Florida Guide > Accommodation
Tips on self catering at your rental villa
You will probably need to think about what you will want to buy if you are not planning on eating out too often and for breakfasts. The two best supermarkets are Publix and Walmart and are very comparably priced. American food is often packed in boxes or jars and packets much larger than we are used to in the UK. However it is better to buy for example, a large jar of unbranded jam for $3 than it is to buy a small branded name small jar at $5. This applies to many things like cereals, frozen vegetables, butter/spread and coffee. Also, try to use American brands as the UK imports are very much more expensive and anyway it is always fun to try new things. Do bear in mind that most American food is sweetened, even the bread and some butters. If you find this unpalatable, try buying European bagettes or French bread and just check that the butter or spread you are buying does not contain sugar.
If a member of your party has a particular food they can not do without, do not attempt to take it with you as most food stuffs are banned from being taken into the US. There are a few exceptions like things packed in cans or boxes of tea bags (unopened) but forget your favourite sausages or English bacon. If they must have these foods, then try Walmarts World Food section and Publix have some too. Do be warned though, that even if the product looks English, like Cadbury’s chocolate or Mars bars, it will be made under license in America and will be more to the American taste so will be sweeter. This goes for things like yogurt too. English bacon is practically impossible to buy and American bacon is very streaky and contains much more fat than our streaky. The nearest thing to English bacon is ham.
When buying fruit and vegetables remember the heat in Florida and keep all of it in the fridge, even jam and marmalade once opened is best kept in the fridge.
Meat is very cheap compared to the UK so a bar-b-que is a good idea. Following rule one, above, do not be tempted to buy a sachet of salad dressing for your salad with the bar-b-que as it will cost more than a whole jar, even though that seems a waste for just one use. Do remember also, that if you have a bar-b-que at your villa, it will need to be placed outside the closed in pool area for fire safety. This is a Florida law.
These few tips should help to make your eating experience in your villa, a pleasure and not too stressful.
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Page added on: 16 April 2009
Viewed 4409 times since 16 April 2009.
The following photos have been submitted by our villa owners for this article.