Food Culture Bred into our SoulsMost anyone can arguably entertain the idea that food is culture and passing along these rightful customs in cuisine, our knowledge of food recipes and the intangible attributes of cookery from our ancestors not only benefits our humanity but also makes us a complete entity within our southerly society. Now I know everyone is proud of their heritage and of the recipes passed from generations, but in the south, we think of it as an honor, as a duty to preserve these recipes and customs for generations to come.
This page is dedicated to such recipes and customs. It is here that we will showcase these cultural foods and ways of our southern Gulf Coast.
It's all about dem Grits
|rustic, pastoral dish of grillades over grits|
Grits have their origins in American Indian corn preparation. Traditionally, the corn for grits was ground by hand using stones and later by gravity and force of a waterwheel by way of the stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer sifting being grit meal, and the coarser being grits.
Whole kernel grits require 20 or more minutes to cook while “quick” grits take about 5 minutes. “Quick” refers to the term used for the finer type of grits in which the germ and hull have been removed. Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to four to six parts boiling water depending on your cooking method and/or recipe. It is best to always season with salt (generally 1/4 tsp for each cup of water) at the start of cooking (above the Mason-Dixon line, sugar is added). As grits expand while being cooked, the water is absorbed during which a periodically stir prevents grits sticking to the bottom of the pan and lumps forming or grits clumping together.
Grits are either yellow or white, depending on the color of corn. In different regions of the south preference is given the color of grits. You’re more than likely to find white grits served in Bayou and Low Country homes and yellow in northern states. Grits tend to take on flavor rather well so be careful with any addition. Too much of a good thing, be it a slice of sharp cheese or a slab of smoky ham, disappoints the palate of what should be a pleasant mouthful of mildly sweet corn flavor.
Grits are one staple that we enjoy morning, noon and night. We eat it with eggs, served with fine cream sauces for a brunch and covered with smothering gravies for dinner. Here are some of our recipes:
Grillades over a creamy, casserole of baked grits.
Smothered Chicken over creamy cheese grits.
Toasted Cheese Grits Casserole - like cheese grits with toasted bread.
A Creole inspired dish with wine: Tipsy Shrimp and Grits
2 Recipes - Mobile's Shrimp and Grits | Cheese & Corn Grits with Spicy Shrimp
Super side dish for special entrées: Grits and Greens Soufflé
2 More Recipes - Creole Casserole of Grits | Fried Cakes of Grits
Blackened Catfish with Shrimp Étouffée Sauce over grits
Southern Fried Fish served with grits