Grits is a porridge made from boiled cornmeal. Hominy oatmeal is a type of oatmeal made from hominy - corn that has been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization with the pericarp removed. Oatmeal is often served with other flavors as a breakfast dish. Oatmeal can be salty or sweet, with savory seasonings being more common. The dish originated in the southern United States, but is now available nationwide. Oatmeal is popular as a main course of shrimp and grits, served primarily in the south. Oatmeal should not be confused with boiled ground corn, early pudding, porridge or polenta as they have different ingredients and preparation.
Groats are Native American in origin and are similar to other thick corn-based porridges around the world, such as polenta and mieliepap. In the Charleston, SC area, cooked grains are called hominy and uncooked grains are called grist. The word "grits" is derived from the Old English word grytt, which means "rude meal".
The dish originated from a 16th century Native American Muskogee tribe's recipe for Indian corn similar to hominy or corn. The Muskogee would grind the corn in a stone mill, giving it a "grainy" texture. They were made using a stone crusher. Settlers and settlers enjoyed the new staple along with the local Native Americans and it became an American staple.
At that time, the hominy for grains was crushed on a stone mill. The ground hominy was then passed through sieves, the finer sieved material used as sand meal and the coarser as grain. South Carolina state law requires that porridge and rice flour be fortified, like the flour requirement.
Three-quarters of the grain sold in the United States is purchased in the south, in an area stretching from Lower Texas to Washington D.C. that is sometimes referred to as the “grain belt”. The state of Georgia declared oatmeal to be its official prepared food in 2002. A similar bill was introduced in South Carolina to call it the official state food, but it did not move forward. Nonetheless, South Carolina still has an entire chapter of legislation dealing exclusively with cornmeal and porridge. Oatmeal can be yellow or white, depending on the color of the corn used. The most common version in supermarkets is the "quick" grain, which removes the germ and husk. Whole grain grains are sometimes referred to as "speckled".
Oatmeal is prepared by adding four parts of boiling water or milk (seasoned with 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt for each cup of liquid) to one part of cornmeal. Cover and cook for 20 to 45 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring regularly. Oatmeal expands when cooked and needs to be stirred to prevent sticking and lump formation. They are not completed until they have absorbed four and a quarter times their volume. Whole grains take much longer to become soft than “fast grains”. Some people serve oatmeal with sugar, while others object to sweet oatmeal. They are often served with butter. They are served with grated cheese, sausage, bacon, salt and pepper or red-eye sauce. Extra grains - that is, leftovers - can be placed in a glass tumbler or loaf pan, refrigerated until needed, sliced and fried plain or with breadcrumbs. In this form, they are referred to as “fried oatmeal”, “fried hominy” or “grit cakes”.
Oatmeal is eaten with a wide variety of foods, such as eggs and bacon, fried catfish, salmon cakes, or country ham.
Shrimp and grits are a traditional dish in coastal communities of the Lowcountry of South Carolina and the Low Coastal Plain of Georgia. A variation of the dish is also eaten for breakfast in the northern states of Kedah and Perlis in Peninsular Malaysia. It is a traditional breakfast dish.
Solidified cooked groats can be sliced and fried in vegetable oil, butter or bacon fat, or they can be breaded in beaten eggs and breadcrumbs first.