Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Lovely lemons

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After living in a country for a while you really get a taste for the place both literally and figuratively. I feel that after almost nine months in Mexico I have learnt a lot about the important flavours of Mexican food and drink. Obviously chilies are central and used to get that spicy Mexican kick, but also tomatoes, onions, cilantro (or coriander) and most of all lemons. Almost everything you buy to eat in Mexico will contain at least one of these ingredients if not all of them.

However for me the most important Mexican ingredient has to be the lemon. Used in sweet dishes, savoury dishes, meat dishes and fish dishes, drinks (including alcoholic ones) and more. It is impossible to eat anything anywhere without seeing lemons all over the place. However recently there occurred, what some of my friends considered to be a national disaster, lemons ran short and the price shot up. Prices increased from around 10 Mexican pesos per kilo to an incredible 50 or 60 pesos per kilo. In some places one kilo was selling at more than the daily minimum wage of 65.53 pesos.

There didn’t really seem to be any clear information or reasons for this scandalous price increase. Some blamed bad weather, some blamed recent drug violence in the lemon producing state of Michoacan, and others blamed unscrupulous middle men who took advantage of a slight increase in price to make even more money for themselves by raising the price further. Luckily this month after weeks of lemon-less life the price returned to normal and lemons were back on the menu once again.

No one really knows why the price of lemons rose so much or who was behind it. But what the price rise and my friends’ extreme reactions taught me that lemons are central to Mexican life and not being able to buy them or having to resort to bottled lemon juice is just something that cannot be accepted. After nine months I am inclined to agree, it does feel good to see the little bowl of lemons served again in every bar, café and restaurant.


What foods are important in your country? Are there any foods you could not live without?


amairany's picture
amairany 13 May, 2014 - 02:16

This article I found very good, because it speaks of the traditions of Mexican and focuses on the cost of lemons was very exaggerated way the price went up .. taking advantage of this in some shops wanted to replace the lemon with other citrus but Tasty definitely the limon is unmatched, I'm glad that you already paresca things and are well and ue mexico and production continues to grow.

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JairHan's picture
JairHan 12 May, 2014 - 04:34

This article I found very good because it talks about traditions of Mexicans and about the cost of lemons, I think way too price increase and in some stores began using other citrus so that the public could be a little at ease but it was not the same as a lemon and an orange, and I like lemons. :D

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justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 11 May, 2014 - 04:16

Chili but I don't really eat it that much so I wouldn't really miss it.

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GerardG9's picture
GerardG9 10 May, 2014 - 23:11

In my town, lemons are the major chilli without excluding, in my opinion I do not like increasing the price of lemon now rarely seen a lemonade on the table of the house, I'm from Mexico :)

I love lemon :D

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Niluh's picture
Niluh 5 May, 2014 - 16:25

Chili has to be the most important ingredient in my country, chili is almost same with lemon in Mexico, it often becomes a problem due to high price. And of course soya bean, this plant is very important as well as chili, many people in my country use soya bean to produce our favourite dish, Tempe. We (in Indonesia) cannot live without Tempe, this food is really popular, nutritious and delicious.

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