Vitamin D in Florida

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I had a short trip to Florida last week for work. Lucky me! A great chance to top up on some vitamin D and gorge myself on fresh tropical fruit (in between meetings of course…). With my first trip of the year being to Finland where it was minus 30, and temperatures in London not much above zero at the end of February, the sunshine was seriously welcome! It also got me really in the mood for summer food; luckily spring vegetables are coming into season now so expect some salads on the blog soon!

I also had the bonus of being upgraded to first class on the outward journey! Now I know that aeroplane food is never something to look forward to, and usually I do everything I can to avoid it, but it is quite extraordinary what they are able to whip up if you turn left when you board. This time I had a five course tasting menu and it was honestly delicious! It was also pretty seasonally tuned; tuna and sesame tartare with beetroot, white butter bean velouté with truffle, sea bass with pearl barley, pork belly with squash, and a rhubarb delicé. Shame about the turbulence as the rhubarb arrived, but never mind…

And so to Florida. Ahh, so great to see the sun! The end of the British winter is most definitely the best time to go somewhere warm, and starting the day with the quick run along the beach is enough to make me seriously contemplate emigrating…

I always look forward to breakfast when I visit the States and I wasn’t disappointed this time. I’m generally a breakfast fan anyway, so important to set the day off well, and when you are confronted with mountains of fresh fruit and fluffy thick American pancakes you really can’t go wrong. But the stars of the food show this week were my two favourites whenever I am in Florida; king crabs and key lime pie (not together obviously). The crabs, enormous and very fresh, dipped in a little melted butter and served with fresh asparagus and sweet potato fries were divine. A complete pain to get into of course but I think this adds to the fun and makes you enjoy every mouthful as you have to eat slowly!

Key lime pie, for those who have never encountered it, is a sort of cross between cheesecake and lemon tart (but obviously with limes). It’s really very unhealthy but a fabulous treat which always reminds me of sunshine. I barely had room for it after my jumbo crabs, but just about managed a small piece… thank goodness for those early morning beach runs!

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