Georgia State Prepared Foods


Georgia State Prepared Foods: Grits

Adopt in 2002

Grits were designated as the official prepared food of Georgia in 2002. Grits are a unique southern food first prepared by native American Indians centuries ago.

Southern grits are bits of ground corn or hominy prepared as a simple breakfast dish or incorporated into gourmet recipes. Corn is a prominent Georgia crop grown throughout the state.

Georgia State Prepared Foods: Grits

Georgia State Prepared Foods: Grits

Grits are bits of ground corn or hominy which constitute a uniquely indigenous Southern food first produced by Native Americans many centuries ago. Corn is a preeminent Georgia crop grown throughout the state. Grits can be a pure and simple breakfast dish or can be incorporated into gourmet cooking through countless recipes.

Grits is a food of Native American origin that is common in the Southern United States, mainly used in breakfast. It consists of coarsely ground corn - when grits are made from hominy, it is referred to as hominy grits. It is sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Creek word. The name 'grits' is most likely to have derived from the German term "Gr├╝tze", which in turn derived from the Italian term "Gruzzi", meaning crushed - or coarsely ground - corn.

Grits is similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world, such as polenta. It also resembles farina, a thinner porridge.

Grits are usually prepared by adding one part grits to two-to-three parts boiling water and seasoned with salt and butter. They are usually cooked for 15 - 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grits become a porridge-like consistency. They expand as they are cooked and need to be stirred several times to prevent sticking and forming lumps. They may be served with grated cheese or topped with sausage or country ham "red-eye gravy". Those closer to the Mason-Dixon line may prefer to season grits with sugar instead of salt.

Grits can also be fried in a pan or molded to create a firm block. The resulting block can be cut with a knife or wire, and the slices are fried in a fat such as vegetable oil, butter, or bacon grease.

Basic Grits - Georgia State Prepared Food


4 cups of water
2 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of whole-grain grits
salt and pepper to taste


Add water, butter and salt to pot, and bring to a boil.
Gradually stir the grits into the boiling water, and bring back up to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 25-30 minutes.
The grits should be creamy when done. Stir occasionally to avoid a skin on top. Serve immediately.

Georgia Law

The law designating the grits as the official Georgia state prepared food is found in the Georgia Code, Title 50, Chapter 3, Section 50-3-78.


O.C.G.A. § 50-3-78 (2014)

§ 50-3-78. State official prepared food

Grits are recognized as the official prepared food of the State of Georgia.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 50-3-78, enacted by Ga. L. 2002, p. 453, § 2.

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