One of the new kiosks at Food & Wine this year is Florida Local, which features dishes using ingredients from the state. The two food items include a White Corn Arepa with Mangalitsa Pork Rillette and Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad and Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables, Fried Plantains and Cilantro.
Beer from Florida Beer Company is also available, along with tropical fruit wines from Florida Orange Groves Winery.
Mangalitsa is a specific breed of pig known for it fleece-like coat. It tends to have a higher fat content, making it ideal for slow cooking methods. Zellwood is a town in northwest Orange county in Florida that is known for their corn, and is celebrated with a festival of its own (2012′s festival was cancelled).
The arepa is a ground corn patty that has been filled with the Mangalitsa pork. It is griddled to cook through, and a slightly crispy texture gives way to the pork filling. The flavor is simple, but works to allow the ingredients speak for themselves. The corn salad is indeed sweet and fresh. The microgreens help to mellow out the sweetness and add a green brightness to the flavor.
I have yet to try the ceviche, but based on this dish, I’m sure it was well executed. I really enjoyed the simple flavors yet complex textures that this dish provided. It’s a dish I’d order again, and if you’re looking to taste some Florida tradition, it’s a great way to do so!
Let us know which Florida Local items you’ve enjoyed this year at the festival!