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Monday, March 31, 2014

Disease, Cartels, and A Cultural Crop

For all the hullabaloo about "gourmet" food trucks and park devoted to them, rolling taquerias have been a mainstay in Houston dining - in these loncheras,  tacos come fast, flavorful and cheap, unceremoniously plopped onto the cheapest disposable plates, to be eaten while standing under the sun.

But on a recent trip to an Airline taco truck, I noticed a disturbing trend.
Note the yellowish tinge to the obligatory slice of lime. 

The tell tale seeds confirmed my suspicion: they are distributing lemons.
Surely, the Texas dining scene will not be unscathed by the sudden quadrupling of lime prices in recent weeks. Multiple factors are at play from politics to plant disease, but since Mexico provides 95% of the lime supplies in North America, this ubiquitous fruit, previously so plentiful as to be given away (and optionally discarded) is now becoming a pretty precious commodity. Hoard your lime juice, or be prepared to explore other citrus flavors. 

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