Lime Shortage Sours Cinco de Mayo For Restaurants

May 05, 2014

Valley restaurants are feeling the squeeze of the ongoing lime shortage in central Mexico.  The shortage comes from a combination of bad weather, tree disease and extortion by drug cartels.

The price of limes for local restaurants is usually somewhere around $30 a box. But now, prices have skyrocketed to an average of $100 a box

Carlos Mundo is the manager and food buyer for Julio Too, a Mexican restaurant in Old Town Scottsdale. He says his staff no longer puts out limes for customers; people have to ask for them.

“What we had to do is go to local stores like a Fry’s, Smart and Final, Sprouts and get just, you know, 15 at a time. And, 15 at a time were costing up to 25 bucks. So, you know, the highest I've seen them go was 79 cents apiece,” he said.

Mundo said his produce distributor isn’t sure when prices will return to normal levels.

So, for now, you might have stuff a lemon wedge in your beer, or just go for a strawberry margarita instead.