Georgia Magazine - April 2012 - (Page 44)

Glorious grits! BY Jane F GarveY . I s any food more iconic to the South than corn? Whether cornmeal for making corn bread or especially grits, corn is hallowed food in the South. A major step up from instant grits is quick-cooking grits, which are a much better choice. They don’t take very long to cook, taste so much better and have a much better texture. But the real deal—stone-ground grits—are yet again a different experience altogether, and they’re making a strong comeback. Stone-ground grits are touted for superior flavor, but they may also offer nutritional superiority. Besides being produced from corn that’s not treated in any way, the corn is typically ground at low temperatures, which is kinder to the nutrients as well as to the flavor. What exactly are grits? Made from corn, they are a Native American contribution to the American and global tables. When JANE F. GARVEY Stone-ground grits are the real deal Top right: At Buckeye Creek Farm in Cherokee County, an unnamed heritage corn is the source of that operation’s fine grits. Twenty percent of the corn is red, giving the resulting grits an interesting visual texture. Above: Woody Malot, who teaches physics at Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, grinds corn just as his ancestors did in a 1944-era mill on the grounds of the Hambidge Center, just outside of Clayton. corn is subjected to lye, the grains swell, creating hominy. Arthur Gordon, nephew of Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low, remarked in an article that in his very upscale Savannah family, grits were only called hominy. The term “hominy grits” denotes those grits that are made from these swollen grains of corn. Cut fresh directly off the cob and ground are regular grits, their texture varying according to the preferred coarseness or fineness of grind. French chef Pascal Le Corre at Pascal’s Bistro in Peachtree City uses Adluh Liz Porter of Buckeye Creek Farm shows off the unstone-ground yellow grits named heritage breed corn that she grinds for her grits, from Columbia, S.C. Many which do best if cooked slowly all day. They are served Atlanta chefs go for Glenn at the Georgia Governor’s Mansion and at Kevin Rathbun Roberts’ Anson Mills grits, Steaks for specials. based in Columbia, S.C. 44 More online at Joseph Ward, executive chef at H. Harper Station in Atlanta’s Reynoldstown, is among those chefs who prefer these grits. Today, Georgia chefs, no matter their origins, have incorporated grits into their repertoire. Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Wayne Wetendorf, chef/owner of The Grits Café in Forsyth, does a “Grits Martini,” with shrimp, applewood-smoked bacon and shiitake mushroom cream topping the grits, and he’s always served “grits fritters.” Grits croutons adorn his Caesar salad. Fellow Canadian Hugh Acheson, with three restaurants and a fabulous new cookbook (“A New Turn in the South,” Clarkson Potter, 2011) to his credit, relies on Athens’ Red Mule grits at his two Athens restaurants. Acheson gets his hominy grits from Anson Mills, but turns to Clarke County miller Tim GEORGIA MAGAZINE JANE F. GARVEY PETER MCINTOSH

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2012

Georgia Magazine - April 2012
Liberty Notes
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar of Events
Festival Guide
‘Zamily’ ties
Horses, hats and hospitality
Around Georgia
Head for the border
Travel Guide
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - April 2012