Red Alert: Tomato Shortage Hits NYC

Photo: istockphoto

Last night we overheard a line cook at a local tavern imploring a server to ask customers whether they want tomatoes with their burgers — the price of the veggie had recently tripled and the tavern could no longer afford to include them with the burger automatically. Today, The Wall Street Journal offers an explanation for the rationing: Unusually cold weather has killed 70 percent of the tomato crop in Florida, the source of most U.S.-grown winter tomatoes (we get about a third of our fresh vegetables from Florida this time of year). Florida vegetable producers stand to lose $300 million, and restaurants and supermarkets are tightening their grip as the price of domestic tomatoes rises. Prices should be back to normal by April (and many are importing from Mexico in the meantime); till then, don’t be surprised when your BLT is missing the T.

Tomatoes Get Sliced From Menus [WSJ]