Some of the biggest trends on the What's Hot 2013 Chef's Survey, released by the National Restaurant Association is ethnic cuisine, menu items and ingredients. So, what exactly does ethnic mean? The term ethnic food in the US was once reserved for foods associated with exotic locations, like Southeast Asia, India, Northern Africa. Because it is largely based on cultural ideals, the term ethnic when applied to food, can encompasses a variety of cooking styles, geographic cuisines and ingredients. Once upon a time Italian spaghetti or Mexican salsa would have been considered exotic, unusual dishes, falling under the umbrella of ethnic food. Today, ethnic is being applied to much smaller areas, such as regional ethnic cuisine (think Texas BBQ or Southern Fried Chicken). On a more global scale, ethnic ingredients include ancient grains, like cassava (another term for tapioca) or exotic fruits, such as paw paws. Read on for the complete list of ethnic food trends for 2013.
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