The Florida Keys' signature sweet treat, Key lime pie, is to be in the ‘limelight’ from 4-7 July when the Key Lime Festival is staged in Key West for the seventh year.
Throughout much of America, 4th of July festivities feature hot dogs, apple pie, patriotic celebrations and fireworks, but in the subtropical Florida Keys city of Key West, holiday traditions are set to take a slightly tangier turn. Highlights of the Key Lime Festival 2019 will include the wacky Mile-High Key Lime Pie Eatin' Contest at the Southernmost Beach Cafe, a Key lime scavenger hunt, a Key lime cocktail tasting stroll and the offbeat Key Lime Pie Drop from the top of the local lighthouse.
Attendees can also snap selfies with Key lime legend and local baker Kermit Carpenter and tour the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery to taste its Key lime rum. The festival concludes on Sunday, 7 July with a leisurely sampling stroll that features five variations on the pie that has become the Keys’ best-loved dessert.
Key lime pie, believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, was designated Florida’s official pie in 2006 by the state legislature. Its main ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and Key lime juice, with the creamy filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue.
For sweet-toothed foodies visiting the Florida Keys, here are some great year-round spots to sample Key lime flavoured treats:
- Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe: Stop by the Key West institution for a taste of one of the island chain’s most iconic Key lime pies. While there, stock up on all things Key lime themed, from soaps to cookies. keylimeshop.com
- Blue Heaven: A locals’ favourite, this foodies’ paradise in Key West’s Old Bahama Village is famous for its Key lime pie that comes topped with a mountain of meringue. Try it for breakfast! blueheavenkw.com
- Key Largo Chocolates: Discover the only chocolatier in the Florida Keys in the Upper Keys district of Key Largo, renowned for specialty chocolate bark with Key lime and pistachios. Be sure to also try the Key lime chocolate-covered pretzels, quirky ‘chocodiles’ and Key lime cake balls! keylargochocolates.com
- Sweet Savannah’s Bake Shop: Located in Marathon in the Middle Keys, this popular bake shop offers a wide range of Key lime themed treats – from pies and ice-cream to cupcakes. sweetsavannahs.com
For event information, pricing and registration, visit: www.keylimefestival.com