florida’s premier dessert

quintessentially and uniquely floridian, a “real” key lime pie can be made only with limes grown in the alkaline soil of the florida keys. the key lime is distinguished by its paleness (yellow instead of green) and its tart and bitter flavor. few other culinary items that i know of are exclusive to florida: i’ve never heard of “swamp cabbage” (palmetto root) being prepared elsewhere but cannot readily think of other items so exclusive to florida cuisine. smoked mullet? i dunno–prolly others i just don’t know about. but the key lime pie makes me as happy as almost anything else to be a native floridian! and when it’s prepared as well as Vicki Shelfer made the one i’m eating at the moment, the word that comes to mind to describe the experience is “sublime.” whoever invented that word must have had some ;)