Three Tastes of Key West

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!



  1. Debbi on February 10, 2014 at 6:04 am

    Would love to be entered in the organic and gluten free foods contest. I love to try before I buy! Oh, and I’ve never been to Key West, so I don’t know what my favorite tastes would be!

    • Margaret McSweeney on February 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks for dropping by my kitchen, Debbi. I hope you will download for free my Kitchen Chat podcasts.

  2. Julie on February 10, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I have never been to key west buy we love hot peppers and hot sauce. I would love to be entered in the organic and gluten free food contest.

    • Margaret McSweeney on February 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Hi, Julie. I’m so glad you visited my kitchen. Please come back for more servings of fun, food, Kitchen Chat and some great give-aways, too.

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