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Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Tampa Bay History Center preparing Florida’s ‘first food’

A free event coming to the Tampa Bay History Center will explore the roots of early American cuisine as it developed through the blending of Native American, European and African tastes in 16th century Florida.

The Los Compañeros de la Cocina (The Companions of the Kitchen) group will present “First Food: Florida and the Birth of American Cuisine,” April 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Tampa Bay History Center in downtown Tampa.

As part of Florida History Month, the costumed, historical re-enactors will present interpretations and demonstrations of the food and cooking techniques of early Florida and the southeastern United States.

Fried oysters in cornmeal, sauteed coquinas in olive oil, wild turkey soup with maize and catfish stew are some of the dishes Floridians may have noshed on in the 1500s, a history center announcement said.

At 1 p.m., independent scholar Annie Francis will present research from the Archives of the Indies on foods commonly consumed in colonial Spanish Florida, along with original recipes.

Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Admission to the History Center galleries is $12.95 for adults, $10.95 for students, seniors and childen ages 13 to 17, and $7.95 for ages 4 to 12. Younger children are admitted free.

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