Ever since I moved to the Tampa Bay Area as a boy, I always thought that the one thing that made this place so special is our collective diversity. Different than the diversity you find in northern cities or in cities out West. Tampa was is truly unique. Because we’re a melting pot of diversity, many people have an opinion on what the official food of Tampa Bay is.
When I think one food to represent New York City, that’s easy it would be pizza. If I had to think of one to represent Chicago it would be the Chicago style hotdog. Philadelphia would be the cheesesteak. Boston would be lobster, New Orleans – Gumbo. Kansas City – barbecue (that would also be my pick for almost every city in eastern Texas as well.) Seattle would be salmon, Denver the best I can come up with a Rocky Mountain Oysters. Which, if you’ve never heard of them before, they are cooked bull testicles.
The Tampa Bay Area’s amazing diversity is spread amongst her people, their cultures and especially their food. It is because that diversity regarding the food that it is made the chore of picking one food to represent the entire Tampa Bay Area such a difficult one.
The question still remains what one food would you use to represent the Tampa Bay area? From the Cuban Sandwich’s of Ybor City to the Greeks of Tarpon Springs, to the fisherman, who venture off of our coast every day to bring in the fresh seafood in the country. The official food of Tampa Bay is not nearly as easy as you would think.