Living in Florida is no easy thing, especially given that we have to deal with blistering heat, endless amounts of rain, and being doubted on our identity as a “southern” state. The good news is, we have a pretty damn good food scene – one that you (mostly) can’t find anywhere else in the world. There are some things that only us Floridians will understand about food, so here’s to us.
1. It’s totally acceptable to say your favorite restaurant is Publix.
With a large assortment of subs, to-go meals, and bakery items, we have plenty to be thankful for when it comes to Publix.
2. Getting sand in your food is part of the experience when you eat on the beach.
The best part of a beach day is getting fast food to eat on the beach, but getting sand in your Chick-fil-A sandwich is nowhere near as fun. It’s all good, though, we still eat our food no matter what.
3. You only trust Key Lime pies that come from Florida.
Key lime pie is something we hold very dear to our hearts, so it’s only natural that we question those that are served outside of Florida. They probably use regular limes anyways, which means they don’t understand the true struggle of squeezing those miniature citrus fruits.
4. Dealing with tourist crowds is worth getting food at Disney World.
Waiting in a line full of tourists can be bad enough – but in the sweltering heat? It’s flat out terrible. Thankfully, the food at Disney World makes waiting worth it. Even the plain ice cream sandwiches are fun to eat – once you look past the fact that you’re consuming Mickey Mouse, that is.
5. You can never have enough fried shrimp.
Since we’re one of the only peninsulas in the US, we get our fair share of seafood – notably shrimp. Even though you can them blackened or grilled, sometimes we just really crave a crispy batter coating.
6. You only drink orange juice from Florida oranges.
Why buy the concentrated nonsense at the grocery store when you can squeeze the oranges yourself? Just make sure you don’t drink it when you’re sick.
7. Picnics are rarely a thing because it’s too damn humid to eat outside.
We all want to be cute and have an Insta-worthy meal under an oak tree or in your backyard. Unfortunately for us Floridians, it’s simply too hot to do anything outside if you’re not going in a pool or to the beach. I guess an indoor picnic will just have to do.
8. Ice cream will always be better than frozen yogurt on a sunny day.
Froyo may be trendy and somewhat healthier than ice cream, but who DF wants to be eating it on a hot summer’s day? Our mouth craves something rich, creamy, and chock-full of yummy mix-ins, and ice cream gives us just that.
9. Publix fried chicken is probably the best thing you’ll ever have at a party.
Parties can be boring with the plain spinach artichoke dip and veggie spirals, which is why Publix chicken is pretty much a necessity for any party on the peninsula. Make sure to bring a bunch, though, ’cause they run out quick.
10. It’s not uncommon to fire up the grill during the holiday season because it feels just like summer anyways.
Ah, Florida. Where it’s totally acceptable to have a temperature of 80°F on Christmas day. Don’t stress about glazing a ham or oven-roasting a bird during the holiday season, ’cause everything you need can be done over a hot grill and some charcoal.
11. Being in the middle of a hurricane doesn’t stop you from going to get food from the drive-thru.
Even when there’s a hurricane warning, we still go outside in our desperation for food. Harsh winds, hail, and heavy rainfall don’t scare us. Fine, a storm may deter us from walking inside, but drive-thru makes for an easy fix.
12. You panic when you go out-of-state and there’s no sweet tea.
There’s no scarier feeling than asking for sweet tea in a different state and your waiter not understanding what you want. RIP. Here in Florida, we take pride in our sweet tea, which is arguably the most refreshing drink you can ever have.
13. You can get away with being barefoot in restaurants.
Be thankful that your favorite restaurant down by the beach lets you walk in barefoot. Sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, you’re even allowed in a bathing suit. Talk about southern hospitality.