Photo from Key Lime Bistro on Captiva Island
Today is National Key Lime Day!
As local food critic Jean Le Bouef says, “In Florida we celebrate year-round. Ours is a state that lives and breathes Key limes. These tart little fruits infuse our cocktails, our doughnuts, our humidity-clogged pores.” To read about nine of his favorite tangy tweets from Southwest Florida, click here.
There seems to be a key lime pie for every palate, with numerous versions made throughout the region. Aficionados of key lime pies argue endlessly about the proper way to make one. Graham-cracker or pastry crust? Meringue on top or whipped cream, or neither? Cooked or uncooked filling? The one thing that they do agree on is that under no circumstances should you ever add green food coloring. The filling of authentic key lime pie is a light yellow. As folks around here say, key limes are the pink flamingos of Florida food, fittingly celebrated as part of our local color!
Did you know?
In 1965, Florida State Representative Bernie Papy, Jr. introduced legislation calling for a $100 fine to be levied against anyone advertising key lime pie that was not made with key limes. The bill did not pass.
In 2006, the Florida State Legislature officially recognized Key Lime Pie as the official state pie of Florida. The road was not an easy one, however, as for close to 30 years, North Florida lawmakers debated that a pie made of pecans would better reflect the state’s history. Perhaps here would be occasion for a comment on our government in action, but we’ll pass.