Florida food is popular for being the most unique and diverse foods of the world because of the rich and multicultural cuisine present in the state. The use of fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables is the distinguished feature of the cuisine of Florida.
The basic cuisines that make the Florida food a perfect blend of food cultures are Spanish cuisine and Southern cuisine. The local ingredients and the exotic dishes prepared in the different regions of the state are responsible for making food of Florida quiet likable and offer an array of flavors that remains the same throughout the state as well as in other states of America.
History and Origin of Florida Cuisine
The rich culinary heritage of Florida began in the year 1513 when Ponta de Leon claimed the stake of Spain for the first time. Since then the multicultural exchange of cuisines had started within the state itself.
In the sixteenth century, Africans and Anglo-American settlers had introduced lots of flavors and ingredients that are now the most valuable components in Florida food. Even the Spanish and the European cuisines existing in the state are highly influenced by the ingredients that are manifested by the African immigrants and North Florida’s Anglo-American natives.
Jewish community that grew up in 1900s in Florida had a strong impact on the cuisine of Florida with the introduction of datil peppers. 1959 was the time when a new cuisine called Cuban cuisine had entered in the state with the immigration of Cuban people. Various other ethnicities belonging to Vietnam, Haiti, Bahamian and Nicaragua had largely swayed the food culture of Florida.
Classification of Florida Cuisine
The classification of Florida food can be done on the basis of various regional cuisines prevailing in the state. Classification is as follows:
- Spanish cuisine – This is the highly popular cuisine in the state from the time of Ponta de Leon.
- Cuban Cuisine – Early Cuban immigrants bought their styles of cooking and some of their popular foods such as Cuban sandwiches and black beans.
- Jewish Cuisine – With the immigration of Jewish people in Florida the Jewish cuisine had sprang its ways in the state and many Jewish restaurants were also launched as a result.
Globally Popular Food of Florida
Florida food is not only popular within the state but had spread its popularity throughout the world. This popularity can be measured with the names of the globally popular dishes prepared with the name of Florida dishes.
- Arroz con pollo – This is one of the most popular of all Florida recipes. It is a kind of rice and chicken dish that is typically belongs to the regional Spanish cuisine. Saffron and garlic is the main flavoring agents used in this dish.
- Gazpacho – A chilled vegetable soup that has its roots in the cuisine of Florida, but enjoys immense popularity across the world.
- Florida orange pie – Flavored with the locally grown oranges, this pie is usually prepared with a combination of oranges and lemons.
Ingredients Used in Cuisine of Florida
Florida food is a perfect blend of rich cuisines that includes various fresh components such as seafoods, cereals, vegetables and meats. Even regional cuisines of Florida had found new ways of using fruits such as guavas and locally grown Florida oranges. Wild ginger is also a quite interesting ingredient used in the uniquely created Florida dishes.
Various sauces and pilafs prepared in Florida are flavored with the use of native Datil peppers. Black beans are highly liked by people of Florida as it is a prominent part of Cuban cuisine.
Festival Food in Florida
The culinary traditions of Florida are reflected through the celebrations of various carnivals and festivals celebrated in the state. Festive Florida food is highly embellished and decorated with use of elaborated garnish. Festival dishes include the roasted turkey served along with potato salad and various other vegetable side dishes. Wines and beverages are also well-liked among the people of Florida during festivities. Tropical fruit ice creams and rich creamy puddings form the basis of desserts in the food menu of Florida.
Health Facts Related to the Florida Food
Being an amalgamation of several regional cuisines, the Florida cuisine involves various health facts pertaining to different cuisines. Fresh fruits, vegetables and spices are typically used in making food in Florida; hence health factor is quiet high. Fresh herb garnishes and large amount of greens are used in Florida dishes that makes it quite beneficial for consumption.
Wood-fire grills and barbeque grills are the traditional ways of cooking food in Florida and this adds to the health part in the dishes.
Florida Cuisine Trivia
Apart from various regional cuisines, a unique cuisine called ‘Floribbean cuisine’ is also highly popular in Florida. This cuisine is a blend of the elements pertaining to Florida food and Caribbean cooking.