Prices of lime skyrocket
Somtam lovers beware! The price of a main ingredient of the spicy papaya salad dish or lime has skyrocketed to about Bt10 per fruit, the Commerce Ministry has found.
The ministry has surveyed the prices of foods for its monthly report for March and the report found that the prices of prime size of limes have shot to Bt10 from between Bt2 to Bt4 per a fruit.
The ministry has also interviewed foods vendors, who expressed concern that the prices could further rise to Bt12 to Bt13 per fruit.
Lime is seen as a must for making the taste of somtam delicious as it adds the fresh taste of sourness to the dish. Although lime solution is available and some somtam vendors turn to use margarine solution, many people prefer the use of fresh lime instead.
For a spicy dish of somtam plara, the vendor may have to use two or three lime fruits.
In the report, the ministry reasoned that drought had hit several central provinces where lime trees are grown, affecting the production.
The report stated that many somtam vendors have already hoarding lime fruits for fear that the prices would rise further. Many have suspended their sale because of the high price.
The report added that the isaan or northeastern-style foods shops have not increased the prices of their dishes yet but they are expected to increase the prices by Bt5 to Bt10 per dish soon. Lime is also necessary for adding spicy taste to spicy soups and spicy minced chicken, pork or beef.
Many Thais also like to add lime to their fried rice as well as adding lime to their fish sauce.