Friday, March 23, 2007

What is a Grit?

pl.n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)

1. A ground, usually white meal of dried and hulled corn kernels that is boiled and served as a breakfast food or side dish.
2. Coarsely ground grain, especially corn.

Technically speaking, the term "grits" actually refers to any coarsely ground grain such as corn, oats or rice. When corn has been soaked in lye and the casing has been removed it becomes hominy. The lye is rinsed out very well and the corn is left to harden. Then the swollen hominy is ground up to the texture of tiny pellets in a choice of grinds-coarse, medium and fine.

Historically speaking, Americans have been eating them since as far back as 1607. When the colonists came ashore at Jamestown, Virginia, they were met by Native Americans offering steaming hot bowls of "rockahominie," which was softened maize seasoned with salt and animal fat. For this reason, Turner Catledge, former editor of the New York Times, called grits “the first truly American Food.” This comment alone makes old Turner a genius in my eyes.

Personally speaking, grits are my favorite comfort food and it is my search for this favorite comfort food during my first winter in NYC that led me to begin writing this cookbook.

1 comment:

Sher said...

First of all, what is a Southern sister doing in NYC??? Isn't that illegal? How do you get around or carry on conversations with people who don't speak our language?

Grits are the best and I should know. I am grits.

G.R.I.T.S. = Girls Raised In The South.