No sooner did I get to Key West than I nearly had a pie thrown in my face by none other than Kermit Carpenter, founder and director of the Key West Key Lime Shop. Kermit loves to throw pies. He runs out of the store each time the Old Town Trolley passes surprising visitors with his authentic looking, but actually fake pie. Everyone gets a chuckle out of his gag.
I met Kermit, Mr. Key Lime, who is as happy as a frog sitting on a log and just loves being green. He told me about taking a Key Lime pie to Tallahassee back in 2006, when the state was making a decision on the official state desert. Kermit’s pie did the trick (read more about this is a previous blog post here) and Key Lime pie was declared the winner.
He also proudly displayed a copy of National Geographic Food Journeys of a Lifetime, containing the story of his pie and shoppe.
The store at the corner of Elizabeth Street is key lime cute and shouldn’t be missed. There are more items made from key lime juice, rind and essence than Bubba made from shrimp. My, oh my: Key Lime cookies, taffy, hard candy, jellies, salsas, chips, sauces and wine. The big seller is Key Lime pie on a stick coated in chocolate.
Being more a traditionalist, I chose the medal winning pie and absolutely agree that it is the best: tart and tangy, but sweet and mellow. Indeed, I would like one of the real pies thrown in my face – because I’d enjoy licking the mess.
Click here for a Recipe for Key Lime Pie.
If You Go
Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe
200 Elizabeth Street
Key West, FL 33040