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Grits


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Vinny Gambini: Are we to believe that boiling water soaks into a grit faster in your kitchen than anywhere else on the face of the earth?

Mr. Tipton: I don't know.

Vinny Gambini: Well, I guess the laws of physics cease to exist on top of your stove. Were these magic grits? Did you buy them from the same guy who sold Jack his beanstalk beans?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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This may seem like a silly question to some of you guys, but grits aren't part of my heritage.

When you have grits with either dinner or lunch, what are they usually/traditionally served with?

They're not part of my heritage either. But I have a southern friend who makes wonderful grits, and just this past Saturday served us shrimp sauteed with tasso ham over cheese grits--fantastic. They would be great for breakfast too, I imagine.


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This may seem like a silly question to some of you guys, but grits aren't part of my heritage.

When you have grits with either dinner or lunch, what are they usually/traditionally served with?

You can use them as a starch with virtually any meal but they are especially good with seafood or pork "debris" IMO.

To tell you the truth, I ate grits nearly every day of my life growing up but never had them outside of breakfast at home (except for the occasional "breakfast for dinner" meal). Shrimp and grits are a Carolina and Georgia thing that didn't become popular in Alabama until I was nearly an adult.

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This may seem like a silly question to some of you guys, but grits aren't part of my heritage.

Maybe this poem will help:

Song To Grits

When my mind's unsettled,

When I don't feel spruce,

When my nerves get frazzled,

When my flesh gets loose-

What knits

Me back together's grits.

Grits with gravy,

Grits with cheese,

Grits with bacon,

Grits with peas.

Grits with a minimum

Of two over-medium eggs mixd in

'em:um!

Grits, grits, it's

Grits I sing-

Grits fits

In with anything.

rich and poor, black and white,

Lutheran and Campbellite,

Jews and Southern Jesuits,

All acknowledge buttered grits.

Give me two hands, give me my wits,

Give me forty pounds of grits.

Grits at taps, grits at reveille,

I am into grits real heavily.

True grits,

More grits,

Fish, grits, and collards.

Life is good where grits are swallered.

Grits

Sits

Right.

Roy Blount, Jr., 1982

Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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  • 8 months later...

I finally got a new shipment from Anson Mills. Below is my first attempt (coarse yellow antebellum grits). I soaked them overnight, simmered them to "first starch" per Anson Mill's instructions, then cooked for 50 minutes, adding a little water now and then, stirring.

They were delicious, creamy but with some chew, but do they look too dry? Perhaps I misjudged the first starch (the grits thickened within about 2 minutes, whereas Anson Mills says it should be 5-8 minutes, so I kept it simmering, almost boiling while stirring till 5 minutes)? Perhaps the whole thick-versus-runny thing is a matter of personal preference? Coarse artisanal grits should have some chew no matter what, correct? Am I overthinking this?

grits.jpg

Edited by patrickamory (log)
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I finally got a new shipment from Anson Mills. Below is my first attempt (coarse yellow antebellum grits). I soaked them overnight, simmered them to "first starch" per Anson Mill's instructions, then cooked for 50 minutes, adding a little water now and then, stirring.

They were delicious, creamy but with some chew, but do they look too dry? Perhaps I misjudged the first starch (the grits thickened within about 2 minutes, whereas Anson Mills says it should be 5-8 minutes, so I kept it simmering, almost boiling while stirring till 5 minutes)? Perhaps the whole thick-versus-runny thing is a matter of personal preference? Coarse artisanal grits should have some chew no matter what, correct? Am I overthinking this?

They look great to me, Patrick. I like them with some "heft" to the dish, not a fan of "runny" grits.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 2 years later...

What is the difference between grits and polenta?

 

In Australia, I can purchase polenta everywhere. Coarse. Fine. White. If I look hard enough--like, say, at the supermarket five minutes drive from here--I can get mealie meal. I can, of course, get the regular kind of corn meal. I can even get masa easily enough. And yet the only grits I've seen for sale locally are a) very expensive and b) the instant kind intended for consumption at breakfast. i.e. a finely-ground product pre-flavoured with cinnamon and whatnot. I do not intend to serve grits for breakfast. I do not want an instant product. I'm sure that some health food store, somewhere, probably sells organic grits ground between the thighs of honey-coloured virgins. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a ground-up grain. At one point I even purchased some whole dried-up white corn kernels and ran them through a tiny, flimsy hand-cranked coffee grinder. I'm not doing that again.

