Florida already has an official state pie — key lime — but might soon designate strawberry shortcake as the official state dessert.
The House Public Integrity & Elections Committee approved a bill Wednesday to bestow the honor on strawberry shortcake after some good-natured scrutiny.
Rep. Lawrence McClure, R-Plant City, faced questions about his bill (HB 567) ranging from how to measure a dollop of whipped cream to concerns he was going to upset key lime pie lovers. McClure represents the heart of Florida's strawberry industry. The region has 10,000 acres of strawberry fields that produce 75% of the nation's winter strawberry crop.
His bill references Plant City's annual Florida Strawberry Festival, which "welcomes visitors from around the world to celebrate this slice of Americana and the area's bountiful harvests."
It goes on to say that about "200,000 strawberry shortcakes, the festival's signature dessert, are served each year at the Florida Strawberry Festival, making it a staple among festival attendees."
The 36-line bill also cites Plant City as home of the world's biggest shortcake, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
A companion bill in the Senate (SB 1006) unanimously passed in committee Thursday.
If approved in both chambers and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the official designation would take effect July 1.