Winter tomatoes are a lesser breed, their pallid flavor and mealy texture made even less appetizing by their associations with modern-day slavery. Apparently, Mother Nature also has a grudge against them: As the Wall Street Journal reports, freezing temperatures in Florida, where most winter tomatoes are grown, have depleted 70 percent of the crop. This has in turn produced a tomato shortage that’s caused a spike in prices and led restaurants across the country to ration their supplies. The bad weather in January cost Florida producer growers some $300 million, with about half that loss coming from tomatoes. Tomato prices, which now hover around $30 per 25-pound box (as opposed $6.45 a year ago) are expected to decrease in April, when the new crop is planted. In the meantime, hey, there’s always ketchup.
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