Strawberry Shortcake named official Florida dessert

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

Most states in the U.S. have their own symbols. These are often nicknames, animals, and foods that are chosen by each state’s government to represent their state. For example, Florida’s nickname is the “Sunshine State,” our state animal is the Florida Panther, and our state fruit is the orange. But Florida has no official “state dessert,” or at least it didn’t until last month when the Florida Senate passed a bill naming strawberry shortcake as the new state dessert.

Florida already has a state pie; however, that is key lime pie. Key lime pie was chosen as the state pie in 2006, mainly because it originated in the Florida Keys. Contrary to what you might initially think, the key lime pie is not being replaced, as it will still remain the state pie, while strawberry shortcake will coexist as the state dessert. 

This may seem odd to some, having both a state dessert and a separate state pie, but this concept is hardly unusual. For example, Florida has a state animal, the aforementioned Panther, yet also has a state reptile, fish, mammal, and more. 

Florida would be the first state to include both a state pie and a state dessert, as most other states have one or the other. However, for reference, Massachusetts has a state dessert, donut, muffin, and cookie, so having a state pie and state dessert at the same time shouldn’t be too odd.

This new state dessert was chosen because of how much the strawberry industry is part of the economic output of central Florida, including Plant City, whose state representative sponsored the bill. According to the bill, Plant City provides “75 percent of the United States’ winter strawberry crop.” 


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