Favorite Recipes in Florida

By Cindy Adams

Nothing beats living in Florida and knowing all the best Florida recipes. Every state has its own set of unique foods, many of which can be recreated at home. From Cuban sandwiches to Key Lime Pie, Florida has some fantastic recipes. We’ve collected some of the best traditional Florida recipes all for your culinary enjoyment.

Classic Cuban Sandwiches

Most Floridians would agree that the most famous sandwich in southern Florida is the Cuban. Originating in early Cuban immigrant communities in Florida, particularly in the cigar-producing cities of Tampa and Key West, the Cuban Sandwich is also known as a Cubano. Cuba brought a variation of the classic sandwich to Florida in the early 1900s where it remains a signature dish in some of the most popular Cuban restaurants.

A Cuban Sandwich is a combination of roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and pickles. Press it all between thick Cuban bread. Once you bite into a warm, crispy Cuban sandwich, you are sure to be hooked for life.


2 (8- to 10-inch) sections Cuban bread, split open horizontally
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
6 ounces thinly sliced dill pickles
8 ounces sliced honey ham
6 ounces leftover Cuban-style roast pork 4 ounces sliced Genoa salami (optional) 2 tablespoons butter

Cuban bread is a soft white bread made with lard. Look for it in Latin bakeries or groceries. If unavailable, use any not-too-crusty, soft white rolls, preferably with some lard or fat baked into them. Salami is a traditional ingredient in Tampa-style Cuban sandwiches, but can be omitted.


Preheat a panini press or a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. Lay bread, open side up, on a work surface and spread the bottom and top halves with mustard. Layer bottom and top halves with Swiss cheese. Working only on bottom halves, layer on all of the pickles, ham, roast pork, and salami (if using). Close sandwiches, pressing gently.

Butter top and bottom of panini press and press sandwiches with moderate pressure until crisp on both sides, about 8 minutes. If using a cast iron skillet or griddle, melt half of butter in pan and add sandwiches. Use a second pan to press on them as the first side crisps. When crisp, flip sandwiches, add remaining butter, swirl to coat, and continue cooking while pressing until crisp on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Slice sandwiches in half diagonally and serve immediately.