Florida-made sweet treats win top honors
Florida made a good showing at the Pioneer Florida Museum's third annual Central Florida Syrup Tasting Contest and Cane Grinding, taking the top three places in the Southern Syrupmakers Association competition. The Jan. 12 event featured a demonstration of sugar cane grinding and syrup making, as well as a people's choice syrup tasting competition. Twenty-six cane syrup entries from 17 competitors were available for visitors to taste and vote on, said museum office manager Jessica Budin. Florida residents did well in the competition, with a first-place ribbon going to Rodney Johnson of Kinard. Ronnie Phillips of Wildwood came in second, and Orin Hill, also of Wildwood, won third. Rod Norris of Folkston, Ga., earned fourth place. Volunteers, including students from Zephyrhills Future Farmers of America, helped squeeze the cane for the grinding and syrup-making demonstration.The museum's next event will be the Fun Fest and Quilt Show on Feb. 2 and 3. In addition to the quilt show and competition, visitors can enjoy a southern draft horse pull, and food and craft vendors. Admission to the Fun Fest and Quilt Show will be $10 for ages 13 and older; $6 for ages 6 to 12; and free for children 5 and younger. The museum is at 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, just north of downtown Dade City. For information, call the Pioneer Florida Museum at (352) 567-0262 or visit pioneerfloridamuseum.org.