Florida Heritage Foods

Cultural Collections


The arrival of Europeans in Florida, beginning with the Spanish in the early 16th century, launched the globalization of the Floridian landscape and the transformation of foodways in Florida and beyond. Known as the ‘Columbian Exchange,’ European colonialism and trade in the Americas by the Spanish, British, French and Portuguese introduced a wide variety of food and culinary traditions from throughout the European continent. In urban areas and homesteads, immigrant Europeans from France, Italy and Greece kept small kitchen gardens consisting of essential ingredients necessary to create cultural cuisine.  The crops below represent a few foods that are significant to the French kitchen garden, known as the potager.