With the help of science and technology, Floridians went from shopping at the general store to shopping at the grocery store.
Grocery stores made cooking at home easier than ever. In 1916, the first self-service grocery store opened in Memphis, named Piggly Wiggly. Someone in North Florida liked it so well they opened their own Hoggly Woggly, and the Jitney Jungle opened in 1927. The first Florida grocery store chain, Publix Food Stores, opened in Winter Haven in 1930. In the 1940s, Publix Super Market opened with terrazzo floors and air conditioning, providing a truly modern marketplace. Refrigerated rail cars and improved canning techniques competed with truck farmers selling local produce. As regional markets grew, national products became common and the use of these convenience foods was the standard for quality home dining.
(A Culinary History of Florida, Harris)
One popular Florida recipes combining the natural resources of the Sunshine State with the convenience of canned foods is the State Pie of Florida, the Key Lime Pie.
Key limes are smaller, thin-skinned and more perishable than Persian limes, but also more tart and aromatic. Key limes are the same as Mexican or West Indian limes sold in many markets today. If you need to substitute a larger Persian lime, use one for every three Key limes.
Flamingo Pink Lime Pie
from my cookbook: Easy Breezy Florida Cooking
1⁄2 cup Key lime juice
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
3 to 4 drops red food coloring
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Mix crumbs and butter together; press firmly into a 9-inch pie pan.
Refrigerate crust while making filling.
Beat cream cheese in a medium-size mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in milk, egg and lime juice. Add food coloring, mixing well until color is uniform. Pour into prepared crust and spread evenly. Bake about 15 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.Servings: 6