Grits and polenta are both dried corn. Hominy refers to corn that has been nixtamalized. Here’s how they’re different. Polenta is similar to grits with one key exception. Due to the harder texture of flint corn, polenta can be described as grainier than grits. When it is grown for people, it’s either treated with lye to create hominy or masa harina for corn tortillas, or ground up to make cornmeal, grits and polenta. Quick science class refresher: that means a base with a pH above 7. Dent corn contains more soft starch than flint corn, a quality that produces a smooth and creamy final product. They’re each cooked until they’re thick and creamy and are like a blank canvas for toppings and stir-ins like cheese, sauteed veggies, meats, poultry and seafood. Grits vs Polenta. Both grits and polenta fall under the heading of cornmeal, which is essentially a coarse flour, or “meal,” made from dried corn. Now that we’ve studied up on the science and history of these two dishes, it’s time for a snack break! They’re each cooked until they’re thick and creamy and are like a blank canvas for toppings and stir-ins like cheese, sauteed veggies, meats, poultry and seafood. Polenta with Brussels Sprouts and Sausage. Back in the U.S., cornmeal for grits is produced from a variety known as dent corn. Polenta can also be purchased in a tube already cooked, ready to be sliced and cooked further. In this case, the base serves to loosen the hull that encapsulates the corn kernel, causing its starchy insides to swell. Get the recipe. On top of being a word that has most likely caused many caused tearful eliminations from spelling bees, nixtamalization refers to a process by which corn kernels are soaked in an alkaline solution. However, the word predates the 17th century arrival of corn in Italy. Recipes for grits and polenta look almost identical. They have a place at the table for every meal, starting with breakfast—go sweet. The primary distinction is a done deal before you even start cooking. Risotto? The truth is, like most things culinary, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Unlike American dent corn, polenta comes from Italian flint corn. Grits are a staple in the American South, and are typically served … The first is “hominy.” You probably recognize this word, often spotted alongside “grits,” but what exactly is it? Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week. Flint corn also tends to have a more yellow hue, resulting in a yellow polenta. Once the nixtamalization process is complete, the kernels are then re-dried and ground into an even more flavorful cornmeal. Buy white and yellow corn on Amazon. It has been a staple food around the world for centuries and it seems that every culture has developed their own favorite way to prepare it. All you need is a […], Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin One of the best things about culinary school, for me, was learning how to make some of my favorite dishes. Instead of the soft starch you find in the corn that they use for grits, the corn for polenta has a very hard starch, which helps it cook up creamier, much like the hard starch in the center of the rices used for risotto. Chef Danielle’s recipe journals are the perfect keepsakes for your favorite recipes! One of the most iconic grits dishes is of course shrimp and grits. The perfect folded omelet? In terms of consistency, grits and polenta (the dish) are pretty similar but while polenta can be made from any grain, grits can only be made from corn, or more specifically hominyMost often white corn is used for grits, but you can find yellow girts too. Get the recipe. To get that exact recipe, you’ll need to check out the chef’s 1989 book Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking, but this one looks mighty tasty too! This mineral bath also alters the chemical make-up of the corn, releasing vitamins, nutrients, and flavors. Yes, both grits and polenta are made from ground corn, but the main difference here is what type of corn. Grits and polenta are both dried corn. Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinCutting up a whole chicken can be quite the scary proposition for the average cook. Grits are made by grinding white corn or dried hominy (dried corn that’s been soaked, with the hulls and germs removed) into tiny granules. Cornmeal for polenta is produced from flint corn, a variety with a small starchy interior surrounded by a hard exterior (hence the reference to flint). Polenta, as you can probably guess from the color, is made from yellow corn, while grits are normally made from white corn (or hominy). Fun fact: Today, the word “polenta” refers almost exclusively to a corn-based dish. For lunch and dinner, polenta can either be served in place of bread as an appetizer or, as in this case, as the main event, topped with sauces and meats. It has to do with the type of corn used to create the cornmeal, as well as how the corn was milled. Polenta can also be found with several different grinds at the grocery store, which will vary in both cook time and texture of the end product. Or go savory. What to do with leftover polenta? Get the recipe. Your support is greatly appreciated. But cornmeal polenta is the most common preparation today, especially in the United States. Some people think the difference lies in geography: the Italian version is known as polenta whereas the Southern version is known as grits. Grits enthusiasts seem to agree that this dish first garnered national attention thanks to a 1985 New York Times review of Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. |, 9 Baking Mistakes That Ruin Your Cakes, Cookies, Brownies & Bread, The Top Trending Fall Foods & Recipes, According to Google, The Best Places to Buy Baking Ingredients Online, Easy Baking Recipes You Can Make with Pantry Staples, The 20 Best ALDI Finds for November Are All About Cookies & Thanksgiving, 8 Easy Ways to Make Boxed Mac & Cheese Taste Like You Made It from Scratch, The Cookbooks We're Most Excited for This Fall, Ready or Not, Pumpkin Spice Products Are Back Again, 7 Helpful Produce Subscriptions You Should Know About, Meal Prep Containers That Will Get You Excited to Make Lunch, How to Store & Defrost Frozen Bananas for Baking, This Cranberry Pumpkin Sourdough Bread Is Peak Fall Baking, This Easy Pumpkin Snacking Cake Recipe Is a Great Alternative to Pie, This One-Bowl Apple Cake Is Everything You Want in a Fall Dessert, Why You Should Spatchcock Your Turkey & How to Do It, The Ultimate Guide to Perfect Mashed Potatoes. How to Clean & Maintain Your Wooden Cutting Board without Ruining It, 10 Clever Ways to Use Dryer Sheets That Don't Involve Laundry, Everything You Need to Know About Pepperoni, Pizza's BFF, Chefs' Favorite Caribbean Pantry Staples You Can Order Online. Bake it, grill it, or fry it! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The cornmeal, usually yellow corn, must be a medium or course grind to make good polenta. Some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Pecan Pie or Pumpkin Pie: Which One Wins Thanksgiving?

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