Florida loves its Key lime pie. We love it so much that it’s the state’s official pie.
But now Florida has a new state dessert, too.
On Friday, a bill to make strawberry shortcake — with a “healthy dollop” of Florida-made whipped cream — the state’s official dessert passed in the House and is on its way to the governor’s desk. The House passed the bill 109-4. The Senate passed the bill unanimously in January.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis can now sign the bill or let it become law without signing it. He can also veto it.
Naturally, the bills have had dessert connoisseurs in a frenzy over which is best, especially in Key West.
One of the lawmakers voting in support of the strawberry shortcake bill Friday was Rep. Jim Mooney of District 120, who represents all of the Keys.
“I have a lot of farmers in my district and we need that protection. They need help,” said Mooney, according to Florida Politics.
“A little recognition is not gonna hurt anybody, and I’m pretty sure that this bill is not going to change anybody’s opinion of how delicious Key lime pies are.”
Earlier this week, Key West city commissioners unanimously voted to make Key lime pie the city’s official dessert. That’s not surprising since Key lime pie is the signature dish of the Florida Keys.
And in 2006, the Florida Legislature made Key lime the official state pie, a designation it will continue to keep. There are also lots and lots of places to buy the pie in the Keys, too.
“Key lime pie reminds people of sun, sand, tropical breezes,” reads the resolution. “Designating Key lime pie as the official dessert of the City of Key West enhances the welfare of pie lovers in the City of Key West and affirms the cultural and historical significance of this beloved dessert.”
Now, Key lime pie has to share the limelight with strawberry shortcake as Florida’s signature sweet.
The Senate version of the bill, SB 1006, was sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, who represents areas that include Plant City, which has more than 10,000 acres of strawberry fields, hosts an annual Florida strawberry festival in March and makes up 75 percent of the U.S. winter strawberry crop, according to the bill.
How will Key West take this?
Probably not well, based on a video Key West Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman made in January with Key Lime Festival co-founder David Sloan, Kermit Carpenter of Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shoppe and Paul Menta, who owns a rum distillery in downtown Key West.
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They explained Key lime pie’s superiority to strawberry shortcake. They also created a Change.org petition under the name Conch Republic Key Lime Pie Council, calling on lawmakers to amend the bill to make strawberry shortcake Florida’s official cake, not dessert.
If not, the dispute would have to be settled during a “duel at high noon between the Vice Mayors of Key West and Plant City, each armed with only their favorite dessert,” the petition states. It has 7,002 signatures since it was created two months ago.
Will we get that duel? Who knows. This is Florida after all.
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