A. Elizabeth Sloan

After years of taking a back seat to Italian, Chinese, and Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisines—especially among younger adults—traditional American and American regional foods, preparations, and flavors are finally poised for growth.

Americans age 50+, the population segment most likely to say they “really enjoy” American cuisine, according to 2008 GfK Roper consumer research, are now the highest per capita spenders at restaurants, according to the National Restaurant Assn.’s 2009 Forecast. America’s 31 mil…

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