Food trends evolve from one year to the next, but some current ones as of 2014 include casual sharing plates, various types of tacos, chicken thighs and Southern cuisine. Other trends to look for include savory pancakes and oysters as part of composed hot dishes.
Similar to family-style meals, many casual and fast-casual restaurants are making small platters of food available for sharing among all patrons at a table. These tasting plates allow patrons to be exposed to food that they may not normally make at home and at a reasonable cost.
Sparked by the introduction of the fish taco, more exotic flavors are being introduced in this popular street food. Tacos are especially trending on restaurant menus as appetizers.
Similar to the phenomenon that involved chicken wings, chicken thighs that are deboned but left with the skin on is a popular trend. Top ways of using chicken thighs in this manner include deep frying, grilling or breading and serving them on sandwiches. Part of this is due to the fact that chicken thighs are generally less expensive than all other parts of the chicken, other than the drumstick.
The flavors of Southern cuisine are expanding from the south into the northeast and along the west coast of the United States. Common staples of chicken and pork are getting the Southern twist on menus across the nation, such as truly Southern dishes like shrimp and grits.