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Midwestern food tabbed as biggest food trend for 2014

Midwestern food is charming the rest of the nation.

The Food Channel labeled Midwestern cuisine as the number one food trend for 2014 (followed closely by tea and “distracted dining”).

“After all, the East Coast is known for Italian, the West Coast for seafood — perhaps its time the Midwest became more than a flyover state,” the list proclaims.

The Food Channel says the Midwest trend challenges chefs to use only food found in the Midwest and do “interesting things” with steak and root vegetables.

It recommends fried chicken as the classic Midwestern dish. 

Midwest Living magazine, on the other hand, suggests fresh cherries and cherry pie, loose meat sandwiches and bison burgers are appropriate for the person seeking to explore the Midwestern food trend. (30 Must-Try Midwest Foods, March/April 2011)

And USA Today is also eager to help: its list includes Chicago-style hot dogs, pan-fried walleye and food on a stick in its list of “10 Midwestern foods you must try.”

Amy Thielen, who published The New Midwestern Table cookbook in 2013, told Chicago Magazine that Midwestern food includes “a dependence on gardening and fresh produce, a lot of use of cast-iron pans.”

Dips and casseroles, “things you can share” are also Midwestern, she said, and Midwesterners use plenty of dairy.

What do you consider Midwestern food? Do you have a favorite recipe that evokes everything great about Midwestern eating?

Follow reporter Lydia Sheaks on Twitter at @LydiaSheaks

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