Although Plant City may be unknown to most tourists, Floridians know it as the state’s primary producer of strawberries. The Florida strawberry has a more tart flavor compared to the milder, sweet California strawberry. You may prefer California strawberries on your cereal, but when it comes to strawberry shortcake, Florida strawberries are best – their tart flavor is beautifully balanced by the sugar and cream. The strawberries start arriving in Florida grocery stores in December, staying through winter.
Come late February/early March, we celebrate the season at the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Although the Florida Strawberry festival has a lot in common with the Florida State Fair, it distinguishes itself as being primarily an agricultural fair. Strawberries are the star, but livestock is present too. While we make fun of the Florida State Fair’s ridiculously unhealthy carnival bites, we fully embrace the Strawberry Festival’s strawberry shortcake. If you go to the strawberry festival, you must have some. It will always be the star of the show.
While you are there, check out the Strawberry Grower’s Display, Livestock Arena, and Pig Races. If you like country or bluegrass music, The Florida Strawberry Festival has a lot of this too. This year’s festival ends on March 13th, so this is your last weekend to go.