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The resurgence of Southern cuisine

It’s been said that everything old becomes new again, and that sentiment often rings true on restaurant menus. Chock-full of Southern favorites—such as shrimp and grits, smoky barbeque and fried chicken—as well as new interpretations of old classics, menus today are undeniable proof that Southern cuisine is trending, and in a big way.

It’s easy to see why: Many traditional Southern dishes appeal to consumers’ desire for comfort and indulgence—one of the top 10 trends for 2014, according to Chicago research firm Technomic. However, Southern cuisine also emphasizes bold flavors and focuses on seasonally available produce and ingredients, two other consumer trends currently driving menu development.

Additionally, it’s not just Southern restaurants that are highlighting these dishes. Here’s a sample of Southern-inspired items found on menus across the country.

The Redhead
New York City, N.Y.
Corn Bread Cake: Rhubarb-strawberry compote, vanilla ice cream; $6

McCormick & Schmick’s
Oak Brook, Ill.
Buttermilk Fried Shrimp: Chesapeake fries, cocktail sauce; $15

1300 on Fillmore
San Francisco, Calif.
Cast Iron Catfish: Creole tomato court bouillon, grilled fennel, olive salad, lemon confit; $25

Sweet Grass
Bloomington, Ind.
Catfish Tacos: Tomato, Cotija cheese, chipotle aioli, slaw; $10

Empire State South
Atlanta, Ga.
Grassroots Chicken: Hoe cakes, turnips, raab greens, watermelon molasses, crisp potato; $33

This post is sponsored by Almond Board of California

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