The Limepocalypse Is a Real Thing

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor
April 8, 2014

Tacos, served with a slice of lemon. Photo credit: scotthocker, Instagram

"These here tacos came with a lemon. The #limepocalypse is real. God help us all." So tweeted food writer Scott Hocker, observing that thanks to drought, America is seriously short on limes. It’s impacting everything from the taco shop toppings bar to in-flight cocktail options. (The Associated Press reports, “United Airlines has had to make do with lemons on some flights, saying the California drought has limited its lime supply.” Gin and tonic…with lemon?!)

Limes have outpaced lemons in price, by a lot: One San Francisco bar owner reports that he’s seen limes jump from $23 to $100 per case. Bars are charging more for margaritas, others are eliminating limes as garnishes, and some are substituting acid phosphate for citrus juice, reports Eater (whose editors invented the excellent hashtag #limepocalypse).

A black market for limes? Photo credit: StockFood / Aina C. Hole

Americans are not taking this news that limes may soon become more elusive in stride. One clearly has her eye on Cinco de Mayo:

Yeah, don’t mess with people’s margaritas:

And know that we may not be far from a dark, secretive, lime-based barter economy…

… because prices have simply gone through the roof:

But pull yourself together, because there are lots of fantastic springy drinks, including those made with lemons (like the excellent Tom Collins). 

And you could always take the denial route, like this guy:

Which might be our approach. See you in Margaritaville.