Visitors know St. Augustine is a town rich in historical interest and European and native cultures, but another great reason to visit is the variety of food products made locally. When you think of Florida, most likely oranges and key lime pie come to mind when searching for treats indigenous to the area. A trip to St. Augustine, however, will have you craving other sweet and spicy things.

If you like to imbibe in the occasional glass of wine, the San Sebastian Winery on King Street should definitely be on your itinerary. Take the free tour and discover how their tasty red, white, and port wines are made on-site. Muscadine grapes native to the area, along with hyrbid varietals like Stover and Blanc Du Bois, give these Florida vintages a unique flavor and body that have won San Sebastian numerous competition medals. Of course, you’ll get to taste for yourself after the tour, and don’t forget to pick up a few bottles to take home.

Ask anyone about the spicy side of St. Augustine, and more than likely you’ll be directed to the Old City and the Dat’l Do-It shop. This brand of tangy sauces, relishes, and other condiments are made with local datil peppers. Grown in St. Augustine for over two centuries, datils are waxy yellow in color and sweet in flavor, but they pack a punch, and the Dat’l Do-It people ship thousands of bottles all over the country each year to tempt taste buds in need of a kick.

After all that hot stuff, there’s no better way to cool the palate than with something sweet. Two of Northern Florida’s best chocolatiers, Whetstone Chocolates of St. George Street and Claude’s Chocolates on Hypolita St., are on hand to serve up succulent truffles and fine artisan bons-bons, bars of milk, white and dark varieties, and sugar-free candies. Be sure to grab a bag or two as sweet gifts for friends and family.

From wine to chocolate, spicy relish and savory spreads, St. Augustine offers a delicious selection of tastes to enjoy on vacation and long afterward. Bring your appetite when you come visit and take home a taste of Northern Florida.

Kathryn Lively

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