National Oyster Day is Today: Five Places Get Your Bivalve Fix

Candace West
Oysters from Wild Sea.
Today is National Oyster Day and, according to the official website, there are over 100 different varieties and over a million different ways of enjoying them.

Not only do these fruits from the sea taste delicious, they're rich in amino acids, which are vital for a healthy sex life, which may be the basis for the oysters claim as a powerful aphrodisiac.

Whether you like them fried, baked with some cheese, in a shooter, or just slurped out of the shell with a touch of hot sauce, here are some of our favorite places to enjoy our favorite bivalves.

See also: Wild Sea Oyster Bar & Grille Is the Best Restaurant on Las Olas

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New Study Claims Bee Research Could Benefit Florida's Economy

Categories: Florida Food

severnjc via wikimedia
There's been a lot of buzz about bees over the past few years.

With a major decline in honeybee populations across the country -- and in other parts of the world -- scientists have been scrambling to discover the cause.

To deal with the concern, the University of Florida has proposed a state-of-the-art research facility.

A new study released claims the economic impact of the center could astronomically benefit Florida's economy.

See Also: Research Links Previous Bee Extinction With End of Dinosaurs; What Does This Mean For Humans?

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"Buy Local Broward" Begins Three-Month Celebration to Promote Local Food Sales

Transforming Our Community's Health
South Florida is fortunate to have a number of farmers' markets, many long-established, with a continually growing number of new farms and markets opening in the past several years. What you'll find on any given day depends on the season and the clientele the market attracts. Looking for organic produce, antibiotic-free dairy, free-range eggs, or raw honey? In Broward County, you can find it all -- and more.

Despite a recent renewal in local and sustainable farming, many area counties -- Broward included -- are losing much of their farming acreage to development. The threat of ever-impeding urban sprawl is spawning a new effort to promote local farming. At the forefront of such efforts: Fort Lauderdale-based TOUCH (Transforming Our Community's Health), which has launched a special event-based initiative known as "Buy Local Broward" in an effort to bring attention to the reemergence of local growers and availability of local produce in South Florida. Through TOUCH and the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program, an emphasis is being placed on increasing access to locally grown produce and encouraging countywide farm-to-table efforts.

Want to help? Now, you can.

See Also: South Florida Farmers Markets

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Everglades Pizza: Python, Gator, Frog Are Toppings at Pizzeria

Categories: Florida Food

Evan's Neighborhood Pizzeria
Everglades Pizza. An airboat ride to your soul.
It used to be that ordering a pizza was pretty easy -- choose between plain, pepperoni, or sausage. Sometimes you could get all fancy-schmancy and order extra cheese or mushrooms (canned, obviously).

Now, pizzas are complicated. Items like artichoke, prosciutto, bacon, and truffles adorn our pies. This freedom allows us to enjoy short rib and caramelized onion pizzas or dessert pizzas with nutella and bananas. So, in this world of "anything goes", it stands to reason someone would finally represent the state of Florida on one pie.

Introducing the Everglades pizza, available at Evan's Neighborhood Pizza (2973 Palm Beach Blvd) in Fort Myers).

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Buzz Is On for Broward's Only Community Apiary

Categories: Florida Food

Dr. Leo Gosser is the founder of the Broward Beekeepers Association.
When most kids were terrified of getting stung, Dr. Leo Gosser was developing a lifelong passion for bees. As the son of a beekeeper, he has been around the buzzing little insects many consider a pest for most of his life. He believes they are indispensable contributors to our food supply and the world ecosystem.

After spending the majority of his adult life as a chemist in the pharmaceutical industry, Gosser founded the Broward Beekeepers Association with his wife, Marie, six years ago. Together, the couple have made it their goal to support bee populations and a network of more than 60 local keepers in the county, as well as the area's first community apiary.

Located on the north side of Sample Road just a couple of blocks west of 441, among big car dealerships, nondescript strip malls, and unmemorable apartment complexes, the apiary looks like little more than undeveloped land. Overgrown weeds divide the three-foot-tall, brown and white hives from the rest of the property on Mecca Farms, one of the few plots of agricultural land remaining in the county.

