Florida’s cuisine is inspired by the influences of a mix of cultures, adapted to be uniquely Floridian
Florida offers unique flavors influenced by the many people and colorful cultures that call this state their home—and here are a couple of Florida recipes that you can make made after a quick trip to a local supermarket. And in case you don’t want to go through the trouble of cooking or baking, we also know where you can get your hands on one of these delicacies.
The Traditional Cuban Sandwich
The island nation of Cuba has a strong connection to Florida and through the Cuban exile diaspora, our peninsula has been infused with Latin flavor.
The traditional Cuban Sandwich is considered by many to be a work of art, especially when it comes to having a balanced construction.
And so, we have sorted through the many recipes for Cuban Sandwiches to select one that reflects the exotic nature of this Caribbean delicacy.
The ingredients for a well-constructed Cuban Sandwich are:
- Four slices of ham
- Four slices roast pork (the main ingredient)
- Three slices of Swiss cheese
- Four slices of pickles
- Yellow standard mustard (do not use Dijon or spicy variants)
- Cuban bread (1/3 cut) sliced along its length
Once you assemble all the ingredients, the rest is simple: place in a sandwich press, press hard on the sandwich to flatten it as much as possible. After 5 minutes, remove and wrap in aluminum wrap and you can pack it on your backpack to enjoy it as breakfast or simply put it in your backpack so you can take it to the theme park.
(*) Where to order it: One of the best Cuban sandwiches in Central Florida is served at Bongo’s Cuban Café at Disney Springs. Owned by Emilio and Gloria Estefan, this restaurant offers a little slice of Cuba’s yesteryear in the heart of the family vacation capital of the world.
The Key West Key Lime Pie
The official dessert of Florida is both tangy and decadently sweet, with origins in South Florida—specifically Key West.
Word has it that Ernest Hemingway was very fond of this pie and if you’ve ever tasted it you would certainly know why. The dessert is made with juice extracted from limes, egg yolk, and condensed milk—where all ingredients are whipped and then oven-baked in a pie crust, just like an apple pie.
The dessert is made with juice extracted from limes, egg yolk, and condensed milk—where all ingredients are whipped and then oven-baked in a pie crust, just like an apple pie.
The ingredients for the iconic Key Lime Pie are:
- Four (4) egg yolks
- One can (15 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk
- Half (1/2) cup of freshly-squeezed key lime juice
- One graham cracker crust—preferably in 9-inch size
- Four (4) eggs whites and four (4) tablespoons of sugar
Start by mixing the egg yolks with condensed milk, then add the freshly-squeezed key lime juice and mix vigorously. When you are done mixing, add the pie mixture into a graham crust pie shell. To make the meringue, beat the four egg whites while adding sugar until stiff.
Finally, add the meringue on the pie, spreading it evenly up to the crust edge, then adorn with peaks using a fork or a wooden spoon. After that, you can start baking the pie in a pre-heated oven at 300 degrees. The pie will be ready when the meringue turns brown and at that point you can remove it and cool off before serving it.
(*) Where to order it: If you are willing to drive a bit off the beaten path, you can you’re your way to Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village, located in 3434 Bahia Vista Street in Sarasota. This restaurant is famous statewide for its Key Lime Pie and people drive from other states to experience it.
We will continue looking for Florida-inspired recipes so stay tuned to future updates and be sure to try them when you visit Orlando on your next vacation!