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Finding Grits

Hi All

I'm on a mission to make my husband a southern feast for Father's Day next weekend, and have been hunting for grits. My local Ralph's, Von's and Gelson's do not carry any.

Has anyone seen them at their local grocery store? Westside would be perfect but I'll travel if I have to.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I've purchased them at Ralph's more than once. I know they sell them at the 99 Cent Only stores.

    1. I've seen them at Ralphs too. They are with the breakfast cereals and oatmeals, not in the pasta/rice section.

      1. Thank you both, maybe I was looking in the wrong spot at my Ralph's. I will try again and see.

        1. dirty - I need you to talk to my wife -- nice work!

          1. I'm afraid the grits you'll find at Ralph's etc. will be the quick-cooking kind. A real Southerner will prefer the long-cooking kind. I remember buying that a few years ago at Whole Foods in the bulk section (not all WF's have a bulk section.) Good luck.

            14 Replies
            1. re: duck55

              I eat the quaker quick grits all the time...pretty good with just butter and/or hot sauce...as a side with a big dinner of other stuff to prepare, I don't see a major difference...but agree the other stuff better.

              1. re: jessejames

                I'm not a fan. Insipid is the word is use to describe nearly all quick cook grits and polenta I've tried.

                1. re: cacio e pepe

                  your call, for me, nothing a pad of butter and some tabasco sauce doesn't fix up...

                  1. re: cacio e pepe

                    butter and salt and pepper is, imho, required

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      That goes without saying. But those quaker quick grits simply have no taste on their own.

                      Anson Mills, on the other hand, have a taste to them that is enhanced by the butter and salt.

                      Nearly any slow cook grits will have much better flavor than the instant stuff.

                      1. re: cacio e pepe

                        Grated cheese or butter and good to go. They are hard to fuck up tho.

                        1. re: jessejames

                          To each their own. I think grits need time and love. Otherwise, grits are just a cheese and hot sauce delivery system. And that's a shame.

                          I'm telling you, jj. Bring some of that pastrami passion to your grits. You won't be sorry and you won't go back.

                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                            I don't like fancy schmansey restaurant grits either (green onion?? parmesan?? truffle oil -- gag me with a spoon)...give me a bowl of waffle house special with tabasco and butter and good to go....needless to say, nothing wrong with mo' better all around...if you're cooking a half dozen other dishes, it's kind of nice to have one where you just add water too....like good bbq can be effectively deployed on wonder bread too...

                            1. re: jessejames

                              Not what I'm talking about. When did I say I like truffle oil on my grits? Parmigiano tastes great . . . if you're making polenta. Green onion is commonly used as a garnish to things like shrimp and grits so I'm not sure why that combination is so objectionable.

                              Look. Buy cheap grits! Cook them with water. I do. It's very simple and just simple requires time and the occasional stir. But *quick* cook grits or polenta have zero flavor. Grits should taste like corn! It's the difference between a pack of instant plain oatmeal and slow cooked steel cut oatmeal. Cardboard versus flavor.

                              And Waffle House doesn't use quick cook grits, to my knowledge. No southerner I've met likes them either.

                              Anyway, you do what works for you. I'm going to keep recommending the real stuff.

                              1. re: cacio e pepe

                                im down to try them and it's appreciated c e p. my eating and drinking skills much stronger than my cooking ones.

                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                  cacio, speaking from 27 years in Nashville plus forays both south and north, EVERYBODY uses quick-cooking grits, especially Waffle House, Cracker Barrel, and all the standalone down-home breakfast-and-plate-lunch joints. What they don't use is INSTANT grits.

                                  I've never seen what I consider real hominy grits – made from dried corn processed with lye, then dried and ground – in any but quick-cooking form, though I'm sure it exists. Any "hominy grits" you get from the fancy mills are simply ground from "hominy corn," not real hominy. And that hominy flavor – I grew up eating canned hominy and still do – is what I want in just plain grits. For garlic-cheese grits I'll use the stoneground non-hominy grits/polenta.

                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                    Yup. Quick and instant are not the same thing. Breakfast grits I make with quick and adorn with salt, pepper, and butter. Fancy pants dinner grits are stone ground and sometimes contain cheese and other flavorings.

                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                      You are correct. My mistake for conflating the two. I hope you'll agree that instant grits are the devil. Mea culpa, jj.

                                      As to the real hominy slow cooking grits, I do believe my recommendation for Anson Mills is what you're looking for, though I'm confused by your distinction between hominy and hominy corn. It's my understanding that hominy *is* nixtamilized field corn.

                                      It's also my understanding that Anson Mills use nixtamilized dent corn.

                                      Other mills seem to use untreated dried and ground field corn, which seems identical to polenta to me.

                                      But after fucking up the instant/quick distinction, I readily admit I may be wrong on this.

                                      1. re: cacio e pepe

                                        no sweat. keep up the good hounding and looking out for the pack!