I grew up in South Florida, in the middle of an enormous Jewish community. I went to a high school that was half Jewish, literally. There were synagogues every mile or two and a kosher grocery market in every community. And I couldn’t have cared less.
Then I moved to Orlando for college. Central Florida has a decent Jewish population, but no one really cares so much. There’s one kosher restaurant down past Disney and another one way out in Daytona. And that’s it. Of all places, Orlando is where I became more observant… All of the sudden I thought back to where I grew up and realized the luxury that I hadn’t even noticed while I was there. In Orlando, everything is a treasure hunt… kosher meat, kosher wine, kosher dairy… it’s all hard to come by and when you do find it (or demand it from a local grocery store), it’s super expensive.
Every once in a while, like this weekend, I’ll go back down to South Florida to visit my parents… and boy do I spoil myself! 🙂 I know where all of the best kosher spots in town are (Avigdor’s Mozart Cafe being a favorite) and no trip to South Florida is complete without a run to Aroma’s kosher market. I always go back to Orlando with a CAR FULL of kosher food. Not really exaggerating either!
What I once didn’t even notice is now a complete luxury and when I’m here, I take full advantage of all of the Jewish resources. So if you’re in an area where Jewish-ness is abound, don’t ever take it for granted! There are those of us out there that are “starving children in Orlando” that would love that kosher food 😉