Grits are actually ground-up hominy (which is made by soaking corn/maize kernels in lye to get the outside off them). They are great with butter on them, or more traditionally bacon grease (I'm not joking -- that's how my grandmother served them).

Also a joking acronym for "girl raised in the South"

It's fine with me that so many of y'all don't like grits, or think they're some kind of bad country joke. It just means more grits for me!

An interesting use of grits is in the signature dish of "Low Country" cuisine, from the South Carolina coastal region: shrimp and grits. It's sauteed shrimp in a roux or gravy poured over a dish of grits. The grits should be very creamy and somewhat fluffy, if you can ever call grits that.

Several people have asked me, as a member of the Southern diaspora, to comment on quick grits and instant grits. Everyone I know cooks quick grits, which cook in 5 minutes. What I guess you'd call 'normal' grits take 45 minutes to an hour to cook, and they're barely distinguishable, in my experience, from quick grits. If I were making shrimp and grits for someone I wanted to impress, I might use slow-cooking grits. But when I cook grits for breakfast, it's 5 minute quick grits.

Instant grits are an abomination. They are packaged in little single-serving envelopes, are manufactured in all sorts of strange flavors, and are supposedly suitable for human consumption less than a minute after you've added boiling water. I guess instant grits might be acceptable as camping food, but barely. Can't you spare 5 minutes to cook some quality quick grits? If you like instant rice (the stuff that cooks in 1 minute or 5 minutes or whatever), you might like instant grits. I think both are pale imitations of the real foods.

Typical, I suppose, of most middle class white Southerners, my family finds it strange when people put sugar, or anything sweet, in their grits. Salt, pepper, tobasco sauce, butter, cheddar cheese, and maybe crumbled up bacon are the only things we traditionally stir into grits. Of course any eggs or sausage sharing a plate with some grits will get mixed up in there as well. When I fix grits at home for breakfast, I usually just use butter, black pepper, and lots of salt. Sometimes I stir in a little chunk of cream cheese, which is very un-Southern. No one in my family eats grits for lunch or dinner, unless we're having cheese grits on the side with batter-fried fish.


In response to request for instructions on cooking grits:

Buy any brand of Quick Grits (Quaker® brand is popular, but store brand is usually fine). Cook according to instructions on package (usually: bring 3 to 4 parts water to boil; stir in 1 part grits and some salt; reduce heat to low/simmer; cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often; salt and season to taste and serve hot). Grits can absorb incredible amounts of salt. It is very important to stir as you are adding grits to the boiling water and to stir every minute or so during cooking, to avoid lumpy grits. Enjoy!

In Canada, "The Grits" (capitalized) is a slang shorthand for The Liberal Party of Canada. The corresponding term for the The Conservatives is "The Tories". Neither term is derogatory.

The term "grits" comes from the roots of the Liberal Party. The Clear Grit Party was an Upper Canada reform party. After confederation in 1867, the Grits became the basis of the Liberal party.

It might come as a shock, but there are people out there who do not know how to cook grits. For those people, for I was once one of those people, here is this simple how to guide for cooking grits.

There are three types of grits in existence. The first is long cook grits and these typically take about 45 minutes to cook. The second type is short cook grits, these take about 5 minutes to cook. The last type is instant grits. I hear that instant grits are really bad and should never be eaten. With that in mind I will not even cover how to make instant grits. Also keep in mind that 5 minute grits really don’t take that long to make.

The first major step toward enlightenment would be to obtain grits.


LONG COOK

For long cook grits, start some water boiling. The rule of thumb with grits is four times as much water to grits. Boil about 4 ½ cups of water for every cup of grits. Once the water is boiling add the cup of grits. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Serve immediately.


SHORT COOK

Boil water! Same rule of thumb applies; 4:1::water:grits. Add the grits to the boiling water, and stir. There will be foaming involved… and magically the water will disappear. Stir until thickened the amount you like, and serve!



Here is the part where I tell the story that goes with this node. See, a few weeks ago I had some people over my house. Jethro_Bodine came and brought grits. It was wonderful, we ate grits with breakfast and all were fat and happy. Having not used all of his glorious gold grits he left me about 1/4th cup; enough for me to make and eat alone. Alas, the sad part of this story is that I didn’t know how to cook grits!! I looked on E2 looking for help, and couldn’t find any. I spent about 15 minutes online looking for help, and couldn’t really find any there. The only thing I knew was that there is short cook and long cook grits. Being the brave adventurous cook I am, I asked jbo what kind they were (as they have since been eaten). The conversation when a little like this:


nocte hey. the grits you left. are they long cook or short cook?
jbo long? short?
jbo what the fuck, woman. THEY'S GRITS.

So, I was brave, stuck them in a pot with a cup of water, and about 5 minutes later the water had disappeared and they were what I think of as grits. PERFECT! Moral of the story is, just cook them. Keep an eye on them and stir them a bit, but just cook them and they's be a'ight.

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