GASTRONOMY - MIAMI
You can't really know Miami if you don't go to Floribbean Food: a rich cuisine to be a real Floridian...
Floribbean Food is one of the typical US cuisine, if you wanted by local habits. It is the most diffused cuisine of Florida, and you can't miss it if you go to Miami. Also called Floribbean cuisine or new era cuisine, it is proposed in many different ways, in the restaurants all over the territory.
It is the typical family food of Florida, and it can change according to the area. The influence of Caribbean, Cuba, Jamaican and Puerto Rican cuisine is very strong and gives peculiarity to the Floribbean Food. From this point of view, the Cuisine of Florida is very similar to other aspects of the culture, featured by elements coming from all the immigrants of the area, coming from all over the world.
The story of the Floribbean cuisine
The development of the Floribbean cuisine is connected to the Caribbean, Asian and Hispanic immigrants of the second half of 1800. It is the result of a mixture of spices, local fish and cooking habits from Asia: a food healthier than the United States one. The Floribbean Food actually uses a lot of curry, ginger, aromatic herbs and saffron.
At the same time, the tropical climate of Florida allows the cultivation of fruit and vegetables of the East, from Philippines and India. In this way, it has been possible to maintain the strong infuences of the Asian cooking, and to have low cost raw materials. These plants are actually cultivated in the south of the Peninsula, so it is very easy to find them at the market. Some of them are the lemon, papaya, mango and litchi.
You don't have to forget the impact the Cuban and Caribbean culture had on the Floribbean cuisine. The connection among Florida, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic have always existed since the Spanish colonization; the new immigration enforced it them during the 70s and the 80s.
You don't have to finally forget the Little Havana in Miami, where there is a relevant Cuban community that has imported some typical features of its cooking tradition, in Florida.
The typical features of the Floribbean Food
The Floribbean Food use only local products and fresh ingredients. The dishes have strong flavours and they come from various cooking infuences. They use many types of chili pepper, softening its flavour, so creating contrasts.
For example, mango, lime, rum and coconut soften the spicy, making the dishes very original and appreciated. In order to moderate the penetrating flavour, they often use almonds, papaya and honey. Fruit - especially the sweet tropical ones and citrus - are very appreciated, together with vegetables, spices and local fish. All the courses can be served after having paid particular attention to the decoration. However, the effect must always be natural.
The barbecue in Florida
The Floribbean barbecue is very important in the Floribbean cuisine: it is a variation of the grilled version, and it is typical of the central part of the peninsula. You don't have to forget the grill is the most important instrument of Floribbean Food. It is the connection with the original cuisine, as the use of wood to grill was very common in the Caribbean islands, much more time before European people invented the barbecue.
This system of baking donates to any food a strong flavour, and it is very healthy because it doesn't add fats to the food. When you cook a Floribbean Food on the barbecue, you have to use ceramic pans, to contain oil, sauces, spices and juices used to season food.
The numerous spices and aromatic herbs have to be handly pressed, before being added. The food is usually served on a tray in the middle, from where each person takes the portion they want. Salads and sides are served in individual plates.
Some dishes of the Floribbean cuisine
The Floribbean cuisine dishes are very simple. The presentation takes place in a very natural and simple way: they use spices, herbs and vegetables to highlight the fact they are healthy dishes, made of fresh ingredients. Vegetables are usually served raw or used to decorate food.
Legumes and vegetables - especially some types of beans - are used to make mashes that can be served with the main course or as a side. An important field is represented by the fish, main ingredient for first and second courses. They propose it dried, marinated or smoked.
Paula - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Peculiar but very good food. Foods have very strong flavours often in contrast. At the same time, they are less spicy than the Caribbean food. I suggest them to strong flavours lovers.
Patricia - New York
Very strong food, rich in scents that don't cover the natural flavour of the ingredients, mixing natural products and simple cooking. The smell remembers an exotic atmosphere.
Stefano - Rome
The Floribbean Food is the spirit of Miami: it is worth to visit this wonderful city even just to taste its excellent food.
Mikhail - Warsaw
In order to taste true local recipes, it is better to choose traditional clubs or homemade cuisine. The Floribbean Food is great for everybody, and the presence of chili pepper doesn't disturb. The Floribbean barbecue is rarely used for meat, but it is appreciated to cook fish, sea fruits, vegetables and fruit, too. Results are great
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