[Homestead] Grits-Polenta, OMG I am confused!<g>

EarthNSky erthnsky at gmail.com
Sun Oct 17 14:43:39 EDT 2010

  Okay, we are part of the 'grit-eating' world, and have never eaten or 
tasted polenta, per se.  It was always my understanding that grits are 
made from hominy which is made from soaking corn kernels in lye.  The 
hominy is then dried and ground, voila, grits.  Polenta, I thought, was 
more akin to corn meal, just a course ground meal.  In Dixie, cornmeal 
is used in frying, and in making cornbread, which I have always thought 
would be closer to what polenta would be like than grits.
Now mind you, I grew up eating Quaker instant grits-blasphemy, I know, 
to some, but common enough for you to know what that is.  Now, we mostly 
use the long cook version, still Quaker, but we like the course ground, 
long cook grits.  I eat grits with butter and sometimes cheese or 
sausage or bacon.  I don't put eggs in them the way dh does, nor ham, 
nor onions, nor sugar nor milk, nor anything else that I have ever heard 
of using to flavor grits.    I think I am rather simplistic in my grits 
preferences, but I should also include that  I have eaten leftover fried 
grits and a cheese grit casserole with fried fish.

So here we are in Kroger yesterday (I rarely shop at Kroger anymore, but 
wanted some organic cherry juice that only they carry) and dh puts a bag 
of Quaker "yellow corn grits" in the buggy.  We later had a discussion 
about the difference and I told him what I knew about so called hominy 
grits, and that the lye removed the color, I thought.  He went to the 
web for answers.  He looked at Wikipedia? and found a page that 
suggested that the only difference between yellow grits and white grits 
was the color of the corn kernel.  He found something else that likened 
the process to the difference between brown rice and white rice, 
equating yellow grits with brown rice-degerminated.    So is this 
degerming process the whole lye to hominy stage?  Have we just dropped 
the word hominy from hominy grits and just call them grits, or are grits 
and hominy grits separate things still?  Are Quaker instant grits really 
instant hominy grits?  Are Quaker long cook grits really hominy grits 
since they are white and degermed, even though it doesn't say hominy?

Fast forward to this morning,  we prepared the yellow grits as usual.  
Neither of us liked them.  It is not grits.  This did not even 
approximate grits, even with butter and salt/pepper.  If this is 
polenta, I surely don't like it.  Half a spoonful was enough for me.  
But, perhaps if this is polenta, I have cooked it improperly and 
seasoned it improperly.  Dry, except for the color, it looks just like 
long cook grits in courseness.  Do I need to feed this to the chickens 
or is there a yummy dish I could make and call it polenta?  Could it be 
used like a cornmeal in cornbread with tons of corn and jalepenos?

What the heck??


EarthNSky Farm    34.498N    85.076W
SISU! (Finnish--There is no single word in English that encompasses
all that sisu means, but it combines the following ideas: guts, pep,
determination, stubbornness, perseverance, hardiness, stamina, go, do,
nerve, spunk, pluck, and grit.  It's like "Just Do It!" & "Go for It!")

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