A couple of months ago, I wrote about corn, my favorite summertime vegetable. Today I want to write about my favorite corn product: grits. I was going to post this later in the year, but decided to post it today since it's National Eat Grits for Breakfast Day.
My love affair with grits started at a very young age, thousands of miles away from the cornfields of America. I spent the first 10 years of my life on Guam, not exactly a locale known for grits. Surprisingly, my mother was able to purchase grits at the commissary. When I had my tonsils out at the age of five, I came home and ate not ice cream, but a bowl of grits.
For those unfamiliar with this Southern staple, grits are nothing more than coarsely ground corn. Grits are available in three varieties at the grocery store: instant, quick cooking and old fashioned. Stone-ground grits are usually found at gristmills or specialty food stores. The cooking time and texture are different among the four.
Instant grits are precooked and require the addition of boiling water. Quick cooking grits are finely ground and cook in 5 minutes. Old fashioned grits are coarsely ground and take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook. Stone-ground grits take about 40 minutes to cook.
Grits are usually cooked in boiling water or milk and eaten as a cereal or side dish. Some people eat grits like oatmeal, mixing the grits with milk and sugar. Others like butter on their grits, while others like them plain. Some people like soupy grits, others like thicker grits. I like my grits thick enough to eat with a fork.