What the heck are Grits?

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Grits on a plate with eggsIntroduction to Grits

It you asked me a year 5 years ago about Grits I would have replied “yuck” in referring to what looks like slop on a buffet in Florida. However after having spent 6 months in South Carolina, we now have a whole new appreciation for that southern delight. The first foray into grits was at a 5-star restaurant in Beaufort, North Carolina where they were served deep-fried into Grits Cakes. Later in Charleston, SC we began to try grits whenever they appeared on the menu and to our delight we discovered that good grits are not only a southern staple but also a culinary delight. We have told many people that you haven’t tried grits until you’ve had them in Charleston.

What is are Grits?

Stone Ground Grits package

Grits are a ground-corn of Native American origin particular popular in the Southern United States. Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy. Brands like House-Autry Mills make theirs the old fashioned way using granite stones however they are now enriched, like flour. Grits are usually either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn however we now prefer the yellow stone-ground grits which produced a course texture, as opposed to the instant or quick grits which have germ and hull removed. Traditionally, the hominy for grits were ground by a stone mill using screens to sort the finer grit meal, and the coarser being grits.

How do I cook Grits for Breakfast?

There are many recipes for Southern Grits which usually involves boiling the stone ground kernels with either water, milk or cream to a porridge consistency. Grits are often served for breakfast but you will also frequently see then on the menu as “Shrimp and Grits” in many fine restaurants in the south. For our B & B we experimented and come up with a combination of yellow stone-grown grits served with poached eggs and a southern creole sauce. Thanks to our friends in the south we can bring the great taste of South Carolina grits to our Bed and Breakfast in Toronto.

Boatel Stone Ground Grits Recipe

Yields 4 servings

2 ½ cup water
1 ½ cups cream (either half and half or heavy cream)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup stone yellow or white ground grits
1 Tablespoon butter
½ cup white cheddar cheese

  1. Mix all ingredients except for the cheese in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for 12-15 (or according to instructions on the package.
  3. Stir often and add water if necessary to thin.

Enjoy and let me know how you like ’em.

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About Diane Greene

Diane Greene stepped off the corporate treadmill in 2004 for pursue a life of traveling and adventure. 10 years later she is still operating Toronto's only Boat Bed and Breakfast and travelling with her husband on Boatel, their 65 foot trawler in the US and Bahamas during the winter. Diane has three wonderful children and 3 grandbabies. Diane loves photography, travel and scuba diving.

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