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I purchased grits.
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Grits with butter
Grits: Old English grytt; Grytt 1. Bran, chaff, mill-dust. Obs.
This Day in Grits History
On October 18, 1974, Al Green suffered third-degree burns in an attack by an ex-girlfriend. She threw a pot of scalding-hot grits at the singer before shooting herself dead with Green’s own gun.

Grits Are Not Polenta
Most grits in the South are traditionally made from a class of corn called dent corn whereas in Italy, most polenta is made from a class of corn called flint corn, which holds its texture better. Why do these different classes matter? Because of the different type of corn, grits can even come across as almost mushy while polenta is often more coarse and toothsome...But in reality, the differences are relatively slim.

“True grit”
Grit is conceptualized as a stable trait that does not require immediate positive feedback.

Shrimp Grits 
Robb Walsh, writing for the Houston Press, notes that shrimp and grits began in the Low Country.
 
Shrimp grits started out as a seasonal fisherman’s dish of shrimp cooked in bacon grease served over creamy grits in the Low Country where they were also known as “breakfast shrimp.”  

Walsh goes on to say that shrimp grits was given the blessing of mass-cultural awareness in 1985, when the dish received a write-up by Craig Claiborne in the New York Times.

Actually, that write-up appears a decade earlier, in 1976.

The justice given to this dish has come a long way since 1976. Craig Claiborne begins his article with some negative swipes at the South:

Grits, the cereal that crept—swept is more like it—into the public consciousness when a Southerner won the Democratic Presidential nomination, are no joke, despite an unfortunate name that lends itself to humor. The name, incidentally, is not the lackluster invention of a dim-witted backwoodsman. It stems, rather, from a Middle English word gryt meaning bran and from the Old English grytt. Ditto groats.

I sure am glad the Times writer had an Oxford English Dictionary at the ready in order to cozy up his hillbilly-hating readers. (Grits outlasted another Southern food “trend” picked up by the Times, Kool-Aid pickles, spotted in 2007.)

A decade later, the New York Times revamps its own particular brand of Yankee condescension by calling out Southerners for their grits-specific grammar.

Grits are plural according to most dictionaries, and most literature on the subject follows suit. However, some Southerners will practically re-enact the Battle of Bull Run over the singularity of grits, and related figures of speech—such as “Sure as grits is groceries” —invariably use the singular. (Liz Logan, "Now in the Best of Company, Grits Changes Its Image," October 15, 1986.)

Grammar isn't the only issue Logan takes on. Repeatedly, her opinion that this “foodstuff whose essential trait is blandness,” becomes so because celebrity chef James Beard says so.

Although widely regarded as a classically Southern dish, even in Dixie plenty of gastronome agree with James Beard’s assessment of grits as “rather revolting food.

I'm of the "try it, maybe you'll like it variety," especially because grits, like rice, ends up being the base to many varieties of meals. I've never seen such hatred launched at rice, pasta, or any other grain. 

FYI I like my grits savory—with bacon—and light on dairy.

Until next week,

Corinna 
Ordinary Objects is an informative newsletter about things. Specifically, it's about one object Corinna Kirsch bought this week. Thanks for reading.
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