Shrimp And Grits: Two Important Foods In America

For generations, eating shrimp and grits is commonplace for people living in the Charleston, South Carolina area. Shrimp and grits (http://www.gullahgourmet.com/store/entrees/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 may be wondering what grits consist of. Grits, once called 'hominy', is a mush of softened corn invented by the Native Americans of the Carolina region. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, grits served as a conduit of communication between Native Americans and white settlers before a shared language developed. In an act of great historical significance, the Native Americans shared grits with Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, as well as the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia some years later.

The Native American tribes people shared their knowledge of corn agriculture and food preparation with the settlers. Corn, and the grits made from it, quickly became a staple of the colonist's diet, as it was a staple of the diet of the Native Americans.

Today, the nation's 'Grits Belt' stretches from Lousiana to the Carolinas. Hailed for its great contribution to the region's culture, economy, and traditions, as well as to the nutritional sustenance of the area's people, grits was even declared the official state food of South Carolina in 1976 through an act of the legislature.

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.

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About The Author, Rex Freiberger
For many decades, shrimp and grits (http://www.gullahgourmet.com/store/entrees/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 (http://www.gullahgourmet.com/store/entrees/shrimp-and-grits/). Most commonly served as a side dish for breakfast or for dinner, grits by themselves are usually served along with milk and butter. Many recipes variations, including for Charleston shrimp & grits (http://www.gullahgourmet.com/), can be found online, or in regional recipe books. In 1976 South Carolina declared grits to be its official state food.