What a delight to trade the Chicago snow for a few days of Key West sand. Last year I interviewed Chef Norm Van Aken on Kitchen Chat about his new cookbook My Key West Kitchen, so I was curious to sample some of the local cuisine.
The three tastes that seem prominent in Margaritaville are conch fritters, key lime pie and cayenne – i.e. peppers! For full disclosure, I must reveal that I didn’t garner the courage to eat a conch fritter. Actually, I have never tried escargot either. This year I will be more courageous with cuisines.
However, I must say that the key lime pies were absolutely delicious! (And I ate several pieces). You can even order a key lime pie dipped in chocolate and eat it on a stick like a popsicle! Recognized by Food Network and National Geographic, Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Company is delightful!
Another fun experience was a pepper tasting at Peppers of Key West.
I have been to a wine tasting and even an olive oil tasting, but never a pepper tasting! Peppers of Key West actually has the largest tasting bar for peppers in the world! Seated at the counter, I dipped crackers into a variety of pepper sauces – including the cayenne sauce. How fascinating to learn about the heat scale of peppers. Some pepper sauces are even locked in a cabinet and sell for thousands of dollars! Before purchasing anything in that selection, you must sign a waiver! One of my favorite sauces that I brought back to Chicago is the best-selling Asian marinade. Here is a photo of how I used it.
What are your favorite tastes of Key West?
Savor the day!