Cheese Grits Casserole is just one of many dishes based on grits, ground from corn. Photo by Betty Wrenn Day.
Grits, whether eaten for breakfast, dinner or supper, or maybe all three meals, are as Southern as one can get. And when the state of South Carolina proclaimed grits as its official state food in 1976, the proclamation defined grits at its best and how the South feels about them. "Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of grist mills and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits have been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender and income; and whereas grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world…"
The Charleston News and Courier proclaimed in 1952: "An inexpensive, simple and thoroughly digestible food, (grits) should be made popular throughout the world, given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of grits is a man at peace."
To a Southerner, eating grits is practically a religion and breakfast without grits is unthinkable.