The cuisine of Florida is one of the exotic styles of food, but there is a reduced list of Florida foods that is in everyone’s wish list.
I’m a native Floridian. I was born and raised here and I never thought I’d ever leave. Then one day, I up and moved to Asia, which was quite the experience. I spent almost six years of my life abroad until I couldn’t stand the homesickness any longer. When I left, I thought that was the end of my torrid love affair with Florida. I didn’t care if I ever saw her again. At least at first.
But once I was gone for a little over a year, I began to feel wistful for my old state. And part of it, I realized, was because I missed the food. Florida is home to some of its very own cuisine that you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re new here or you just don’t get out much, please allow me to introduce you to some tasty reasons why Florida is the best state ever.
Go through this list of our 5 Florida foods we have decided, Floridians can’t live without and share your opinion:
1. Conch fritters. Conch is what you find in those big, beautiful spiral shells that tourists love to buy. If you hold it up to your ear, you’ll hear the sound of the ocean. Unless you’re me at the age of 4. When my brother asked me what I heard, I told him it sounded like the toilet after it flushes. Anyway, conch fritters are made with this soft yet chewy shellfish meat. They’re small fried balls of glorious seasonings with chunks of conch, celery, onions, and peppers. Now that I’m back, I always order them if I see them on the menu. Always.
2. Stone crabs. Florida’s claim to crab fame, stone crabs are only in season from November through May. During season, one claw is removed from each crab. The crab lives on to regenerate another claw, which will likely be harvested the next season. Traditionally, these are served chilled with a creamy mustard dipping sauce, but they are equally as amazing with a side of melted butter.
3. Gator bites. In college, I’ll never forget someone handing me these and trying to tell me it was chicken. I took one bite and said, “That’s gator, fool.” You can’t trick a Floridian into eating gator because we KNOW gator, and we love it. And while similar to chicken, it’s a bit greasier but also a bit groovier too.
4. Cuban sandwiches. If anyone ever tells you it’s just a sandwich, walk away. You don’t need that kind of negativity. It’s basically a ham sandwich, with pork and dill pickles but there’s nothing basic about this sandwich. It gets pressed hot and flat and somehow in this process that, adds the extra “shazam” to make it one of the best sandwiches in all of Florida.
5. Publix sandwiches. And speaking of sandwiches, indeed while Publix is now found in other states, it is most highly concentrated in the sunshine state. Lunch never sucks in Florida as long as there’s a Publix around.
6. Key lime pie. There is nowhere else in the world where you can get an authentic key lime pie. Often imitated, it is never done correctly anywhere else. That gelatinous bright neon green should be your first clue that it’s not the real deal. No, real key lime pie is a creamy, limey dream come true. Made from fresh key limes and condensed milk, it’s lovingly held in a buttery graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream for the ultimate sweet, cool and refreshing way to end any Floridian meal.
The thing about Florida foods though is that just like American food, very few dishes are really our own. But as to the ones mentioned above, well, those really are!