It should come as no surprise to any Southerner that last year’s runaway hit and Oscar contender The Help focuses on the two most plundered Southern issues of our time: food and race relations. Completing the trinity of sacred subjects in the South is football—and Roll Tide, I said ROLL TIDE—that subject is indeed religious in its fervor. But that’s another topic for another time. Today, I have the politics of food and the food of politics on my mind.
We all know about that famous pie in The Help. And if you don’t know the backstory behind Minny’s terrible-awful, far be it from me to spoil it for you. Let’s just say there was more than sugar in that sucker and leave it at that. The movie did bring to mind, though, how often food and racial politics are intertwined in the movies, books and all the pundit…
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Foodimentary - National Food Holidays
Here are today’s five thing to know about Grits:
- Grits (also sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Muskogee word) are a food of Native American origin common in the Southern United States and mainly eaten at breakfast.
- They consist of coarsely ground corn, or sometimes alkali-treated corn (hominy).
- Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta, or the thinner farina.
- Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to two-to-three parts boiling water, sometimes seasoned with salt or sugar.
- They are usually cooked for 5–10 minutes for “quick” grits or 20 or more minutes for whole kernel grits, or until the water is absorbed and the grits become a porridge-like consistency.
Today’s Food History
1666 The Great Fire of London began in the shop of the King’s baker. After burning for four days, more than 13,000 buildings had been destroyed.
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