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Old 06-26-2006, 06:17 AM   #11
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I use white corn meal exclusively, sometimes stone ground, sometimes self rising corn meal (not corn meal mix) and I also use white grits. Yellow grits seem a bit starchy to me. Also, I don't like hominy grits, they don't cook up as creamy as the others. I suppose what you like depends on what you are used to having. There aren't many things made from corn that I don't like. Too bad it's something we have to watch our intake, since it has a cajillion carbohydrates - any way it is prepared. But corn meal doesn't have gluten unless it is a mix.
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Old 06-26-2006, 06:24 AM   #12
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White grits are hominy grits--grits made from grinding hominy which is corn treated with lye to make it puff up--then ground. Michael has the explanation correct. Yellow "grits" is just cornmeal, and once again, Michael has it right--basically polenta.
A cousin runs the last family owned mill in SC which makes all sorts of flour and meal products--supplies the grits to the finer restaurants throughout the South--and even Charlie Trotter in Chicago.

There is nothing inherently wrong with carbohydrates.

For further info--

Hominy grits, or just plain grits, are an institution here in the South, though they can be hard to find in northern states. Hominy is made from flint or dent corn,varieties with hard kernels that are dried on the cob then removed and soaked in a solution of baking soda, lime, or wood ash. This process causes the hulls to soften and swell. The kernels are then hulled and degermed using friction, then dried. Grits, coarse whitish grains, are ground from hominy, as is masa harina, the flour used to make corn tortillas. If you really want to start from scratch, Mountain Laurel has instructions for the whole process, including making the lye solution with wood ashes.
It's interesting that the alkaline soaking process also unbinds necessary niacin in the corn, and has an effect on the protein balance.
Though the overall available protein is decreased, the relative availability of the lysine and tryptophan are increased. The alkaline process has been used for centuries where corn was a native food, but in areas where corn was introduced as a new staple, the process was not. Pellagra, a niacin and tryptophan deficiency, became common disease in areas where corn was the main source of food, as in the early South. One has to wonder how ancient civilizations discovered the process which made corn a more balanced source of nutrition.
The word grits comes from the Old English. "grytt", for "bran", but the Old English "greot" also meant something ground. Some cookbooks refer to grits as hominy because of regional preference for the name. Americans have been using the term "grits" since at least the end of the 18th century.
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Old 06-26-2006, 10:55 AM   #13
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Gretchen, Thanks for a terrific post on a subject dear to my heart. Just one very minor point with which I'd quibble.
Quote:
Yellow "grits" is just cornmeal, and once again, Michael has it right--basically polenta.
Grits is most commonly made of hominy made from white field (dent) corn, but could just as easily be made from yellow corn, or blue for that matter. If you start with yellow corn the alkali soak intensifies the yellow color. That's my experience.
My only experience with grits made from cornmeal was called mush by the Pennsyltucky cook.
Thanks for the great instructions link. I found it very interesting.
I was surprised to hear that soda could be used.
Quote:
Folks today usually use soda to soak the corn. Both Miss Addie and the Burnette's told me this
I use, and had only previously heard about using, cal, sometimes called lime. It's actually calcium-hydroxide.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:21 AM   #14
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I forgot to mention this. Gretchen mentioned tortillas. If you were to take your fresh wet hominy (nixtamal) and put it through a grinder suited to the task, you'd have masa (dough in Spanish) that makes unbelievable tortillas that bear little resemblance to those made from masa harina.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:25 AM   #15
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I didn't really "mention" it technically. It is in the quote I took from a site.
Cornmeal mush is basically fine ground cornmeal polenta. I grew up with it--fried with maple syrup.
I have never seen real yellow corn grits (lye treated yellow corn). Even our cousin's is cornmeal.
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Old 06-26-2006, 11:59 AM   #16
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All white grits are NOT referred to as hominy grits. Hominy grits are larger grained and don't cook quite as creamy as other grits. Also yellow grits are NOT corn meal. They are not ground as fine as corn meal and don't cook into mush like yellow corn meal would. If you are used to eating grits, you can tell one from the other right away.
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
All white grits are NOT referred to as hominy grits. Hominy grits are larger grained and don't cook quite as creamy as other grits. Also yellow grits are NOT corn meal. They are not ground as fine as corn meal and don't cook into mush like yellow corn meal would. If you are used to eating grits, you can tell one from the other right away.
Uh-oh, I meant no offense with the comment including grits, cornmeal and mush in the same sentence. I'm aware that there is a long tradition of making grits from ground corn that has not been soaked in an alkali. I intended to say that it wasn't the kind I'm used to in a mildly humorous way. Clearly neither the meaning nor the humor was successful. I meant no offense however.
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:31 PM   #18
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None taken. Many people refer to ALL grits as hominy grits and there is a definite difference. I certainly wish they were more nutritious. They are truly a comfort food for me.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by licia
All white grits are NOT referred to as hominy grits. Hominy grits are larger grained and don't cook quite as creamy as other grits. Also yellow grits are NOT corn meal. They are not ground as fine as corn meal and don't cook into mush like yellow corn meal would. If you are used to eating grits, you can tell one from the other right away.

Cornmeal mush is not grits either. It is a sort of yankee dish. You buy it in a chub, slice it, fry it, and serve for breakfast. My dad used to make it--you could buy the chub in the store for $0.79. Now you can again buy the chub of "cornmeal mush" in the produce cooler section. However, it is labelled "polenta" and costs $2.79--true, true.
Yellow grits are just a coarser grind of cornmeal (polenta).
According to the quote, if you treat corn with alkali it causes the corn to expand and this is then ground for grits==hominy grits. Grits to me are what is treated.
I never refer to them as "hominy grits", but that is what they are. There are quick cooking grits and old fashioned grits. Perhaps it is the latter that don't cook up as "creamy". Please tell me the brand of grits that you use that are not "hominy grits" so I can try a comparison. We get a number of different brands besides Quaker--Magnolia Plantation, Anson Mills, Adluh, one with an old fashioned farm house on it.
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Old 06-26-2006, 01:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretchen
Please tell me the brand of grits that you use that are not "hominy grits" so I can try a comparison.
Not to speak for licia, but Bob's Red Mill is one that's in the grocery stores around here.
I don't remember seeing this in the market but since you mentioned the brand, I believe Anson Mills Antebellum Course Grits is another.
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