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Aug 3, 2014 07:06 AM

Price of lemons sky-high

Californians and others who pluck lemons off trees in their backyards can ignore this post (and not rub it in), but to others, has the price of lemons in your area really gone up in recent weeks? It seems like a replay of the lime pricing, which has finally come down (8 for $1 yesterday at the ethnic grocer where I get most of my produce) but lemons have now gotten very expensive. At my ethnic grocer yesterday, they were $1.99/lb. and, for that, were not even very nice. I had planned to buy 2 but could only find one nice one and it would have cost 75 cents so I did not buy it. The local chain supermarket was charging 99 cents apiece. I did find them for 50 cents apiece at TJs yesterday -- not particularly plump but I bought 2.

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  1. the good news is that anything you can do with a lemon, you can do with a lime.

    4 Replies
    1. re: genoO

      That's not really true at all. There is a significant difference in flavor, especially when it comes to mixed drinks.

      And I can't see making piccata with lime instead of lemon. Plus, limes are bitchin' expensive these days as well.

      1. re: linguafood

        As noted in my original post, the price of limes (in the Chicago area at least) has come down. But, as you say, they are not interchangeable. I use lemon juice in vinaigrette; sure, lime can be substituted, but it's a very different flavor.

        1. re: linguafood

          No, limes don't sub well for lemons in most things. Both citrus, but a very different flavor. For a lot of dishes, I might reach for red wine vinegar before lime if I were really desperate for a lemon sub (not so much in mixed drinks, though).

        2. re: genoO

          The flavors are very different and not desired in some applications. as mentioned Cocktail Mixing for example also in Pastry Production.

        3. I paid $1.00 per for smallish lemons this past week. I think the lemon growers got jealous of the lime growers recent windfall. I try to substitute lime for lemon wherever possible but, to me anyway, they are very different flavors. Fortunately, they are interchangeable to me in gin/vodka & tonic.

          1. just bought a bag of small lemons for 2.39. maybe 7-8 in bag. regular size lemons were 79ยข each.

            bought them for making some seared scallops in lemon-thyme butter.

            1. Yes noticed the same here in NYC...We use far more limes than lemons, and as a result of the lime price crisis, I have learned to drink my vodka plain...I imagine a glass of scotch without a twist is just something I will have to suffer through..

              1. Get used to high citrus prices. The growers are dealing with Huanglongbing (Citrus greening) caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. It's carried by the Asian citrus psyllid and is wreaking deadly havoc on citrus trees.