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How to Start Your Own Garden in South Florida With Michael Madfis of Fort Lauderdale Vegetables

World War I era US poster by James Montgomery Flagg via wikimedia commons/public domain
Pesticides. Fungicides. Neonicotinoids. Organic. Hormone-free. Anti-biotic free. Non-GMO. Fair trade. Pasture raised. Grass fed vs. grass finished. How far did it travel? How well was it treated? How much was its DNA tinkered with? Were fossil fuels involved?

The concept of food was simple once, but these days the very necessary act of eating has become fraught with peril and confusion. It was once considered your patriotic duty to grow your own food, or at least supplement the basics in your own "Victory Garden." Now, the Department of Agriculture is more like a marketing/lobbying firm for Big Ag than an advocate for the average eating citizen, so the mantra is "buy, buy, buy."

But buying is complicated and, frankly, why spend money on something when you can grow it yourself? Gardening can be the perfect antidote to modern life and all its fast paced, stress inducing, social network imposed concerns. Leave your smartphone inside and take a break by doing a little manual labor.

See also:
- Andrews Farm: New Urban Farm to Provide Cheap Organic Produce in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale Vegetables Expanding to 110 Tower in Downtown Fort Lauderdale
- Fort Lauderdale Vegetables' Michael Madfis: We Need a Food Policy Council

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Pamper Your Pops: Top Three Places To Take Metrosexual Dads For Father's Day

Breathtaking view: Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa

Unlike moms, dads have it bad. Year after year, they keep getting the same gift over and over again on what is supposed to be their special day. There are only so many ugly ties a man can take. This year, it's time to realize that mom isn't the only parent who enjoys being pampered.

Men are no longer the grunting, brooding, flannel-clad apes of yesteryear. Today's dads come in all shapes and sizes, even the metrosexual variety, and as such, won't get much use out of that ugly tie, a drill bit set, or a cheap shaving kit. Metrosexual dads enjoy spa treatments and brunch, just like any other civilized person.

In honor of our forgotten fathers, we have put together the top three places to take papa this Father's Day where sweat, snot, and spit are not welcome -- unless you're in the steam room.

See also:
- Father's Day Foodie Gift Ideas For the South Florida Father
- Father's Day in South Florida: Where to Take Dad in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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SMAK Attack Honey Has Avocado, Garlic, Lavender, and Other Crazy Flavors

Farmers Market Honey Facebook
So many crazy flavors...
"We understand the bees, and we understand the customers we are dealing with," says Gary Kareff of SMAK Attack. "We know what they're looking for... the unusual. And we try to provide that."

Kareff is talking about honey from his company SMAK Attack, with its 12 to 20 flavors, ranging from lavender to avocado to wildflower and more.

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Mai Kai Restaurant: History of a South Florida Institution

Categories: Florida Food

All photos courtesy Mai Kai Restaurant
Fort Lauderdale doesn't have the long history of cities like New York or Boston. With just over 100 years under the city's belt, you're not going to find landmarks like the Plaza Hotel. However, you will find mid-century gems like the Mai Kai.

To many residents, the spot may be thought of as a quirky happy hour destination or even a tourist trap, but the Polynesian themed restaurant is actually steeped in tradition and history -- as well as a bit of mid-century kitsch.

With this weekend's of the Hukilau, a massive tiki-themed event, we decided to revisit the home of the longest running Polynesian review in the entire country -- mainland, anyway.

See Also:
- Hukilau is this Weekend: How to Roast a Whole Hog Hawaiian-Style
- Ten Best Happy Hours in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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Las Olas Wine and Food Festival: Great Pours, Good Times

Categories: Florida Food
Laine Doss

As the sun set on Fort Lauderdale, the wine poured freely as thousands of people enjoyed food and drink al fresco at Friday evening's Las Olas Wine and Food Festival.

More than three dozen of South Florida's finest restaurants were represented at the fete that benefits the American Lung Association, and more than two dozen vintners, spirits companies, and brewers were on hand to pour freely while music played and guests enjoyed the warm evening.

Though all bites were impressive, Clean Plate Charlie judges agreed on some all-around winners.

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