Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What's the deal with Grits?

As I've mentioned I'm from the south. One of the stereotypical beloved southern foods is grits. The traditional form of grits is made from hominy, corn soaked in an alkaline solution which removes the hull of the corn kernel (or skin) and germ. The hominy is then dried and milled. The resulting meal is called grits. Now commercially made grits are made by steaming the corn kernel, which removes the hull and germ. The endosperm is then processed, ground to the desiring size- from larger to smaller quick cooking particles. So this means that commercial grits contain only the endosperm of corn. Now there is nothing wrong with eating only the endosperm, but you are missing out on the nutrients and fiber that can be obtained from the hull and germ.

My husband really likes having grits for breakfast and asked me to get some "weirdo grits". Well by my definition, a grain product that has had the hull and germ removed is not exactly my idea of healthy. So I did order some stone ground grits from Bob's red mill. Although the fat, protein, and fiber content did not vary much between Bob's stone ground grits and commercial grits such as Quaker , we like Bob's grits better. I'm not sure if it has much to do with the corn used to produce the grits, but I suspect the processing of the grain causes differentiation in taste of these two products. Stone ground processing leave more nutrients intact in a grain because in commercial grain processing the steel used to pulverize the grain causes heat and loss of nutrients. Whatever the reason we have been enjoying Bob's grits for breakfast.

But the weirdo in me wasn't satisfied. I needed to find heartier grits, and I stumbled upon them one day online. Anson mills produces stone ground grits that peaked my interest. So I emailed the sales department and had a very quick reply (mere hours!). Glenn Roberts wrote me concerning their grits...
"Our grits, as with all our products, are 100% whole grain and include 100% of the germ."
Well that was a relief to know, I was unable to get an answer as to the nutritional content of their grits,
"We will begin formal nutritional analysis of our grains when we stabilize the maize, wheats, rices, and other heirlooms we are trying to save..."
Although their grits cost more than commercial grits and must be stored in the freezer (due to the presence of the germ) they are a whole grain product. I've ordered a few bags so I'll post an article based on our experience trying out the whole grain grits.

1 comment:

PRH said...

Thanks for posting! I was trying to find a whole grain product for grits!