 

Anyway, the other day I was wandering around the local pan-Asian grocer and stumbled on a vac-packed bag of 'crushed corn'. I've yet to remove it from the vac pack and closely examine it but it seems significantly coarser than polenta, without being anywhere near as coarse as the 'broken corn' I once tried using (picture large dried white corn kernels broken into four or so chunks apiece). If it's simply what it looks like--a really coarse polenta--then it's basically grits, right? I can't say I've ever had 'the real thing', so I'm happy to settle for 'near-enough' in terms of texture and flavour. My only reference point for 'corn porridge'-type dishes are polenta and sadza.

 

EDIT

 

So, the photo reveals basically nothing, but ... hey ... here's a photo!

 

DSC_0019_zps961815dc.jpg

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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What is the difference between grits and polenta?

 

Polenta is ground corn, grits are ground hominy.

Thanks to the local store picking up the Bob's Red Mill product line about a year ago, I once again enjoy grits on a regular basis.

 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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This is a discussion that gets more complicated the more you look into it. Besides the issue of the two types of corn--dent and flint--the issue of nixtamalization is very confusing. When you buy masa, or nixtamalized corn for tamales/tortillas, it usually specifies "lime," which means it is nixtamalized. But neither polenta nor grits says whether it is treated with alkali. Yes, hominy would mean it is nixtamalized, but most ground corn for either polenta or grits does not say "hominy" it just says ground corn.

Perhaps it used to be more common for the grits in the south to come from nixtamalized sources, but I don't see any indication that this is the case with artisan products that are grown and ground in the south today. As far as I can tell, most corn destined for drying and grinding is not nixtamalized. I read through the rather lengthy treatise re corn products on the site for Anson Mills and that question is not answered. That last paragraph about hominy doesn't actually address whether or not the Anson Mills grits are in fact made from hominy. Unless I am reading this wrong, which is entirely possible.

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Polenta is ground corn, grits are ground hominy.

 

I used to think this was the case, largely due to the fact that in certain parts of the South grits are sometimes called "hominy grits."  But it turns out to be incorrect.  Grits are not made from nixtamalized corn.  According to Anson Mills, the most important thing that differentiates grits from polenta is that the former is produced through single-pass milling whereas the latter is produced by multiple-pass reduction milling.  Traditionally, they say, grits is dent corn and polenta is flint corn.

--

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I used to think this was the case, largely due to the fact that in certain parts of the South grits are sometimes called "hominy grits."  But it turns out to be incorrect.  Grits are not made from nixtamalized corn.  According to Anson Mills, the most important thing that differentiates grits from polenta is that the former is produced through single-pass milling whereas the latter is produced by multiple-pass reduction milling.  Traditionally, they say, grits is dent corn and polenta is flint corn.

I stand corrected.

 

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Several of the Amish markets that sell online carry  real whole hominy and hominy grits.  They also carry yellow corn grits.  Most hominy is made from white corn. 

 

Yoder's is one that I have ordered from and been very satisfied with the product.  I also buy the whole hominy (store it in the freezer) for grinding my own so I have the exact grind I want. 

I also order their "Purasnow" CAKE FLOUR because it does not contain cornstarch. 

Their dark rye flour is better than others I have tried.  I have also bought some of their dried/glazed fruit, which I found to be excellent quality.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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The issue with "hominy" is that there are apparently two meanings of this word.  One meaning refers to corn treated with an alkali solution (aka nixtamalization).  The other meaning refers to corn that has been ground into coarse grains.  According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "in American English, corn-based grits and hominy were used interchangeably in Colonial times. Later, hominy meant whole kernels that had been skinned but not ground, but in the U.S. South, hominy meant skinned kernels that could be ground coarsely to make grits. In New Orleans, whole kernels are big hominy and ground kernels little hominy."  It is odd that there are places in America where the seemingly redundant term "hominy grits" is used, but it doesn't appear to have ever referred to nixtamalized corn ground into coarse grains.  I once took some dry posole, ground it into coarse grains and cooked it, and can attest that it tasted nothing like grits.  It's unclear when "hominy" came to refer to nixtamalized corn, but might be interesting to find out.

Edited by slkinsey (log)

--

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I notice the difference when I grind the hominy and the regular white dent corn.  I sift the ground product and the regular, non nixtamalized corn produces a lot more "chaff" than the hominy and I can only assume this is from the outer hull that is washed away in the nextamalization process.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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