By Christina Oxford
The South is full of long culinary traditions. Some traditions have exploded (how many people had the once-trendy Krispy Kreme wedding cake? Yikes!) while others have taken longer to cross the Mason Dixon line. One slow moving tradition that comes immediately to mind is grits. For Southerners, grits are a staple. I have an aunt who says, “You know you are in the South when grits are listed on the menu as a vegetable,” and she is right! Whether yours are stone ground, instant, old fashioned or quick and you chose to cook them with water, milk, butter or, decadently, cream, they are always delicious.
Grits originated in North America and are essentially made from corn that is dried and then ground. There are several grit festivals around the South that pay homage to this Southern food institution including the World Grits Festival in St. George, South Carolina that takes place this weekend, April 12th-14th. The citizens of St George eat more grits per capita than any other city in the world and that inspired them in 1986 to host the first ever grits festival. Just in case you cannot attend the World Grits Festival, we wanted to share a recipe for grits from Sarah Copeland, author of Mostly Vegetarian (Chronicle Books 2013). The recipe can also be found in the April issue of The Local Palate.