Grits
Posted: 26 May 2007 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Since it was asked, I decided to take it upon myself to delve the depths of the delicious delicacy.

From The AHD at Bartleby’s most informative site:

Alteration of Middle English grutta, coarse meal, from Old English grytta, pl. of grytt.

I’ve recently discovered McCann’s Irish Oatmeal and it reminds me of grits in it’s way, so the Old English to the Old South connection doesn’t seem as far of a stretch to me as it once would have.

Welcome to wordorigins, johnsy.

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Posted: 26 May 2007 08:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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As a friend of mine with Southern roots used to say, “Grits is good!”

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Posted: 26 May 2007 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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So are hominy grits a variant of the dish?

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Posted: 26 May 2007 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Grits, to me, are hominy grits.

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Posted: 26 May 2007 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Or as a Dutchman would say: grutjes!

Used as a euphemistic expression of surprise to avoid such words containing ‘god’ (cf. gosh) and also the name for broken seeds of certain cereals.

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Posted: 26 May 2007 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Didn’t we discuss this word a few months ago? “Grits” is an English word with a hoary past, though not very current today in Rightpondia; a variant is “groats”, and I believe it originally meant a gruel or porridge made from any sort of coarse grain meal. If it’s made from hominy (which I understand is derived from an Algonquian word for maize), so it’s “hominy grits”. One might perhaps call oatmeal porridge “grits” too, if one didn’t mind being misunderstood. The German word is “gruetze”. My wife (whose parents were from Germany) makes a kind of solid, sweet porridge, flavoured and coloured with raspberries, and served chilled with cream or custard, which she calls “rote gruetze”.

I’ve seen a lot of grits this past month (I was in the USA). A nodding acquaintance is enough for me. Corn bread, on the other hand --- ambrosia! De gustibus non disputandum.

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Posted: 26 May 2007 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You were obviously visiting the southern USA, Lionello. We don’t see it served in the north, much. But why you would not like it much is surprising to me, unless you eat it plain. You need to add butter, salt, and pepper to bring out the great flavor, just as you might with corn on the cob.

As I was growing up, my father would give us a dose of unground hominy grits on occasion, but I didn’t see grits again til I visited the south. I prefer the ground variety.

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Posted: 26 May 2007 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Right, Eyehawk. The grits were in Atlanta, Georgia. Thank you for the advice, which i shall take care to act on next time. Nobody told me how I should go about eating them, and I hadn’t enough sense to ask.

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Posted: 27 May 2007 01:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Lionello:

‘...a kind of solid, sweet porridge, flavoured and coloured with raspberries, and served chilled with cream or custard, which she calls “rote gruetze” ‘

sounds very much like that Danish tongue-twister ‘roede groede med floede paa’ (sorry - can’t do the Danish orthography) and is similar to a Scots dish (the name of which escapes me) involving oatmeal, raspberries and cream.

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Posted: 27 May 2007 07:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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We don’t see it served in the north, much. But why you would not like it much is surprising to me, unless you eat it plain. You need to add butter, salt, and pepper to bring out the great flavor, just as you might with corn on the cob.

Adding butter, salt, and pepper makes grits taste like butter, salt, and pepper. That’s not a bad combination, but hardly something to crow about.

I grew up in New Jersey and never saw or ate grits until I went into the army (standard A-Ration breakfast would be scrambled eggs, spam, and grits). Grits are in the “so what” class of foods (which also includes shrimp and cauliflower). They’re not bad and I’ll happily eat them if placed in front of me, but they’re rather bland and unremarkable.

I guess if you grew up with them, though, they’re a comfort food.

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Posted: 27 May 2007 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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When I was a teenager my grandfather had a can of “Hominy” sitting on the pantry shelf for years and years. One time I asked my Mom what they were and she said “Oh I don’t know, your grandfather used to eat them. I think people eat them in the South.” The picture on the can looked like oversized kernels of corn (maize). Finally one day when I was about 20 I got tired of the suspense, and I was hungry enough, I thought I’d put an end to the uncertainty and opened the can. “What the heck?” It was indeed just oversized kernels of corn floating in some starchy liquid.

[ Edited: 27 May 2007 08:46 PM by foolscap ]
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Posted: 30 May 2007 02:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Ah, but Foolscap , there is a great difference in taste and texture! My wife will not buy hominy, so now and then I will secret a can or two into the shopping cart. I have to cook and eat them myself, darn the luck!

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