Florida’s Famous Foods – Key Lime Pie & Cuban Sandwiches

Florida - Famous Food - Key Lime Pie - Cuban Sandwich
Florida - Famous Food - Key Lime Pie - Cuban Sandwich

If you’re heading to Florida, if you’re thinking the food there will be like food anywhere else, get ready for a surprise. Food throughout Florida tells its own story that speaks of history, climate, culture, and tradition.  

Because Florida is on the south end of the east coast, it borders the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico. This offers a wide variety of seafood as well as citrus. Another unique quality in Florida food is the southern flare seasoned with Latin and Spanish cultures. We’re going to discuss two of them. Let’s unveil two of Florida’s Famous Foods – Key Lime Pie & Cuban Sandwiches. 

Key Lime Pie 

Key Lime Pie is an iconic American Dessert. It is made of a graham cracker or pastry crust, and a yellow custard made of egg yolks, sweetened condensed milk, and key lime juice.  It’s usually topped with either whipped cream or meringue.  

You’ve probably eaten Key Lime Pie many times. But many people don’t realize that Key Lime Pie is 100% Floridian. This delicious dessert reportedly originated in Key West, Florida, in the late 19th century. It’s also the State Pie of Florida. 

The key lime is a smaller more yellowish-green lime when compared to the more common Persian lime. Thus, key lime pie is never actually green as one would expect a pie made from lime to be but is, in fact, yellowish in color. Never trust a key lime pie served to you if it’s green. It’s an imposter! 

Florida - Famous Food - Key Lime Pie - Cuban Sandwich

Florida’s Famous Cuban Sandwich 

With Cuba sitting merely 400 miles from Florida, and Florida having been the destination of Cuban immigrants for the last 65+ years, the Cuban culture has greatly influenced the food scene here. There are two claims to fame when it comes to Florida’s Famous Cuban Sandwich (AKA The Cubano). One is found in Tampa, Florida, and the other in Miami.  

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The Miami Cuban Sandwich features smoked ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on Cuban bread. The only true difference in the Tampa version is the salami. And though the sandwich is sometimes served cold, most often it is hot-pressed. 

Originally introduced in Miami by Cuban expatriates, the Cubano is layered much in the same way a sub sandwich or hoagie is layered. But what perhaps makes it special is the Cuban-style bread.  

Be sure to check out part one in this Florida’s Famous Foods series (here). Be sure and stay up to speed on all the hot spots and sweet destinations in Florida. 

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