Southern Food Trend Spreads and Helps Develop Other Regional Cuisines

Southern Food Trend Spreads and Helps Develop Other Regional Cuisines

By Suzy Badaracco, Foodable Industry Expert

Soul food and the rise of Southern cuisine birthed back in 2008 in the fast food then casual dining segment– before moving up to fine dining. It ties to several trends including whole grains, dark greens, bacon, moonshine, regional dining, foraging, and others. The trend has now moved forward as a Morph. A Morph is when cousins birth off of the original trend and stand in the spotlight without harming the original cousin. The Morphs rising now off of soul food include Appalachian cuisine, Low Country, Pennsylvania Dutch, Piedmont, and Ozark cuisine.  

The Birth of Southern Cuisine 

Southern cuisine remained a shadow (tied into many trends but no champion to carry it forward) for a few years before birthing. Its Achilles heel was its tie to obesity. For consumers it appealed their desire in 2008 for simplicity, comfort, regionalism, sustainability and experimentation for anyone outside the region. Global cuisines popular at the time, including Cuban, Caribbean, So. American, French, and African make up the back bone of Southern foods, setting it up as an unstoppable birth. Barbecue also evolved beyond its generic form towards splintering into more sophisticated regional voices. What emerged at this time were South and North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky barbecue. And finally, the strong tie to health and wellness that Southern cuisine bares finally was acknowledged when its basis was realized- whole grains, beans, and dark greens.

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