Rating The Sunshine State’s Top Food, Drinks, And More

Every region of the country has culinary specialties and favorite foods, even down to all 50 states. There are favorite drinks, favorite appetizers, favorite desserts, and even favorite food and drink holidays.

If you’ve spent any time in Florida, and especially South Florida, you know the extent of Cuban influence in all aspects of life: music, sports, culture, and, without a doubt, food. And while there are many delectable Cuban dishes being served up in the Sunshine State, the most prevalent is the Cuban sandwich. A typical Cubano includes roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on toasted Cuban bread—but there are almost countless variations.

And, of course, the best way to wash down a Cuban sandwich is with a finely crafted mojito, a refreshing cocktail consisting of white rum, sugar, limes or lime juice, club soda, and mint leaves.

Holiday Consumption

You’ve heard of so-called holidays, such as National Doughnut Day and National Cheeseburger Day, right? Well, the data is in on each state’s favorite food and drink holidays, and here are the special days most Googled by Floridians: National Pulled Pork Day and National Mimosa Day. Seems that in Florida we want to celebrate all day long.

Just Desserts

And when we’re ready for dessert, we Floridians definitely favor Key lime pie. Although our official state fruit is the orange, it’s the orange’s smaller, more tart cousin—found throughout the Florida Keys—that is the main ingredient in our state’s delicious, and most iconic, dessert.  

Curiously, when it comes to food and drink posts on Pinterest, Cake toppers top the list for our state. I guess we plan a lot of weddings in Florida.

Hungry for a Florida favorite? Try this chef-approved pulled pork recipe:

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork

Dry Rub Ingredients:
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard, dry
3 tablespoons coarse salt
6 pounds pork roast  shoulder or Boston butt

Cider Vinegar BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 garlic cloves smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Buns:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
12 soft buns (we like something thin — let the meat be the star)

Rub Directions:
Mix the paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt together in a bowl. Rub the spice blend all over the pork and marinate for as long as you can, as little as one hour or up to overnight, covered, in the refrigerator. The sugar acts as a tenderizer, so if you can marinate overnight — go for it!

Preheat the oven or grill  to 300 degrees.

Bake the pork in a roasting pan for about 6 hours or an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 170 degrees.

Sauce Directions:
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves.

Remove the roast from the oven and transfer to a large platter. Allow the meat to rest for at least 30 minutes. While still warm, take 2 forks and pull the meat to form shreds. Put the shredded pork in a bowl. Pour half the sauce on the pork and mix well to coat.

Prepare the Buns
Preheat the broiler. Spread butter on the buns and toast until brown (watch closely, you can go from brown to black in seconds!)

The Pickled Beet incorporates many Florida food favorites into delicious recipes for our clients. We work with individuals, couples, and families to find meals that are flavorful, healthy, and best fuel the body no matter what nutritional requirements might be part of the equation. Contact us for a free consultation.

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