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Shortage Of Mexican Limes Makes Us Weep Into Our Margaritas

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A mouth-watering margarita from El Portal in Pasadena (Photo by ciana13 via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Pour out a lime-a-rita for the Mexican lime.If you’ve noticed margarita prices go up, it may be because there’s a shortage of Mexican limes that is driving the price of the fruit toward el cielo, the Orange County Register reports. Cases of Mexican limes are now selling for an average of $100 per case, up from $14 a case previously, affecting restaurants and bars that use the limes to make margaritas and guacamole. (Speaking of guacamole, that's also in trouble due to poor conditions for avocados.)

So why the shortage of small, tart limes also known as Key limes? Farmers in the Mexican state of Michoacan are withholding limes to try to get better prices, and on top of that, a winter storm damaged lime crops in another part of Mexico.

If you happen to have a Key lime tree in your yard, O.C. restaurant owner Mario Marovic wants your limes. He’s offering customers who trade in a bag of limes a 25-cent margarita at either Matador Cantina and Hopscotch in Fullerton or Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa. Matador’s house margarita typically goes for $10.