Do any other Southerners find it offensive that the Candidates and media keep talking about Grits?

I can't even remember the last time I had Grits..and this food product is what they talk about?

  • Posted by: Sam1148
  • March 14, 2012


susan G. March 17, 2012
Sam, thanks for the reminder to check Elisabeth Rozin's book, Blue Corn and Chocolate. She has a recipe for Grits Milanese (the 6.50 grits). Then a page titled Cornmeal Mush, which starts "How telling are the politics of cuisine! If faced with a choice between mush or polenta, which do you think most diners would choose?... But polenta -- ah! polenta! -- now that's Italian, isn't it? And if it's Italian, it must be good. So much for sophisticated ethno-gastronomy..."
pierino March 17, 2012
Hmmm! Ethno-gastronomy. Is that a subsidized fuel source made from soy? Seriously though, corn is a New World crop. It didn't exist in Europe until after Columbus. In Italy it's called "granturco" (I don't know where the Turks come into it). You'll see corn widely planted in Tuscany and Lombardy. In France though it's mostly fed to farm animals. I don't recall ever seeing corn "on the cob" served on a European menu, although no doubt there are some daring places that might. So I would say grits take precedence over polenta on the ethno-gastro scale.
pierino March 16, 2012
In a couple of weeks I'll be hosting some old college friends from the University of SOUTHERN California. Okay, that doesn't make me a southerner but cheese grits will be on the breakfast menu (not "cheesy grits" Mittens). Goose eggs and house cured bacon. Hey, how come none of these wannabe losers have mentioned pimento cheese? If Mittens is going to challenge in Louisiana he's going to have to eat some mud bugs and suck the heads.
Sam1148 March 17, 2012
Make poltenta, call it 'cheese grits' and see the reaction.

Yeah I know white 'grits' are traditionally grits. But in food history, they have their place with introducing a lime water to the corn before grinding it, which releases vitamins. That's not really "Southern" but more mesoamerican. With new world food and using corn as a nutrient.
sexyLAMBCHOPx March 14, 2012
A new "hipster" type restaurant opened in my town recently and the buzz is they have shrimp & grits as an appetizer... Not offered in any restaurants that I've seen around my parts.
Sam1148 March 14, 2012
As an offering to Food52 Gods for submitting such a political topic, I quickly wrote up an old recipe of mine for Asian Shrimp and Grits. (although I use polenta).
I'll polish/edit it at another the portions might be off.
LeBec F. March 16, 2012
Sam, you must read some of Bert Greene (Greene on Grains) if you haven't already. I bet you'd really like him.Has some of the very best recipes using grits. I'm a big Anson Mills fan myself.Yes, we have stone ground white grits produced by a few places in New England, but AM's are the only ones I've had that have a mixture of grain sizes, because of their ancient stone grinding equipment, and I find the texture sooo toothsome. I use their grits for all my 'polenta'; i prefer it to their polenta product (which is yellow).

btw, possibly of interest to southerners and northerners alike, my mom was from virginia and my dad from new orleans, (both born in the '20's) and neither of them grew up eating grits. so southerner= grits is not a truthful equation.
Sam1148 March 14, 2012
The whole thing is silly to me. I'm just sad that other previously enlighten states are starting to resemble the South, while the South is racing for even new lows.

What's the diffrence between polenta and grits? About 6.50 a plate.
creamtea March 14, 2012
lorigoldsby March 14, 2012
When I taught in the Carolinas, the kids loved to tease me about being a yankee and my aversion to grits. It is a source of pride. I think most southern cooks are secretly thrilled by many northerners' revulsion!
creamtea March 14, 2012
Yes, when we went to Charleston we were forced to eat grits by my well-meaning former room-mate's (yankee-born, southern-convert) mother. Without benefit of honey or syrup. It was interesting.
aargersi March 14, 2012
Ha - let's bring them to Texas, feed the habanero chili - and watch them SWEAT!
ChefOno March 14, 2012
I find this all quite amusing.

Hillary Clinton and Obama did the same thing in '08:

susan G. March 14, 2012
The Romans knew what 'bread and circuses' were for -- pandering to the crowd is nothing new. From what I hear, what the media says about it is a putdown. Well, there hasn't been a candidate I would eat this since Dennis K, but I didn't vote for him.
petitbleu March 14, 2012
Not necessarily offended, although I find almost everything about the candidates offensive. But yes, it's supremely silly that ol' Mitt thinks he can win over southerners by talking about grits like that matters at all. The underlying assumption is that southerners aren't smart enough to care about the real issues at hand and need politicians to affirm their stereotyped likes and dislikes.
drbabs March 14, 2012
Well, to quote from Frank Bruni's blog today,

"In Michael Allen’s morning Playbook in Politico yesterday, under the witty subhead “pundit prep,” he showcased some statistics about Republican primary voters in the two states (Mississippi and Alabama) from Public Policy Polling:

Asked if they think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, 14 percent of likely primary voters in Alabama said Christian, while 45 percent said Muslim. In Mississippi, 12 percent said Christian, while 52 percent said Muslim.

Asked if they believe in evolution, 26 percent of respondents in Alabama said yes, while 60 percent said no. In Mississippi, 22 percent said yes, while 66 percent said no.

I’ll leave you on that unsettling note."
pierino March 14, 2012
DrBabs the evolution numbers are scary but perhaps it indicates that Mississipi folk are "devolving" back into catfish.
drbabs March 14, 2012
Pierino, I think you just insulted catfish.
pierino March 14, 2012
Offended? No. Mittens' clumsy reference to "cheesy grits" just made me laugh. And then he boasted of eating catfish twice. I'm not a southerner but I've spent a lot of time down there. And I cook grits at home too. I like them with a nice runny egg on top. Maybe when they get to California they'll be trying to show how hip they are by eating Korean kimchi tacos. Except that Chef Choi's team will probably tweet them the wrong location for the trucks. And Ludo will tell them that his latest "pop up" is in Barstow.
jmburns March 14, 2012
No more offensive than tamales when visiting Lationos or cheesesteaks in Philly just all part of the game. I like grits and have then often.

Voted the Best Reply!

drbabs March 14, 2012
Sam, there are so many things to be offended about in this primary season that grits are the least of it.
hardlikearmour March 14, 2012
Don't worry, Sam, it'll be over soon!
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