The Florida Keys' sweetest treat is to be in the 'limelight' from 1-4 July when the Key Lime Festival returns to Key West for its fifth year.
Conceived by Keys author and baker David Sloan, who penned 'The Key West Key Lime Pie Cookbook,' the festival celebrates the island chain's signature dessert and the tiny fruit that inspired it.
Festival highlights include the Mile-High Key Lime Pie Eatin' Contest on Independence Day at Ocean Key Resort, a cocktail sip and stroll, and culinary tasting adventures in which lime lovers can visit multiple locations in the island city to savour variations on the famed dessert and sample locally distilled rum flavoured with the tangy lime. Plans are also afoot for a wacky test to find out gravity's effect on the creamy pie.
Believed to have originated in Key West in the late 1800s, Key lime pie was designated Florida's official pie in 2006 and its primary ingredients are condensed milk, egg yolks and the juice of the tiny yellow Key lime, with the filling typically nestled in a graham cracker crust and topped with whipped cream or meringue. Here are three spots to sample Key lime flavoured treats during a trip to the Florida Keys:
1) Stop by Kermit's Key West Key Lime Shoppe for a taste of one of the island chain's most iconic Key lime pies and to stock up on all things Key lime themed, from chutneys to cookies.
2) Discover the only chocolatier in the Florida Keys, Key Largo Chocolates, famous for its specialty chocolate bark with Key lime and pistachios. Plus, don't miss the Key lime chocolate-covered pretzels!
3) To enjoy a brand new 'Bake Off' style experience, join in with one of the new cookery classes offered by the Key West Key Lime Pie Co., in which participants learn to make authentic mini-Key lime pies in a live kitchen. Suitable for 'students' aged five and up, the 60-minute classes cost from $20 (around £16) and run Fridays at 11 a.m.
Travel to the Florida Keys: Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194, bon-voyage.co.uk) offers seven nights in the Florida Keys & Key West from £1,695 per person for travel on 29 June 2017. The price includes direct American Airlines flights from LHR to Miami, mid-size car hire for the duration and seven nights' room-only accommodation (two in Key Largo or Islamorada, four in Key West during the festival and one in Marathon). The price is based on two adults travelling and sharing a room.
Event information, pricing and registration: keylimefestival.com
Key lime pie fun in Key West
Where it all begins: Tiny yellow Key limes
The real deal: Key lime pie