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What does SWFL think of the proposed Florida state dessert?

The people's choices: Orange Pound Cake, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Shortcake
The people's choices: Orange Pound Cake, Key Lime Pie, Strawberry Shortcake

State Senator Danny Burgess this week introduced legislation to designate strawberry shortcake as Florida’s official state dessert. WGCU’s Cary Barbor spoke with a few Southwest Floridians who think the tasty treat should be connected to Florida’s citrus traditions.

Danny Burgess is a state Senator whose District 20 includes part of Hillsborough County, an important area for strawberry growth. So when he introduces legislation— HB 567 andSB 1006—to make strawberry shortcake the official dessert of Florida, he is supporting his local crop. Understandable, right? The people of southwest Florida, however, are not so sure.

I stopped at DeRomo’s in Bonita Springs to ask some people having coffee what they would choose as Florida’s official state dessert.

“Oh, goodness. I would pick Key Lime Pie.”

“I definitely think the Florida dessert should be key lime pie, absolutely.   It’s been our number one dessert for ages and ages. Why change to strawberry shortcake now?”

That was Debbie Kraft and Margaret Engstrom, both of Bonita Springs, in strong agreement for Key Lime Pie. Connie and Tony DiBruno, also of Bonita Springs, had some other thoughts.

Connie says: “I always thought it was Key Lime Pie, because of key limes and the Florida keys. But I prefer strawberry shortcake, so I’d have no problem with that.”

Tony adds, “I don’t have any problem with it—same thing. I thought it was Key Lime Pie also. But if you had to choose a second option, my wife makes a great orange pound cake. She’d be glad to do it for you."

"Statewide. Absolutely. I have one little baking pan. But that’s fine,” laughs Connie.

So, there you have it. Some for and some against strawberry shortcake as the newly proposed official Florida dessert, with one vote coming in at the end for orange pound cake. The legislature is back in session in January and will vote on the bills then.

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