Sunday, November 18, 2007

Grits Grill, Nags Head, N.C.

Do you eat grits? Have you ever eaten grits? Do you even know what grits are?

In Nags Head, North Carolina, there's a breakfast restaurant called the Grits Grill, where grits are the mainstay of the menu. The Grits Grill is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., serving eggs, bacon, sausages, biscuits, toast, and... grits.

A breakfast place in Nags Head, N.C.

Wikipedia describes grits as a "corn porridge" — think oatmeal, cream of wheat, and, especially, polenta. Both grits and polenta are made from ground corn, a.k.a. Indian corn or maize in some parts of the English-speaking world, maïs in France, and blé d'Inde in Québec.

The chef at the Grits Grill

The main difference between polenta and grits is that polenta is made by grinding up whole corn kernals and grits are made by hulling the kernals before they are ground. Polenta can be described as "yellow grits" as opposed to the white grits served across the Southern U.S.

When I was in college in North Carolina, way back when, "grits" was a term used by students from Up North to describe us Southerners. Then I finished college and moved to Champaign, Illinois, to continue my studies at the University of Illinois, and I knew I wasn't too far from home when I saw grits being served at breakfast in the university cafeterias there.

I'm not sure exactly what this means...

I had never heard of polenta until a guy I knew in Paris in about 1975 told me about it. He had grown up in southern France and he prepared a dinner of polenta with sausages (chipolatas, I think) in a tomato sauce. Now that I live in France, I know I can have (yellow) grits whenever I want, because they stock polenta at Intermarché and SuperU in Saint-Aignan.

I'll be flying back to France tomorrow. According to Walt's blog, it has been very cold in Saint-Aignan for the past few days. It's supposed to snow today and then warm up and rain for a couple of days. Walt will drive up to CDG airport Tuesday morning to pick me up.


Evelyn said...

Bonne voyage, Ken- I know Callie's going to be very happy to see you again.

ConnMc said...

Hope you had time for a meal at Grits Grill before heading home. Although not all that healthy and not on my "diet" I love those down home breakfasts with biscuits, sausage, eggs and grits!!!! I know you will be glad to get back after your trip in the states. It sounded from your blog that you enjoyed yourself and your time with family and friends. Bon voyage.

Ken Broadhurst said...

Thanks Evelyn, thanks Conn,

I don't have many of those kinds of breakfasts either, but I do like a good bowl of grits now and then. Or grits and shrimp, as you know.

I'm looking forward to being back in France, even though I've had a good time here and enjoyed nice weather most of the time.

wcs said...

It ended up not snowing. We just got rain, starting aroun 8 pm. Eight mm is what we got overnight. More is on the way.