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The Florida Keys Cookbook: Recipes and Foodways of Paradise Paperback – December 1, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Think of the Florida Keys and think of a food paradise: fresh from the sea stone crabs, yellowtail snapper, and sweet shrimp; fresh from the dooryard garden key limes, mangoes, avocados, and papayas. Toss in the influence of a variety of ethnic food traditions - from Afro-Caribbean and Cuban to Spanish, Asian, British, German, and Italian - and the result is a diverse and vibrant culinary scene. The cooks of the Florida Keys have been transforming local ingredients into memorable meals for generations, and now so can you.
The Florida Keys Cookbook is a fascinating combination of food history, local lore, and mouthwatering recipes from restaurant chefs and home cooks. With more than 175 recipes, fun archival photographs, and lots of engaging anecdotes, this cookbook lets you capture a taste of the Keys and celebrate its flavors in your own kitchen.
Try these Florida Keys sensations at home:
Crab Claw Bisque
Rosemary Roasted Boniato Fries
Basil-Crusted Yellowtail with Herb-Tomato Sauce
Sautéed Snapper with Champagne-Tarragon Butter Sauce
Wasabi Grilled Grouper
Mama Louise's Jerked Pork Chops
Bourbon Barbecued Baby Backs
Classic Arroz con Pollo
Bahamian Bread Pudding
Calamondin Cake
Key Lime Cheesecake
Tres Leches Cake

About the Author

Victoria Shearer is a longtime travel and food journalist and a frequent contributor to national magazines and newspapers. She is also the author of Insiders' Guide to the Florida Keys.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot; 1st edition (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762735465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762735464
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,072,916 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michelle L. Caffrey on December 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
How many cookbooks do you buy, look at them once or twice and then forget about them? This cookbook is packed with genuine Florida Keys recipes including my favorite, "Chardonnay Shrimp." Since most of the recipes come from Keys restaurants, the book also acts as a restaurant guide. Interspersed with old photos and the history of the area, the book gives new meaning to "flavor of the area." A must have for those who love food and the Florida Keys.
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Format: Paperback
Tasty recipes are interspersed with tidbits about the ingredients (pineapple, crab, papaya seeds, etc.). Vintage photos of Key West and interesting bits of history round out the book. The Chef's Note at the end of each recipe offers substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients. Key West is a melting pot of Cuban, French, Spaniards, Bahamians, and many other cultures, so the cuisine in this book reflects that diversity.

Here's the Table of Contents:
Food Customs, Cultures, and Traditions of the Florida Keys
Cocktails, Coolers, and Finger Food
Soups, Bisques, and Chowders
Salads and Vegetables
Rice, Beans, Tubers, and Pasta
Fish and Seafood
Meat and Poultry
Grand Finales
Bread and Breakfast
Stocking the Tropical Pantry
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This cookbook has amazing recipes for tropical meals. It includes lots of fish recipes and fruity island cuisine. One of the best features of this book is the history it provides of Key West. There are pages of old pictures and stories which explain where some of the Key West stamples came from and how they became so popular.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Debra Gaynor for Reader Views (7/06)

Victoria Shearer is a travel and food journalist. In "the Florida Keys Cookbook" she combines history, culture and recipes. This book is as versatile as the variety of ethnic influences of the Keys. Mix "Afro-Caribbean and Cuban to Spanish, Asian, British, German, and Italian-and the result is a diverse and vibrant culinary scene."

Ms. Shearer walks us through history beginning with the ice age and advancing to the 21st century. The residents in the 1800's had to be a tough lot. "They endured hurricanes, mosquitoes, sand fleas, extreme heat, isolation, no fresh water, no refrigeration, no electricity, no modern plumbing and no medical aide." They battled "large roaches, and ants." They did have "clean air, warm sunshine, and the riches of the sea."

I found of particular interest the discussion of water. Water was a precious commodity. Cisterns were built and houses equipped with a method of collecting rainwater.

The Keys' becoming a popular vacation spot in the 1980's, was instrumental in a change in cuisine. Floribbean, was "colorful, ethnic, and bursting with new flavors, it swept the nation." The new cuisine has unofficially been dubbed "Conchfusion", "takes advantage of the increased availability of unusual ingredients from around the globe, fusing them with the bounty of the sea and the tropical jewels of the dooryard garden."

The recipe for "Pulled Pork Barbecue" intrigued me. I could hardly wait to give it a try. It was worth the wait. The recipe reminds me of southern barbecue. The taste is tangy and rich, well worth the effort. Of course no Florida Keys Cookbook would be complete without recipes containing key limes. "Key Lime Cheese Cake" is delicious.
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Great book!!! The recipes are simple, easy to follow and delicious. No hard to find ingredients. It includes recipes from different Int'l cuisines. The prelude to the recipes, history, anecdotes, etc...was interesting to read as well. Highly recommended.
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If you've ever been to the Florida Keys you know how it keeps you counting down the time til you can return. This cookbook is like a great memory of your time there and the recipes are not that hard to replicate even here in the cold northeast.Not only are the meals great but the book has stories and pictures to keep the Keys near.
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I live in Australia and was looking for a recipe for Key Lime Pie and I found this book, I bought it and showed it to a friend and they liked it so we purchased another one. Its an easy book to use and understand with recipes that bring back memories of my visits to the Florida Keys
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