For generations, eating shrimp and grits is commonplace for people living in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Shrimp and grits is the typical breakfast for many of the Charleston area fishermen during the shrimping period, which ordinarily runs from May through December. Grits, often served as side dish for breakfast or dinner, can also be the main course, with milk and butter. The corn-based meal has become a staple offering in diners as well as reputable restaurants for the past few years. The popular cuisine of coarse corn grains has been embellished, made over and given a new twist in a variety of ways as chefs try to make a new variation on the basic shrimp and grits recipe. You might wonder what grits are made of. Grits, previously called 'hominy' is ground up corn that has been mashed, and this originated with the Native Americans from the Carolina region. Grits were used a way for Native Americans and white people to communicate in the latter part of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries before people learned how to speak the same language. An important event happened in 1584, when Native Americans gave some of their grits to Sir Walter Raleigh, as well as the people who came to live in Jamestown, Virginia a few years later. The settlers were guided in their agricultural pursuits regarding corn by the Native Americans, who were well versed in that area. Several items soon became basic food sources for the colonials, including corn and the grits produced from it. These items had been a normal part of the Native American diet for a long time. Centuries later, in 1976, grits was declared the official state food of South Carolina, and noted for its vital contribution to the culture and the economy of South Carolina, as well as to the sustenance of the people living there. The region stretching from the Carolinas to Louisiana is now referred to as America's 'Grits Belt'. To many people living in this region, a day without grits is like a day without sunshine. They hate and have no respect for pre-packaged instant grits, or quick grits. For them the only way to make real grits is the old fashioned way with stone ground grits cooked slowly. There are, however, some ways to spice up the meal such as adding shrimp. Many recipes for shrimp and grits can be found online or in regional recipe books.
Users Reading this article are also interested in:
For many decades, shrimp and grits has been a mainstay of the diet of the people living in and around Charleston, South Carolina. Restaurants compete amongst themselves by varying the dish while retaining the basic taste and charm of the shrimp & grits recipe.