My First Grits

November 12, 2011

Grits – have you heard of them? How about Shrimp and Grits?… Still no? Clearly you need to read more novels and watch more movies set in the southern states of America.

I first heard of grits, well, I’m not quite sure when, but they’ve been on my mind the past year since watching The Secret Life of Bees. I’ve also been fascinated with cornbread of late. And then I went and purchased The Help at the Airport on my way to the States in July and my obsession grew. I had to try these corny delights, starting with Grits.

Ok so what is Grits? Think polenta. It’s made from coarsely ground corn that has been cooked in water, and resembles a thick, grainy porridge – sounds delicious, right? Well it was. I should point out that butter and cheese and oil are often added in the cooking process. Ergo, deliciousness.

After a night out dancing in NYC, my friends and I moseyed down to brunch at a local cafe in the East Village. Grape and Grain is a really cool place, reminiscent of our wonderful cafes in Melbourne. It’s actually a wine bar, but they serve brunch on the weekends. Perfect.

My gorgeous friend Bhey is a real cereal girl. She loves her Cheerios. Late night post-dancing-snackage is always cereal, preferably Cheerios, in her house. Even when out for brunch she struggles to deviate from her love. And so, on this day she ordered Granola with Berries. Predictable, yes, delicious, absolutely. Cereal lovers unite.

Peta ordered a Breakfast Pizza, with House-Cured Salmon and Ricotta-Dill Spread. It sounded and looked amazing! But we didn’t love the taste…personal preference I guess. Something about it was just not right. You can’t win them all.

My breakfast was Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Salad Greens and a Biscuit. Those not familiar with biscuits should know that they are essentially a scone. I grew rather fond of them after initial feelings of apprehension/bring me my toast. Let’s just pause for appreciation of the beauty that is American bacon, so crispy and far too delicious to handle. And salad greens, who knew? They love to serve greens with their brunches in the States. Potatoes too. I like it.

Ok so my breakfast was all incredibly delicious…but are you ready for my side order of Grits? Here it comes…

This is my excited/pinch me/slightly dubious/hoping that it tastes as good as I dream it would/first Grits experience face. Vicki was going for something vastly more attractive and even a little seductive – clearly she was excited about the Grits too (love you, Vickles).

I loved it. Grape and Grain had drizzled some lovely oil and generously seasoned the grits, which made it ahhhhmazing. I adored it. Others who sampled my Grits also agreed. I’m fairly certain that you can have bad and good Grits, depending on the seasoning and the care put into preparation (let’s face it, presentation will always be rather sloppy). I am happy that my one and only grits experience to date was most definitely good.

The moral of this post? Try Grits. And read The Help.

Heidi xo

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  • Terry Turtle November 12, 2011 at 7:52 am

    I love The Help – plus, those grits look amazing!

  • Michelle Chin November 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

    maybe not everyone will favour grits but i sure will. it looks and sounds healthy. πŸ™‚

  • Heavenly Ingredients November 12, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    seriously, I had no idea that grits were like that. I had a crispy bacon bits idea in my head for some reason – where did that come from?
    If I ever get to the States I'll be sure to try it!

  • Hannah November 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Grits look great- especially with the oil & seasoning! This reminds me to give polenta another go πŸ™‚

  • Heidi November 12, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Terry – they were delicious!

    Michelle – yes, provided they're not too loaded with "extras" of course πŸ˜‰

    Laura – oooh yes do! often grits are served with crispy fried bacon or shrimp so that's absolutely a fine assumption πŸ™‚

    Hannah – mmm I love polenta!

    Heidi xo

  • Hannah November 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I'm sure the instant packet grits I ate throughout my exchange year at UVA were definitely the "good" kind of grits. For sure. Yep.

    Particularly the "butter flavour" ones. Yep.


  • KittyCate November 12, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Grits are totally amazeballs! My mum makes a fantastic "southern breakfast" (sausage, grits and biscuits) πŸ™‚

  • The InTolerant Chef November 12, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Ooh, I've always wanted to try grits too- lucky thing! And American bacon!! Lucky I love you, or I might have to hate you πŸ™‚ Great photos!

  • Heidi November 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    Hannah – hahahahaha πŸ™‚

    Cate – YUM. Is she southern?

    InTolerant Chef – hehe, phew! πŸ˜‰

    Heidi xo

  • Ashley November 13, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Wow, what a gorgeous looking place for brunch! I dont think I've ever tried grits (and I was in the states last year for 5 weeks! Shame…) Will definitely be going through your blog for NYC suggestions should I head back that way… πŸ™‚

  • Leah November 13, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Oh I always wondered about grits! They sound well worth trying πŸ˜€

  • Blithely Unaware November 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I love grits, total hip hop food, soul food love them.

    That brunch looks AMAZING.


  • Heidi November 13, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Ashley – yes that is a shame but I am quite certain you'll be back, you are a superb traveller πŸ˜‰

    Leah – totally worth it, they're great!

    Blithely Unaware – soul food mmmmmmmm

    Heidi xo

  • Lisa November 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I remember reading some book which featured both grits and biscuits as a kid and I know that I most definitely did not have the right ideas about what they were. I've long since discovered the truth, however I don't think they will lodge properly in my head till I actually get to eat them. Your breakfast looks exactly like what I would have ordered.

  • Iron Chef Shellie November 17, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    I'm yet to experience grits, but if you say they are good, I'm more willing to give them a go!