The local cuisine is sometimes called Floribbean. Thanks to a strong Caribbean and Latin American influence, Floridian food is culturally diverse – and thanks to the huge coastline, you can enjoy fresh fish and seafood wherever you are.
Florida has nearly 1,200 miles of coastline. And, because of the narrow nature of the state, fresh seafood can be found practically everywhere.
Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts and its inland waters serve up a mouth-watering menu of marine fare. Depending on the time of year and where you are, you can dine on Apalachicola oysters, Fernandina Beach shrimp, St. Johns River blue crabs, Florida Bay lobsters, and Cedar Key clams, Grouper, mahi-mahi, largemouth bass, speckled perch, and trout.
For starters in the Sunshine State
Conch Chowder – a creamy soup made with conch (a giant sea snail). Conch live in the giant shells which you picture in your mind and that people always buy in the souvenir shops, take back home, put it to your ear and believe that you can hear the ocean.
The two most common ways conch is prepared is in chowder or fried.
This is a dish consisting of shrimp cooked in a spicy broth. With the influence of the Caribbean, you always get a little spice in the mix. If it is cooked just right, there is a slow smoldering of spices that really enhance the flavors.
Some Main Course dishes
Seared Tuna may be served with a mango salsa and grilled chayote (a type of squash). For the mango salsa; Fresh mangoes are blended with herbs, spices and scotch bonnet peppers for mild heat.
Chicken Tropicana is a chicken dish with tropical fruit sauce, coconut and cashews.
Key Lime Pie – you cannot mention Florida desserts without mentioning this Florida Signature dessert.
Key Lime Pie is filled with tangy custard made from Key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and sugar. The pie is named after the small Key limes that are found throughout the Florida Keys.
Key lime juice is yellow, not green – so if it is green it is not authentic. To sample a day’s worth of Cuban delights (Cuban cuisine is a fusion of Spanish, African and Caribbean cuisine), begin at breakfast with a wedge of hot, buttered, Cuban bread with a cup of caf??? con leche ??ª? this is strong coffee with a touch of milk.
Other choices include frijoles negros (black beans), arroz con pollo (chicken and yellow rice), boliche (a beef roast, stuffed with chorizo sausage), Cuban mojo-roast pork, arroz salteado (salted rice), and deviled crab with hot sauce. Feast your eyes and stomach on a heaping dish of paella ??ª? rice mixed with a large amount of delights that may include mussels, clams, shrimp, scallops, lobster, oysters, stone-crab claws, chicken, and/or pork.
To finish off, try flan, egg custard oozing with caramel sauce. When you have finished with a great dessert, find your veranda, turn your lounge chair to the west and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico.