This July 4th, celebrate by including America’s “First Food,” grits.
For 401 years, Americans have been eating corn. It stands to reason that grits came into the culinary repertoire soon after that.
Thomas Jefferson served grits, according to Craig Claiborne, one of culinary America’s Founding Fathers and long-time food editor for The New York Times. So, serving grits on July 4th is really, well, kind of, the patriotic thing to do.
But soon after Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, a cultural event occurred that probably sealed grits’ becoming America’s First Food.
Twenty years after the American Revolution, in 1796, a young orphan lady named Amelia Simmons published a cookbook, America’s first one. Until then no cookbook dealt with the indigenous food ingredients available in America.
It took another 214 years for grits to leap from Southern comfort food to a central ingredient in some hifalutin recipes.
Glorious Grits, a recent book by Susan McEwen McIntosh and presented by Southern Living, marks the turning point.
That publication took America from from Miss Amelia’s Indian Pudding to Asparagus-Grits Strata, Huevos Rancheros on Cilantro-Grits Cakes, French Onion Soup with Gruyère Grits Croutons, Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping (made with blue cornmeal), Burgundy Beef Stew with Cornmeal-Thyme Dumplings, Chutney Salmon with Almond-Raisin Grits, Anson Mills’ Black Truffle Grits, and many more.
But be aware that the Glorious Grits's recipes almost demand using sure enough stone ground grits. What's a cook to do?
Now, celebrate and