This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
I love calling Florida my home. People have been visiting Florida for ages just to experience what we have to offer.
We’ve stepped into the best (and hottest) part of the year here. Spring and Summer on the Gulf Coast means visits to our pure white sand beaches, warm weather, intense summer storms, and cookouts featuring our mouthwatering seasonal produce and seafood.
It may be that the food this time of year is my favorite part of it all. I have very fond memories of backyard barbecues and my mom grilling fresh Florida sweet corn. Yep, grilled corn on the cobb. You soak it overnight in water, grill it in the husk, and then peel it back to dip it in butter. Absolutely. Delicious.
Another fun tradition my husband and I have started with our own kids is blueberry picking. It’s hotter than blazes when you go, but there’s something about harvesting your own berries that makes it special. We have a friend with her own blueberry bushes who lets us come pick as many as we want, but there’s also local places you can go to pick and pay by the pound. And, there’s nothing like a fresh blueberry cobbler for dessert.
As for my husband and teenage son, it’s the fishing and seafood that’s the winner. Every year they fish the red snapper season. Well I’ll be honest, they fish year round for whatever is currently in season. In our part of the Gulf they’ve caught grouper, mackerel, spanish, mahi-mahi (my favorite), redfish, hardtail, drum, even shark, but red snapper is their favorite. A day on the pier or in an boat and they always come home with plenty to cook or grill. Pair the fish up with a watermelon and salad, and you’ve got a plate that summer memories in Florida are made of. Our friends always want to know when the guys are going fishing, because they want to come eat with us. The more the merrier!
“Field trips” to the local Farmer’s Market are also a hit with the kids. The smells, colors, and variety are almost a sensory overload of goodness. My youngest loves to help in the kitchen, and we’ve taught him how to pick the best produce when we’re shopping. He loves to choose the tomatoes (probably because they’re kind of easy to pick good ones), and he does a great job.
I often use the Fresh From Florida website for new recipes featuring our seasonally grown ingredients. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Fresh From Florida both promote locally grown produce and seafood.
I’m truly convinced that from local farms and the Gulf of Mexico, to my kitchen table, the beautiful state of Florida has hands down some the best natural ingredients I can use.