Florida is a US state which you may not automatically associate with culinary excellence, but pay a visit, and you will probably start to reassess your thoughts about the place. Just a few of the areas which it draws influence from include the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Deep South. Let’s take a look at some of the Sunshine State’s favorite food and drink choices.
Oranges (and Other Tropical Fruit)
The orange is the iconic fruit of Florida, and you are bound to enjoy a glass or two of delicious juice while you are here. In fact, all kinds of tropical fruit are popular in the state, so there are plenty of opportunities to head down to a smoothie place or juice bar for a daily dose of vitamins. Another great use of the orange is on the citrus swirl – a wonderful combination of soft serve and orange sorbet. They are also commonly made into marmalades, so you can enjoy oranges for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Cubano (Cuban Sandwich)
A Cubano contains slow-roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard – all served on Cuban bread and pressed. Head into pretty much any sandwich or sub shop in Florida and you are likely to be able to find one of these, but the best and most authentic places tend to be found in Miami and Tampa. Other great Cuban classics which you are likely to find on the menu include arroz con pollo, boliche, and roasted plantains with cheese.
Though they may not have originated here, there are plenty of cocktails which are eminently popular in Florida. Cuban drinks like the Mojito and Cuba Libre are widely available. Other popular choices include the Margarita, the Hurricane, and the Caipirinha.
Key Lime Pie
And now, we finally get to the most famous Florida dish of them all; the key lime pie. This classic dessert dish is best made using fresh limes from the Florida Keys, served on a graham cracker crust with whipped cream or meringue. The perfect way to finish off any meal in the Sunshine State!
Just like many cities by the ocean, Florida makes good use of what it finds by preparing a range of high-quality seafood dishes, whether it is rolled up into sushi or deep fried. From October to May, stone crab is another popular dish served with plenty of lemon and butter. For a light snack, all different kinds of fish sandwich are available throughout the state. Hotels like the SpringHill Suites Pensacola Beach put you right on the oceanfront with plenty of seafood restaurants in the vicinity. A couple of other state specialities include oysters from Apalachicola Bay, conch fritters and fried gator tail.
So, if you are planning a trip to Florida at any time in the near future, these are just a few of the dishes and drinks that you should enjoy along the way. There are certainly plenty of different delicious options out there!