In days gone by, Charlestonians referred to cooked grits as “hominy,” because when cooked they resemble the lye-bleached corn that goes by the same name. Grits, nothing more than ground corn, were seldom degerminated or treated with lye. Nearly everyone had a patch of corn, it stores well in the grain, and grist mills were common. Nowadays people pay a premium for whole-grain stone-ground grains with no preservatives. And grits is the accepted term throughout the Lowcountry today.
This is not just breakfast fare: grits invite a host of accompaniments from raw egg yolks to cream sauces, gravies, seafood, and hashes. See recipes for shrimp and grits, fried quail with sausage and oyster cream, and shad roe in cream. Along the sides of the plate of grits are fried fish or birds, country ham, and/or eggs. Leftover grits are refrigerated, formed into patties, dipped in egg and then crumbs, fried, and served with various toppings. Chef Philip Bardin at the Old Post Office on Edisto Island made a name for himself with his updated grits dishes, including an appetizer of fried grits with a topping of light hollandaise and goat cheese.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by UNC Press.