Thursday, April 1, 2010

The History & Culture of Grits

If you were born and raised in the South, you're probably quite familiar with grits. But if you're a transplanted Yankee like me, you may have wondered about the Southern fascination with grits, and what they are, and how they're made and eaten. Anyway, I did. So I asked one of my true Southern friends and she sent me the following article, which I've copied below:


Q: What are Grits?

A: Grits are a Southern thing, like boiled peanuts. However, the word is spreading fast. Some folks believe Grits are grown on bushes and are harvested by midgets shaking the grit bushes after spreading sheets around them. This is not true. Other people feel that Grits are made from ground up bits of white corn. This is obviously a lie spread by Communists and terrorists since nothing as good as Grits can be made from corn.
Recent research suggests that the mysterious Manna that God rained down upon the Israelites in the Sinai Desert was most likely Grits. Some disagree, stating that there is no record of biscuits, butter, salt and red eye gravy also raining down. God would not punish his people by forcing them to eat Grits without these key ingredients.

Q: How are Grits Formed?

A: Grits are created deep underground under intense heat and pressure and it takes over 1000 years to form a single Grit. Most of the world's grit mines are in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. They are protected day and night by armed guards and pit bulls. Mining the Grit is a dangerous occupation, and many grit miners lose their lives each year so that we can have our Grits morning after morning for breakfast (having Grits for lunch and dinner as well is not unreasonable.)

*Synthetic Grits*

Yankees have attempted to create a synthetic form of Grits called Cream of Wheat. As far as we can tell, its key ingredients are Elmer's Glue and shredded Styrofoam. Synthetic grits have been known to cause nausea and may leave you unable to have children.

*The History of Grits*

The first known mention of the Grits was by the ancient Israelites in the Sinai Desert and then Grits were not heard of again for another 1000 years. Experts feel that during this time, because of its rarity, Grits were used only during secret religious ceremonies. The next mention of the Grits was found in the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii in the personal diary of a woman named Herculaneum Jemimaneus (Aunt Jemima to her friends).

*The 10 Commandments of Grits*

I. Thou shalt not put syrup on thy Grits
II. Thou shalt not eat thy Grits with a spoon or knife
III. Thou shalt not eat Cream of Wheat and call it Grits, for this is blasphemy.
IV. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors Grits
V. Thou shalt use only salt, butter, and red eye gravy on thy Grits
VI. Thou shalt not eat Instant Grits
VII. Thou shalt not put ketchup on thy Grits
VIII. Thou shalt not put margarine on thy Grits.
IX. Thou shalt not eat toast with thy Grits, only biscuits made from scratch
X. Thou shalt eat Grits on the Sabbath, for this is manna from heaven.

*How to Cook Grits*

For one serving of Grits, boil 1.5 cups of water with salt and a little butter. Add 5 Tbsp of Grits and reduce to a simmer until the Grits soak up all the water. When a pencil stuck in to the Grits can stand up, it is done. That's all there is to cooking Grits.

*How to make red eye gravy*

In cast iron pan, fry some salt-cured country ham. Remove the ham when done and add coffee (yes, coffee) to the gravy. Let simmer and stir for several minutes.

*How to Eat Grits*

Immediately after removing your Grits from the stove top, add a generous portion of real butter or red eye gravy. The butter should cause the Grits to turn a wondrous shade of yellow. (Hold a banana or a yellow rain slicker next to your Grits and add butter until the colors match.) Instead of butter, a generous helping of red eye gravy may be poured onto your Grits. Be sure to use enough so that some is left for sopping up with your biscuits. Never substitute canned or store bought biscuits for the real thing because they can cause cancer, bad teeth and impotence. Next, add salt. (The correct ratio of Grit to Salt is 10:1 so that every 10 Grits should have 1 grain of salt). Always use a fork to eat Grits and they must be thick enough not to fall through the tines. The only beverage to serve with Grits is black coffee. Never eat Grits from a bowl because Yankees will think that it's Cream of Wheat.


Zestfully yours,

PS: If you know who originally wrote "The History & Culture of Grits", please drop me a note so that I can properly attribute authorship. Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment