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Can't find grits. Help! Please!

Stuart C. Jan 30, 2011 07:07 PM

I'm currently holed up in New England (queue the blustery snow squall and sleet against the window sounds). There's currently 2 feet of snow out there and temps haven't broken 28F in four days. To make matters worse, they only have instant grits in the stores here. No wonder they hate grits.

This has left me befuddled to the point that I don't even know which type of Jim Dandy grits I always buy; were they 'Regular' or 'Quick'.

Do Jim Dandy grits come in Regular (long cook time) Quick (shorter cook time), and Instant????
Or do they just offer Quick and Instant?
Where can I order these online????
Since I'm shopping online, what other brand would you recommend, excluding Quaker?


Thank you thank you thank you.

  1. Bill Hunt Feb 26, 2013 07:35 PM

    I will give a +1 (or maybe a +35 by now), for Anson Mills grits.

    We also buy several bags, per year, from the College of the Ozarks, as they are slightly different.

    Also, my wife, from New Orleans, buys tons of others, but they are too numerous to mention. When we travel to the Deep South, one item, that we bring back, will always be grits.


    1. r
      Red101 Feb 26, 2013 02:50 PM


      1. c
        Cinnamon Feb 2, 2011 09:29 PM

        Couple hours on a plane! You owe it to yourself to take a long weekend and fly south on a foodie quest.

        1. FoodFuser Feb 2, 2011 01:08 PM

          Dried corn, and lye, it's really sorta simple
          and leads back to the time
          when grits was just grits.

          Please restore my harmony
          in gift of my hominy
          In dried corn that is soaked
          in a liquor of lye

          Then delivered in gift as some really good grits

          The tease of this talk about nixtimalzation
          is shifting the jist of full bellification
          of fun to something we just might consider awry.

          I am forever in search of that singular grit
          that implodes and explodes
          betwixt palate and lips.

          There must be a dried piece of corn
          with such potential

          And I care not whether Vinny bescorned it as singular,
          He was just a good guy in a search of good grit.

          2 Replies
          1. re: FoodFuser
            paulj Feb 2, 2011 02:41 PM

            Remembered from a childhood joke book:

            customer: and I'll have grits with those eggs
            waitress: hominy grits?
            customer: oh, a dozen or so

            1. re: paulj
              FoodFuser Feb 2, 2011 02:56 PM

              There's a point at which mouth-feel,
              while muchin' them grits,
              lead to desperate lapses
              in control of our count-feel.

              If it was just a dozen I could probably count 'em,
              but far rather preferred is a warm luscious spoonful
              backed up by the reservoir of both bowl, and that panfull.

          2. paulj Feb 1, 2011 06:44 PM

            Mybrands carries both Albers and Jim Dandy. At least in the PNW, Albers is as easy to find as Quaker, but I've never done a side by side comparison.

            1 Reply
            1. re: paulj
              bushwickgirl Feb 2, 2011 04:24 AM

              I posted the mybrands link above, although I guess there's nothing wrong with a little emphasis. The only drawback with mybrands is that you have to buy multiples and they ship by weight, so I assume it could get expensive, although the grits themselves are not.

              On the question of whether Anson Mills nixtamalizes their hominy grits, here's the response I was recently sent, when I posed the question to them via email:

              "Hello Patricia and thanks for contacting us. We do not nixtamalize our grits, although we do offer dry hominy corn and lime to do this in your kitchen. Also, you can use a small amount of culinary lime dissolved in the cooking liquid for fresh grits preparation and achieve a good amount of nixtamalization a la minute during cooking. There is little note out there that, for nixtamalization to work properly, the corn must be viable... most milling is done with low viability or, worse, dead maize, so nixtamal of that whole grain is fairly pointless except for the rather limited flavor profile of lime starch... not much diversity in that."

              Best, Glenn Roberts, Anson Mills

              So, as you posted upthread, you can not assume that the use of the term "hominy" necessarily means that the nixtamalization process has been applied.

            2. f
              Floridagirl Feb 1, 2011 03:59 PM

              Quick grits are probably what you want. For regular breakfast grits or cheese grits. Funny thing, I ran out and I normally buy the 2 lb bag but the 5 lb bag was 50 cents more than the 2 lb bag. So, I have lotsa grits. Instant grits are not what you want. Stone ground grits are awesome but most Southern recipes call for quick grits, that's just what most people in the south use for everyday cooking.

              1. srsone Jan 31, 2011 11:52 AM

                i grew up in new england... i always remember eating cream of wheat...or sometimes oatmeal..
                i only heard of grits from tv or movies and them being a food from the south
                and now that i live in the south...i still like cream of wheat better..

                i dont think your going to have a lot of luck finding good grits up there tho...

                that and instant grits are looked down upon by my wifes family (shes from the south)

                10 Replies
                1. re: srsone
                  Will Owen Jan 31, 2011 12:19 PM

                  Well, Mrs. O grew up in Pasadena in a household that tilted French, and never knew of grits until she moved to Nashville (nor did I), but fell in love with them there (as did I). A couple of years ago she was curious about Cream of Wheat, which I recalled having liked as a child, so I bought some and cooked it. She took one bite, swallowed, then another, which she spat out. And that was that.

                  Seriously, Stuart C., if you want hominy grits, a 5-lb. bag of Quaker Quick grits OR the ones from Early's - check their website, www.earlysgifts.com - ought to make you happy over many breakfasts.

                  1. re: Will Owen
                    Will Owen Jan 31, 2011 12:39 PM

                    CORRECTION!! Just went to the Early's site, and what they have is CORN grits, darn it. If I were in a gritsless locale, I think I'd Google it and probably find some on Amazon. I did that with prepared harissa-in-a-tube, wound up ordering a dozen to make the shipping reasonable. For a 5-lb bag it shouldn't be that bad, and it ought to last you a while. Keep it where the meal moths won't get at it.

                    1. re: Will Owen
                      Floridagirl Feb 1, 2011 04:03 PM

                      I think grits are some kind of corn for example, hominy is just corn kernels and grits are ground corn. I live in Florida and keep all flour and grain type stuff in the freezer.

                    2. re: Will Owen
                      srsone Jan 31, 2011 03:37 PM

                      i guess it depends on how u made them...
                      i never eat them just plain....
                      a little milk
                      lots of butter and a sprinkle of sugar on top..
                      nice and warm after being outside in a new england winter...
                      which i dont miss at all.....

                      1. re: srsone
                        Will Owen Feb 1, 2011 03:13 PM

                        Me, lots of butter, S&P, lay the eggs on top (and some gravy if there is any) and chow down. Did that at the counter of my favorite L.A. diner one day and the waitress made a face and scurried away. Poor thing.

                        1. re: Will Owen
                          Floridagirl Feb 1, 2011 04:47 PM

                          When I moved down here I was a waitress in a diner and a customer did that and told me it's called Georgia snow. That was Florida circa 1970. Delicious.

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            paulj Feb 1, 2011 05:33 PM

                            best is an easy over fried egg. Break the yolk so it runs down the mountain of grits!

                            1. re: paulj
                              smartie Feb 1, 2011 05:54 PM

                              favorite breakfast for me in South Fl is 2 fried eggs over easy, grits, biscuits, gravy and home fries.

                              1. re: smartie
                                srsone Feb 1, 2011 06:18 PM

                                i have taken to biscuits and gravy since i moved to the south and married a southern gal..(whose mom makes biscuits)
                                but there are a lot of places around here in sw fla that do a horrible job of them ...
                                if i had the time i would become more proficient at making them myself..
                                but i do still get cream of wheat once in a while..
                                and frosted flakes..and capn crunch peanut butter..and kelloggs raisin bran..

                              2. re: paulj
                                woodleyparkhound Feb 2, 2011 07:07 AM

                                Right, paulj!!

                      2. paulj Jan 31, 2011 08:11 AM

                        Can you find any coarse grind cornmeal? It may be labeled polenta.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: paulj
                          Will Owen Jan 31, 2011 10:53 AM

                          That may approximate CORN grits, but not HOMINY grits, a difference which has been addressed, argued about, and chewed to doll-rags on at least three CH threads. Assuming that the OP is looking for hominy grits, there is a big difference between quick and instant, the latter being awful (IMO) and the former being quite adequate. The Quaker brand is decent; I am not familiar with Jim Dandy, but I've actually never found any brand that was notably bad. Out here in SoCal I get Albers.

                          1. re: Will Owen
                            Stuart C. Jan 31, 2011 11:13 AM

                            Yes, I am referring to HOMINY Grits.

