An old saying goes, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. But what does one do when lemons become out of reach of the common man? Surely one cannot hope to make lemonade.
With lemon selling at Rs 325 per kilogram and Rs 13 per piece in Lucknow, the zing and the tang has gone out of food.
The twist of lemon in Dal tadka, a sprinkle on tandoori chicken and the tang in salads has gone out.
Lemonade, popularly known as ‘shikanji’, is no longer served to guests in the scorching heat.
While the high price has forced the ordinary people to cut down the consumption drastically, many roadside dhabas and takeaway eateries have stopped serving lemons.
‘Chaat’ sellers say that customers are staying away because we cannot afford to use lemon and the taste obviously suffers.
“My consumption of lemon was around four kilograms every day but now with the prices shooting up, I cannot afford to buy them. I am substituting lemon with ‘amchoor’ powder but the taste is not the same,” says Prathmesh Shukla, who runs a popular ‘chaat’ stall in Hazratganj.
Lemons are also flying off salad platters in luxury restaurants.
“We serve lemon slices only on demand. Otherwise, we are not including it in the salad platter,” disclosed the food manager of a five-star hotel.
Small restaurants and canteens have increased the prices of lemon drinks and taken them off the salad plates.
President of the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association, Girish Oberoi, said, “Small hotels have stopped serving lemon.”
Oberoi said that the sudden escalation in prices was mainly due to hike in fuel prices and also low output. He said that he did not know when and how the prices of lemon would come down.