the black market.

If you don’t think this affects you, check your favorite watering hole or your local Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants. Some taco trucks now serve a wedge of lemon with carnitas tacos.

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Comments | Topics: Ba Bar, Brass Tacks, limepocalypse