August 24, 2020

Floribbean Cuisine: Guide for Florida Newcomers

Have you ever heard of the Floribbean cuisine? Do you know what the term Florribean even stands for? If the answer to both of these questions is negative, do not worry, you are not alone.

Floribbean cuisine is a combination of two cuisines - Floridian and Caribbean. It represents all the cuisines that evolved in or migrated to Florida. Its roots can be traced not only to the Caribbean, but also Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

So, if you are a newcomer, let us take you on a culinary journey. Let us help you savor the Sunshine State to the fullest. Feeling intrigued? Here are some facts about the Floribbean Cuisine as well as some must-try dishes for when in Florida.

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About the Floribbean Cuisine

Since the 1800s, several waves of immigrants arrived in Florida. Those were Caribbean, Hispanic, and Asian people. They brought their own cuisines to Florida and developed the so-called Floribbean cuisine together. The fatty, greasy and heavy fast food was being replaced with healthier cookery.

Floribbean cuisine is known for its healthier cooking methods. For one, it makes use of spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables, and seafood rather than meat. Of course, it also involves choosing organic whenever possible. In the Floribbean pantry, you would usually find red curry, lemongrass, ginger, honey, rum, almonds, key lime, coconuts, mangos, papayas, etc.

The Most Popular Floribbean Dishes

What will you do after your movers relocate you to Florida? Celebrate, of course! And the best way to celebrate this new chapter of your life is by dining out. Use that opportunity to try some of the best Floribbean dishes. Here are just a few of them.

Stone Crab

Something that both Floridian and the Caribbean cuisines are famous for is the seafood. There is one delicacy that is especially known in the Floribbean cuisine – the Stone Crab. This small crab with a red-brownish shell lives in the warm waters of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The thing that makes it Caribbean are all the spices and herbs chefs use when preparing it.

Stone crab is the go-to finger food in all of Florida's restaurants. But, only the true and experienced chefs can turn the Stone Crab’s meaty claws into a delicacy and call it a Floribbean dish. So, do your homework before you start your culinary journey.

Looking for a Floribbean delicacy? Try a Stone Crab!

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Red Conch Chowder

If you are settling here from other parts of the country, you have probably heard of the famous Red Conch Chowder as it is a popular dish all over the USA. But, in case you did not know, Red Conch Chowder is originally from the Caribbean. It became extremely popular in the Florida Keys, a well-known vacation spot in Florida.

You can find this chowder in almost all restaurants here, so once you settle in your new home, do not hesitate to try it. Its light and brothy texture will make you feel warm from the inside, without a doubt.

So, how do Florribbean chefs prepare the Red Conch Chowder? Well, first, in order to make the conch tender, they pound it with a mallet. Then they add a combination of onions, garlic, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, papers, beans, and a mixture of spices and herbs. You have to boil all of this for a few hours and leave overnight until all the flavors blend together.

There is nothing better than a Red Conch Chowder on a chilly day.

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Old Sour

If you, as a newcomer, ask locals or even any chefs here in Florida, they will all tell you that there is nothing more Florida-like than the famous Old Sour. This sauce is a staple in every Florida kitchen. But, it too, like all other things mentioned in this article, is a part of Caribbean cuisine as well.

So, when you get tired of all that outdoor grilling that Florida is known for and you decide to dine out, do not hesitate to try it. Ask a chef to recommend a dish with it to really experience the Floribbean cuisine.

The Old Sour sauce pairs extremely well with raw seafood, or with the previously mentioned Red Conch Chowder. However, you do not have to use it as a sauce exclusively. People here in Florida use it as a salad dressing as well since they make it out of key lime juice and salt.

The next time you order a salad in Florida, ask for the Old Sour instead of vinegar.

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What about the Eating Habits in Florida?

As a newcomer, you should know that eating habits in Florida are not much different from the rest of the USA. People still like to eat fast-food and typical American dishes. But, the situation is slowly changing as everyone is starting to pay more and more attention to their health. This is where Floribbean cuisine comes in! It is so beloved because it is healthy. As mentioned before, it consists of seafood, herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits you need for better health.

When it comes to meal preparation, barbecues are still taking first place. Floridians simply love their grills and are not afraid to use them. And, of course, the most preferred eating behavior is one when a dish (whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner) is shared with friends and family members. An outdoor setting is always a plus. Who can blame them, after all? They live in the Sunshine State.





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