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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Speakeasies, smuggling and 'spotty enforcement': Prohibition in 1920s Florida

Liquor bottles on a shelf in a bar
A new exhibition at the Tampa Bay History Center explores what our state was like a century ago, from music and fashion to politics and social movements—including the banning of alcohol.

Here at The Zest, we’re all about food and drinks in Florida. And lately, we’ve been talking a lot about alcohol.

In this season alone, we’ve brought you interviews with the folks behind Distillery 98 in the Panhandle, Bastet Brewing in Tampa and Duke & Dame Whiskey in South Florida. We explored food and wine pairings for hot weather with Will Howard, who’s the sommelier at Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg. And Chef BT Nguyen of Restaurant BT in Tampa gave us a lesson in cooking with booze.

This week, we’re shifting gears to talk about a time when alcohol was forbidden in Florida—at least, that was the official stance.

A new exhibition at the Tampa Bay History Center explores what our state was like a century ago, from music and fashion to politics and social movements—including the banning of alcohol. It’s called Decade of Change: Florida in the 1920s, and it’s on view from Nov. 4 to July 14.

Dalia spoke with the exhibition’s curator, Brad Massey.

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