1. Food

What are Grits?

By

Creamy grits

Creamy grits.

Photo © Lew Robertson / Getty Images

Definition: Grits are a traditional American dish made from ground dried hominy (a form of specially processed corn) which is simmered until it becomes soft and creamy.

When cooked, the grits expand and absorb the cooking liquid, taking on a somewhat gelatinized consistency. Different grinds of grits are available, ranging from coarse to medium to fine.

Grits don't have much flavor on their own, but will take on the flavor of the cooking liquid. Grits are also typically flavored with salt, butter and cheese.

A good rule of thumb when cooking grits is that they will absorb about four times their volume in liquid. Therefore, to prepare one cup of grits, you'd use four cups of water or stock, simmering for twenty to twenty-five minutes until the liquid is fully absorbed. Instant grits are also available, which cook in just a few minutes.

Grits are a popular breakfast recipe in the American South, where they're served instead of potatoes. But grits are also commonly prepared for all meals, with shrimp and grits being a particularly popular recipe. Here are some grits recipes.

See Also: Polenta

Also Known As: Hominy grits

  1. About.com
  2. Food
  3. Culinary Arts
  4. Vegetables & Starches
  5. Rice & Grains
  6. What are Grits?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.