                            Oddly enough, Anson Mills, a supposed authority, blurs the line further by offering CORN grits (?) (please), and HOMINY 'QUICK' Grits. So, given the confusion re. grits in general, I should phrase my question more clearly;
                            - I'm looking for HOMINY grits
                            - I have zero interest in INSTANT grits
                            - I'm not looking for CORN grits nor Cornmeal
                            Any help is appreciated, and thanks very much to those above.

                            Foodnetwork/Alton Brown, if you're listening, I see an episode opportunity to end this maddness.

                            1. re: Stuart C.
                              bushwickgirl Feb 1, 2011 12:05 PM

                              If you can't find Jim Dandy regular or quick grits, go with the Anson Mills whole hominy (quick) grits, either white, if you prefer, or yellow.

                              1. re: Stuart C.
                                alanbarnes Feb 1, 2011 12:10 PM


                                1. re: alanbarnes
                                  paulj Feb 1, 2011 12:42 PM

                                  Here AB claims that with (true) hominy grits, 'the resulting gruel never becomes smooth', so they 'are grittier than nonhominy grits'.

                                  Note that the bag he holds in the grocery store is Bob's Red Mill Stoneground Polenta/Grits.

                                  That is what I use for polenta, i.e. the mush that cook for dinner and serve with a stew like peposo or fry and top with grated Italian cheese. I also have Quaker quick grits, and tend, more out of habit than anything else, to cook for breakfast and eat with fried eggs. My impression is that the Quaker grits remain looser (not smooth/grittier was AB's word), but I haven't tried to cook the two side by side, aiming for the same consistency and smoothness.

                                  If the grits are labeled as stone ground, they probably are not made from treated corn. If labeled 'hominy grits' they might be, or they might just be ground from a white 'hominy type' of corn. Note that the Quaker grits are enriched. And I haven't noticed any difference between quick Quaker grits, and WhiteLily quick grits (without the word hominy anywhere on the package).

                              2. re: Will Owen
                                paulj Jan 31, 2011 11:37 AM

                                Can you point me to a processor who speaks clearly about grinding dried nixtamalized corn into grits? I can no long simply assume that every use of 'hominy grits' means that.

                                I don't, for example, see that on this Anson Mills page
                                Their 'hominy grits' are ground from Henry Moore Yellow Hominy Corn. This is a strain of corn, not nixtamalized 'Henry Moore Corn'.

                                1. re: Will Owen
                                  FoodFuser Jan 31, 2011 12:13 PM

                                  Nixtimalzation, lye coursed to it''s grit of ingestion
                                  is somehow an enigma on iternet found.

                                  My queries to Anson's
                                  about fit of their grits
                                  as to nixtimalation
                                  remain, sadly, unanswered.

                                  So I stand with Cousin Vinny
                                  in his role in the movie
                                  in search of the singular grit

                              3. s
                                skippy66 Jan 31, 2011 08:00 AM


                                1. bushwickgirl Jan 31, 2011 04:46 AM

                                  Really the best in regular (long cooking) grits; as one poster put it, "The High Temple of Grits"


                                  Jim Dandy makes regular and quick grits, and they are available at most Walmart stores.
                                  Here's a website that sells their grits, although you do have to buy multiple bags, but Jim Dandy grits are cheap. My Brands ships by UPS and shipping costs are based on weight and zipcode.


                                  And another site that sells both quick and regular, no need to buy more than one bag, although the site has a $10 minimum:


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                                    DBinNOLA Jan 31, 2011 04:59 AM

                                    Not sure what brand of grits you are looking for, but on the packages of Quaker grits the cooking instructions for the instant packets are the same as for the quick that comes in the 5 pound bag. I never buy the instant packets when the 5 pounds cost almost the same as 1 instant packet. If all you can find are the packets, just cook them in a small pot and simmer slowly (or microwave at a lower setting for 1 or 2 minutes longer) - they will come out fine. Of course adding butter & cheese or bacon bits always helps!

                                  2. m
                                    mscoffee1 Jan 30, 2011 07:50 PM

                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/523995 this might help.

                                    1. woodleyparkhound Jan 30, 2011 07:46 PM

                                      I love the stone ground grits you can order online from Early's Honey Stand in Spring Hill, TN.

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