Move over key lime pie: Florida has a new state dessert

Move over, key lime pie. Florida has another state dessert – strawberry shortcake.

Gov. DeSantis recently signed SB 1006, which designated the fluffy dessert and all of its strawberry and whipped cream goodness, as the official state dessert, which went into effect on July 1, 2022. And don't worry key lime pie lovers, that remains the official state pie, which was passed and signed by the governor in 2006.

"I think it’s super exciting because strawberry shortcake is our number one seller in the store," said Cassi Ramaker, who owns Carlo's Bakery in Orlando. 

Over at Charlie's Bakery and Creamery, also in Orlando, the sweet strawberry dessert is also a top seller. "It's easier for us to get strawberries all year long," she said.

While it may not seem like the most serious piece of legislation, to those that grow strawberries here in the state, it's an important designation.

"We’re the second-largest production of fresh strawberries in the U.S. and a lot of people don’t know it," said Sue Harrell, marketing director for the Florida Strawberry Growers Association

More than 11,000 acres of strawberries are grown in Florida each year, according to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association. 

"We were so excited that the state is actually acknowledging our production and our farmers," Harrell said.

"Our competition is a country that is 3,000 miles away. By the time it gets here it’s already four days old, and ours is picked and shipped in the same day," she said.

The bill also recognized the historic Florida Strawberry Festival, which is held each spring in Plant City, which is west of Lakeland, and about two hours southwest of Orlando. Reportedly, Plant City once held the Guinness World Record title for the largest strawberry shortcake (that title is now held by the Philippines at 9622 kilograms, or roughly 21,200 pounds.)

The association said it is also dealing with a labor shortage and is looking for workers.