Southern Staples That Made a Comeback in 2013

Every year we hear about new food trends. These trends aren’t always a new type of food, rather they can be a unique approach to the way we eat, cook or serve food. I must point out that I tend to be a purest about iconic southern dishes, so I don’t like to veer away from the original recipe. However, I’m very open to and enjoy variations of southern traditions; there’s nothing wrong with fixin’ it up.

I don’t know if there has been a true food trend here in the South, but last year I did notice a few iconic recipes and movements I’m happy to see come back to life.

One of my favorite dishes that had its moment in 2013 is pimento cheese. Many stuck to a more traditional recipe, while others incorporated items like Greek yogurt, hot sauce, blue cheese, herbs and nuts. I typically make the famous spread with a combination of good chunky cheddar cheese, pimentos, mayo, a little yellow mustard and fresh cracked pepper.

Deviled eggs, another staple in many southern homes, also became a popular dish last year. The fillings I’ve seen are quite intricate and different from what I’m used to. Guacamole, horseradish and bacon are just a few. It’s nice to see that people are interested in all types of deviled eggs, but my recipe is very simple. All you need are perfectly boiled eggs and a sieve to give your yolks a smooth texture. Then I simply add mayo, salt and pepper.

I’ve truly enjoyed seeing a new appreciation and celebration of this next southern food – biscuits. I’ve noticed more and more young mothers and their daughter making them together in addition to chefs expressing interest in going back to special techniques of biscuit making. I truly hope this trend continues into the New Year and in the years to come.

Lastly, the interest in taking advantage of local food ingredients has been very encouraging – especially because it follows what the season has to offer. I’m from a family where it was a way of life to use the ingredients available to us. To see chefs and home cooks embrace this way of cooking is a welcome trend.
Please share your favorite food trends of last year, and don’t hesitate to share your 2014 food trend predictions as well.

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