MORE PIE?: Florida Keys celebrates 200 years with dessert

Visitors and locals alike were invited to open their pie holes, literally, this week as the Florida Keys celebrated its bicentennial Monday with a world-recording breaking Key lime pie more than 4 metres in diameter.

The pie-making festivities and other events marked the 200th anniversary of the Florida Territorial Legislature’s establishment of Monroe County on July 3, 1823, and celebrated its history. The county contains all of the Keys and a portion of Everglades National Park.

During the Civil War, Key West remained in Union hands as a base for a naval blockade of Confederate shipping. In the early 1900s, Standard Oil millionaire Henry Flagler spearheaded the construction of the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad that became widely known as the eighth wonder of the world.

And for nearly six months of his 1945-1953 presidency, Harry Truman governed the US from his Key West “Little White House” that is now Florida’s only presidential museum.


Key lime pie, originating in late 1800s Key West, is a large part of the continental United States’ southernmost island chain’s heritage. In 2006, it was designated Florida’s official pie by the state Legislature.

Monday’s bicentennial version of the Keys’ signature dessert was spearheaded by Key West chefs Kermit Carpenter (banner photo) and Paul Menta.

“In order to make a really good Key lime pie, you must have the perfect graham cracker crust; you must surround it and fill it with condensed milk and the juice of fresh Key limes,” said Florida Keys County Commissioner Michelle Lincoln.

According to Lincoln, the giant pie required more than 16 gallons of Key lime juice, almost 100 gallons of sweetened condensed milk and some 125 pounds of graham crackers.

After its diameter was measured and confirmed, officials served the pie to attendees.

The bicentennial celebration also featured live music, games for kids, and a laser light show and fireworks extravaganza.

Previous “Keys 200” events have included a large-scale concert in Key West and a sunset commemoration on Marathon’s restored Old Seven Mile Bridge.

First published at Travel Industry Today


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