Key Lime Pie is a true original American dessert. But what are Key limes?
Also known as Mexican limes and West Indies limes, and much smaller and sweeter than Persian limes, Key limes made their way to Florida with Spanish settlers from Haiti. The lime trees flourished in South Florida, particularly the Florida Keys, hence the current common name Key lime. However, because a hurricane wiped out the lime groves, never to be restored, today most Key limes come from Mexico.
Who made the first Key Lime Pie has never been documented, but the most likely story, and one that is widely repeated, starts with William Curry, a prominent Key West resident and Bahamian-born immigrant who became Florida’s first millionaire. Curry had a cook called “Aunt Sally” who concocted the first pie from Key limes sometime around the end of the 1800s. Around the time of “Aunt Sally,” the three traditional ingredients for a Key lime pie—Key lime juice, sweetened condensed mi...
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