Lobbying is often done with food, but seldom on this scale:
Six thousand key limes.
Two hundred pounds of graham crackers.
And 55 gallons of sweetened condensed milk.
It’s a modern take on an old adage – the organizers behind Florida Keys Day are hoping the fastest way to a lawmaker’s heart is through their stomach. The event has been a hit at the capitol for years now, but Chef David Sloan says this year’s pie makes it unique.
“It’s the world’s largest key lime pie,” Sloan said, “It’s eight feet in diameter, it has 55 gallons of sweetened condensed milk, nearly seven thousand key limes that were squeezed to make the juice for it, 200 pounds of graham crackers and then a few secret ingredients of course.”
Monroe County Commissioner David Rice says the event is a low-key way to make their pitch to legislators.
“We don’t get much opportunity just to kick back and share as much as we can the flavor of the Florida Keys,” Rice said.
But the event has concrete legislative objectives aimed at benefiting the Florida Keys region, too. Representative Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) helped organize the event and says environmental concerns top the list.
“We have a very big waste water project that we’re working on and it’s a state mandated project, and it’s an unfunded state mandate. But the state in recent years has stepped up and become a great partner. We received $50 million a couple years ago, and actually we’re in the house budget this year for another $50 million, so that’s number one.”
Unfortunately for Rice and Raschein, the weather Tuesday was not interested in cooperating. Gusts of wind tore through the Capitol courtyard, knocking over tables and chairs and sending trash cans rolling. It got so bad organizers moved the whole event under a portico to get out of the gale.
The only thing that didn’t seem affected was the pie. At nearly 1,000 pounds, it’s pretty hard to move.