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May 9, 2007 10:43 AM

The Price of Lemons

Last night I obviously sent my husband to the wrong store to pick up a few lemons.

I have a beautiful lemon tree that has and does produce lovely fat lemons. So many I was giving them away, but the season is now over.

He brought me back A lemon. One, as in singular. I think there was a movie something along this same line. Anyway, I looked at the lemon, and I asked, "Oh where are the others?" He looked at me and said "Others?" "Well yes, at least two others."

Ok I am not a cheap skate, but what he answered almost made my head twist off.
Lemons are 99 cents each.......WHAAAAAT???? Ok I just can't wrap my brain around a 99 cent lemon living in an area of the country known for fantastic produce.

What happened? Are others experiencing this rise in price? Who would of known there is money to be made in lemons? My only thought is that it has to be from Chile to warrant that price.

Next December/January, guess who is learning how to make preserved lemons.

Gas, lemons, What next?

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  1. Wow! That's insane. I just paid 4 for a dollar for lemons at the local high-end grocery store. Are you sure he picked up just a regular lemon and not something fancy like a Meyer?

    1. There was a severe freeze in California late last year, many counties are getting federal and state relief/aid. The president may have declared an emergency, it was proposed, I don't know if it happened.

      When I experienced a freeze (91 or 92) it took a couple of years for my lemon tree to resume production and it may have killed the graft. I don't think my tree is currently producing Eureka, they look like Ponderosas.

      According the my local newspaper, citrus is in limited supply, with a supply coming from Arizona.

      1. I am embarrassed to say that one time, at WholeFoods, I paid $1.29 for ONE lemon! I was making a fish dish and had to have it. Rather than schlepping to another store, I just sucked it up and bought it there. But boy, it burned me up.

        1. I thought lemons were expensive even before our freeze. Mainly I guess its because like you I never had to buy lemons. Lemons, Avocados and tomatoes are things we have always grown ourselves our at least knew someone or a few people with trees that were always giving them away. I still never really bought a tomato but I have bought a few lemons and avocados when I really wanted them and yeah they are pricey.

          6 Replies
          1. re: LARaven

            It was a regular, Eureka lemon. Nothing fancy or vry flavorful for that matter, I just don't get it.
            Yes I was here for the freeze, I didn't lose my lemons!!

            1. re: chef chicklet

              You were lucky NOT to lose your lemons. but more than 75% of the commercial crop in California was destroyed.

              Lemons are going to be very expensive for the near future, at least.

              Unfortunately, there are no real substitutes for their sprightly flavor, so I for one will be sucking it up and buying them anyway. But no lemon ice cream or other frills for a while....

              1. re: ChefJune

                So true. I will pay whatever before I turn to the bottle. Seriously, I am going to preserve some next season. But I am curious why the price is $1 here and others in the country are getting them 4 for a buck? grumble. grumble.

                I bought tomato and basil plants the other day, it pays to grow your own if you can!

                1. re: chef chicklet

                  >>But I am curious why the price is $1 here and others in the country are getting them 4 for a buck?<<

                  It could be a function of where the stores in those other parts of the country imported their lemons from, or it could be that the particular grocery store was selling lemons at a lower price as a loss-leader.

                  Here in Los Angeles, lemons *have* been more expensive than usual.

                  1. re: DanaB

                    They may also not be domestic lemons.

                  2. re: chef chicklet

                    4 for a dollar??!! Where? Our rates (Cleveland) are about 89 cents per. Absolutely has to do with the California freeze. I think Florida took a hit as well, though not as bad. As soon as that happened, citrus went up, up, up!

            2. I bought lemons today - 4 for 2$. Seems about on par price wise with what they were last year this time of year - but they were pretty sorry looking lemons.