Lemon lovers feeling the squeeze

Inchbar manager Cameron Brown was delighted to get his hands on some lemons yesterday as he prepared the Dunedin bar before doors opened. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
Inchbar manager Cameron Brown was delighted to get his hands on some lemons yesterday as he prepared the Dunedin bar before doors opened. PHOTO: GERARD O’BRIEN
What do you do when life doesn’t give you lemons?

That is the question facing local lovers of the acerbic citrus fruit as they deal with a lack of lemons on Dunedin’s store shelves.

Inchbar manager Cameron Brown said the bar had been struggling to find lemons for several days.

Replenishing the bar’s supply was usually as simple as popping to the supermarket, but recently he had not been able to find the fruit in any shops.

The bar managed to get about 10 lemons yesterday, but as they normally bought lemons by the bag they would not stretch far.

Customers had been disappointed by the lack of lemon in their gin and tonic.

"Without a lemon in a G and T it’s not really a G and T."

Lemons have been scarce in Dunedin’s supermarkets and grocers for about the past week.

Countdown Dunedin Central had a tray of lemons on sale yesterday for $8 per kilo, and these had sold out by mid-afternoon.

Zanzibar manager Gussie McDonald said the specialist gin bar had not run out of lemons, but there were other garnish options for a gin and tonic.

"Each gin has their own character, and maybe lemon is not even necessarily the best match.

"We often use orange, we use lime, we use cucumber, we use rosemary, we can use juniper berries, which is what makes gin gin."

Research, experimentation, or consulting with a bartender were all options for those seeking an effective lemon substitute for their favourite tipple.

Foodstuffs NZ corporate affairs manager Emma Wooster said the global supply chain continued to be "lumpy"due to the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"If you see a gap on the supermarket shelf and it’s not currently in season in New Zealand, it’s likely to have been held up on the boat and will be back soon."

The New Zealand lemon season did not begin until July, so consumers would not see the benefit of local produce hitting the shelves until then, she said.

A Countdown spokeswoman said the supermarket chain was working with its suppliers and supply chain partners to minimise the impacts of Covid-19 on customers.

Stocks for most products were looking good across the South Island, and their supply chain was in good shape.

Countdown did not provide comment on its current local lemon availability.

andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz

 

 

 

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