If you plan to visit Florida, there are of course the things you have to see; from the amusement parks to the museums to the sports arenas, there’s countless stuff to see. But what about the must-tastes? Florida has a unique cuisine that no other state can match. From the indigenous people to the immigrants from Latin America to the French influences to the climate, the amalgam of food items, spices, and cooking techniques makes Florida’s cuisine one-of-a-kind. Here’s the foods you absolutely can’t miss if you’re going to taste your way through the Sunshine State.
Oranges | Perhaps Florida’s most famous export, oranges are best enjoyed in their natural habitat. The muggy climate is perfect for orange groves, and the treats springing from them are boundless. Not only should you try the locally grown oranges, but try everything from orange creamsicles, orange jams and preserves, and pies galore. You won’t regret it at all.
Cuban Sandwiches/Basically every Cuban food | The immigrants who make it to Florida bring along the tastes of their home, from their techniques to their spices to their general zest for food. Nowhere else in the US will you find such authentic Cuban cuisine as in Florida. A Cubano sandwich is a sure fan favorite. From the savory preparation of the pork to the way the cheese melts when the sandwich is grilled, your mouth will be watering from bite number one.
Stone Claw Crabs | Florida is a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, so the seafood along the coast is absolutely to die for. Stone claw crabs are a special Floridian delicacy as they live almost exclusively along its coasts. The way they’re prepared leaves them tender and juicy, so indulge in them while you can.
Boiled Peanuts | Especially for Yankee visitors from the Northeast, boiled peanuts are probably not a regular part of the cuisine, but for southern states, boiled peanuts are a regular and much-loved snack for snackers of all ages. You can usually buy boiled peanuts on the street from food trucks or snack stands on the beach. Once boiled, the shells are easy to peel, and the peanuts themselves are soft and full of flavor.
Alligator | One of Florida’s biggest stereotypes is that there are alligators and crocodiles everywhere, crossing the streets and invading homes at their own whims. Back in the day, before food could easily be shipped and stores, crocs and gators were hunted not only for their skins, but also for their meat, which would be prepared in a stew. If you’re going to visit Florida, nothing speaks to the rough-and-tumble history of the state quite like alligator stew.