Ode to grits

Joined Apr 19, 2001
As a northerner who lived in SC for 15 years, I became enamoured with the lovely grits during my time there. I admit, at first, they looked like a cross between - well, I won't go there.

But they do grow on you, and now I love 'em! Grits and cheese, that old Charleson fave, shrimp and grits, fried grits, bacon grits, grits souffle - grilled grits cakes.

And I am totally mystified now that I have tasted and enjoyed that magic food, why most northerners look on grits as tho they were being asked to eat dirt! Especially when its first cousin, polenta, has gained the heights it has in popular 'food fads'. One of life's mysteries, I guess - or do I just need to get a life?!
Joined Mar 13, 2001
I know it doesn't sound fair but grits is in the same food category as haggis:


Edited to make grits "singular" Thanks Suzanne ;)
Joined Feb 6, 2002
i lived in NYC...and I love grits...they used to serve it at brekkie in the WTC...ground floor right nex to borders books...Yum..nice creamy breakfast grits with plenty of butter...

Now look what youve done Marm...Im gonna go make me some. LOL. Im allowed to stand up that long.



We're adding it to the diner menu...lots of souther truckers keep askin for it and im the only one who knows how to cook it. :rolleyes:
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Mmmm mmmmm. I sure miss eating Dixie Lilly grits when I lived in Smyrna. Georgia. Every morning for breakfast. Can't get 'em here in Denver. They're the white rice counterpart to any meal. Just served plain and boiled.:smiles: :smiles:
Joined May 26, 2001
"Grits is good; I eat it everyday."

I forget who said that -- Craig Claiborne, I think. To make the point that grits "is" singular. Anyway, I'd love to eat grits everyday! Such a great flavor alone, and a terrific foil for sauces!!!

My brother-in-law, who comes from Alabama, eats the instant stuff you "cook" in the microwave. :eek:

Remember how important cooking grits was in the movie "My Cousin Vinnie?" What a hoot!!!!!
Joined Jan 1, 2001
Yuck! I HATE instant grits! They are always slimey, not creamy.

The best grits in NYC? The Pink Teacup-lots of authentic soul food.

People only make fun of grits if they've never had good bowl full. Admittedly, the name is wierd.

So is polenta, kind of like placenta, huh?

Anyway, cheese grits with a few good shakes of Tabasco-the best "wake you up" breakfast ever!
Joined Aug 29, 2000
I love grits; what's not to like? I agree it's very like polenta- also like mamaliga, a Romanian dish I learned from my grandmother. It's made only with yellow corn, so far as I know.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Isa - Grits is polenta! And I've had it with both yellow and white cornmeal; yellow is better, and stoneground is out of this world!

And you can fix grits just about any way you would fix polenta, without all the arcane stirring of the pot!

Suzanne - was that quote from Craig Claiborne or Bubba Gump?!
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Huge article on Grits, their origin, variations and menuing in this month's Food Arts. Explains process of milling and variations.
Joined Jan 12, 2001
at the restaurant i work at we've been running grits with various specials for a while now.

we get stone-ground coarse grits from Anson Mills. they take forever to cook but have a great corny flavor.

we cook them, covered, with just water until they're tender, and then finish them with butter, parmesan cheese, and white truffle oil. sometimes fold in a little whipped cream too.

we use them as a base for various specials; crispy veal sweetbreads with a mushroom ragu, the grits, and veal jus, or seared sea scallops with braised oxtail and grits.

the leftovers get laid out on a sheet tray and cut into cakes to serve with entrees the next day.

grits is good!
Joined May 3, 2002
I believe grits is the same as polenta only granulated a different size. In german its Griess (pronounced greez)I wonder if grits is named after ther german?
Anyway its also popular sweet not just savory.
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Isa, most grits are made from white corn, so if you can find a white, medium grind cornmeal, then yes, that's grits. If you want to taste the basic grits, get a box of Quaker - quick are okay, but definitely not instant!

Then, once you have an idea of what the 'traditional' is, do try the stone ground grits, as elakin suggested.

Traditionally in the South, they take the place of home fries or has browns on the breakfast plate; look here for a recipe from the Honorable Floyd Spence, US Congressman from South Carolina: http://www.virtualcities.com/ons/sc/gov/scgvfs1.htm

And this is my own grits souffle recipe:


Serves 4

3/4 cup grits
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
3 eggs, separated
2T butter
1 ½ tsp. cream of tartar
¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne

Preheat oven to 400; Grease a 1 ½ quart soufflé dish.
Cook grits according to package directions. When grits are cooked, remove from heat and cool slightly; beat in cheese, egg yolks, salt/pepper, and butter. Whisk egg whites til foamy. Add cream tartar and whisk til the whites form stiff peaks. Fold the whites into the grits and cheese mixture, and pour into the soufflé dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or til the soufflé has risen and is light to golden brown on top. Serve immediately.
Joined Jun 16, 2002
I have make extra for leftovers, or should I say planovers!

Besides, there are only two of us. :)


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks Marmalady I'll try your recipe as soon as I can find the ingredients. I'll have to go shopping, I only have white stone ground corn flour but no corn meal. Can I use italian corn meal for grits?

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