Hot Out of the Oven: 7 Food Trends for 2014

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We’re almost two full months into 2014, and it’s time we make some food statements. The year 2013 was of the cronut and the bacon everything. As for this year, several experts have weighed in. The National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot culinary forecast predicts menu trends for the coming year, and for 2014, the NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs to find out what the hottest menu trends will be. Publications like Kitchen Daily also have experts on the job, and many of their predictions match those of Restaurant.org’s.

So, where will the winds of 2014 take us, food-wise? You’re about to find out. Here’s to hoping you’re all about meat, tea, gluten-free, and everything in between.

1. Exotic Meats

The first trend we’ll dissect is the expected emphasis on exotic meats, as both Restaurant.org and Kitchen Daily predict consumers getting down and dirty with the grub in 2014. The farm-to-table concept is hardly a new schtick, but both Sterling Rice-Group analysts and members of the American Culinary Federation believe that this movement will pick up speed this year, placing more and more exotic meats on consumers’ plates. Small-scale producers are also expected to get in on the game (no pun intended), and will expand into meats like goat, rabbit, and pigeon, says Kitchen Daily.

These meats will serve as new feel-good protein choices, and if we know anything about the modern foodies, it’s that they tend to like their protein. Thanks to daring dishes served by the influx of meat-specializing restaurants popping up all over the U.S., eaters are really getting a taste for the next best exotic meats, and that’s a trend that’s here to stay.

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