The shortage of garlic in Cuba, a fundamental product of this country's gastronomy, has made this product so valuable that it has even become an exchange commodity.
As reported by El Tiempo Latino, garlic bags are sold on the streets of Havana just like electronic products or fake luxury bags. In fact, the black market economy has created veritable 'garlic bosses' that are renowned for making a lot of cash, the outlet stated.
A garlic seller can pay $50,000- 100,000 to buy an entire harvest. However, the real business is in the networks of resellers that sell the product to other resellers.
Why is this happening?
The lack of fertilizers and pesticides has made it especially difficult to grow garlic, which is only harvested once a year, in January. As a result, prices tend to rise between November and December when they are scarcer and before more garlic reaches the black market. A customer interviewed by The Economist said that he had paid 240 pesos for 450 grams of garlic, i.e. four times more than what it cost in September.