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What are grits exactly?
refers to as a ground-corn food of Native American origin, that is common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast. Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy. The word “grits” is really a shortened way of saying what it really means, “hominy grits.” Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta or the thinner farina. "Instant grits" have been processed to speed cooking. Hominy is dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. When this dried hominy is ground, it turns into what we know as grits. Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South, throughout an area stretching from Texas to Virginia, sometimes referred to as the "grits belt". The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002.
Because they are on the mild side, grits need a dose of flavor from things like butter or cheese. For breakfast, recipes like cheese grits are made. But for a more substantial dinner meal, Southerners rely on shrimp and grits, where the shellfish bulks up the grits.