Floridians on both sides of the aisle are sticking a fork in a proposal that would make strawberry shortcake the state’s official dessert.
The recent survey conducted by Sachs Media found that Florida voters can’t stomach the thought of strawberry shortcake being recognized over Key lime pie as the state’s dessert. Asking whether or not strawberry shortcake should be added as Florida’s State Dessert, more than 60% of respondents rejected the sweet treat, while only 39% supported the legislation. Additionally, the thumbs-down response to strawberry shortcake was largely bipartisan, with Republicans and Democrats rejecting it 64% and 63%, respectively. No-party affiliation voters (NPA’s), however, were split 50-50 on the idea.
A closer look also showed that 67% of men and 54% of women surveyed answered ‘No’ on adopting strawberry shortcake as Florida’s premier dessert. Those percentages followed similar patterns across the age demographic, with those under 45 (63%), 45-64 (66%), and 65 or older (54%) not in favor of putting strawberry shortcake on the top of the state’s dessert hierarchy
The strawberry shortcake bill (SB 1006), sponsored by Senator Danny Burgess (absolutely no relation whatsoever to pro-Key lime pie activist and Capitolist founder Brian Burgess), would designate strawberry shortcake as the official state dessert. The bill has moved swiftly through the Legislature, with the Senate unanimously passing the measure in January. The House version (HB 567) is also nearing the finish line.
The legislation has many supporters, given the state’s deep roots in the strawberry industry. Florida is the No. 2 state when it comes to strawberry production — with nearly 10,000 acres of strawberry fields — and Plant City is known as the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World because it grows more than three-quarters of the nation’s winter strawberries.
But the bill also has its fair share of detractors — notably among the legion of key lime pie fans who view it as the de facto state dessert.
Key lime pie, which currently serves as the official state pie, a title it has held since 2006, is near and dear to many in the Sunshine State. The tart dessert earned its status because it reportedly originated in Key West, Florida in the late 19th century. While many remain quiet in the key lime pie camp, others in the process are embracing the food fight.
The Conch Republic Key Lime Council, based in Key West, is working on a compromise to make strawberry shortcake the official “cake” of Florida, rather than the official “dessert.” The group created a Change.org petition in opposition to Burgess’s “berry good” bill. Thus far, the group has amassed nearly 7,000 signatures in their crusade to defend the legacy of Key lime pie.
Key lime pie also has the support of several officials, including Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez who has openly thrown a few jabs at the strawberry shortcake.
— Jeanette Nuñez (@LtGovNunez) February 10, 2022
The survey was conducted among 500 registered voters between Feb. 18 and 20.