Skyrocketing Price Of Limes Impacts Cinco de Mayo

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Skyrocketing Price Of Limes Impacts Cinco de Mayo

CREATED May 6, 2014
by Jason Lamb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Cinco de Mayo, the skyrocketing cost of a Mexican restaurant staple may put a damper on celebrations. The cost of limes has quadrupled in the last three months, and it’s hit supermarkets and Mexican restaurants in middle Tennessee especially hard.

Limes are used in almost everything at Mexican restaurants, including salsas and side dishes. They’re served with beers, tequila and of course margaritas.

The reason for the big price increase isn't a drought, but an increase in drug cartel activity in the areas where limes are grown in Mexico and then imported to the U.S.

While Allegria Mexican restaurant in Green Hills said it hasn't cut back on the limes they use in their recipes, they have cut back on the limes used as garnish, and limes served with beer.

Some restaurants have decided to raise their prices to account for the increased cost of limes, but Allegria said it hasn’t yet, meaning the restaurant is taking the financial hit for each case of limes they purchase.

“Even the quality of the limes we are purchasing is not as it used to be,” said George Haddad, owner of Allegria Mexican restaurant. “They are smaller, and they don't have a lot of juice in them.”

Some good news may be on the horizon: In the last week or so, Haddad said reports show lime prices easing up a bit, so they may be a little closer to normal in about a month or so.

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