Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference between grits and cornmeal

We all know what corn is and most of us consume it almost every day. It can be consumed in the form of many different products. Corn is a staple food around the globe and has been so for centuries. However, there are different ways in which people in different parts of the world consume it. Some of them are the same but have different names whereas there are some that are different in terms of the preparation technique, taste, consumption preferences in different regions and so on.

Grits

A ground-corn food that is of Native American origin is what is known as grits. It is consumed most often at breakfast. This type of corn is common in the Southern United States. In recent times, alkali-treated corn that is known as hominy has been used to make grits. Most modern grits are made in this way. These are similar to thick porridges that are maize-based. An example is that of polenta. Instant grits are processed in order to speed up cooking.

The word grit comes from grytt, which in Old English, meant coarse meal. Having their origin in Native American corn preparation, the grits were prepared in a unique way. The hominy would be ground on a stone mill and then passed through screens. The finer sifted materials are used as grit meal whereas the coarser ones are used a grits.

Cornmeal

Cornmeal is a coarse flour meal that is ground from dried maize. It is also a staple food. Grounding is in a particular way to ensure the production of medium, fine and coarse consistencies, although these might not be as fine as wheat flour. In some places, such as the United States, finely ground cornmeal is sometimes referred to as corn flour. There are many different types of cornmeal, some of which include steel ground yellow cornmeal, cornmeal that is stone-ground, white cornmeal and blue cornmeal.

In most cases, cornmeal is coarser than flour but retains a powdery quality and a slightly grainy texture.

Differences

There are some characteristics that make cornmeal and grits very different from each other. These include the varieties in which they are available, their common uses in households and so on. Let us illustrate these differences below.

Variety

Cornmeal comes in various varieties. These more or less depend on the varieties of corn that are used for the preparation of cornmeal. Consequently, cornmeal can come in various types that are derived from blue, white and yellow corn.  As for grits, these too have a number of varieties. One of these is stone ground, which is whole grain and takes longer to cook, about one hour to be precise. They retain all their nutrients. Then there are the instant grits that are less nutritious comparatively but take about 5 minutes to cook. However, they have to be processed and partially cooked before drying.

Uses

Cornmeal can be used in corn cakes, such as ho cakes and griddle cakes, in cornbread etc. They may also be used to coat baking surfaces in the preparation of Italian and French bread loaves and pizza crusts. Their use in pizza crusts is to prevent sticking. Moreover, they may be used in batters for fried foods to add flavour and crunch.

Grits, as mentioned before, are normally used as a breakfast dish. In this regard, they may be used as cheese grits or buttered grits. At times, they are used as a side dish or with other dishes such as Shrimps.

Summary

  1. Grits is a ground-corn food that is of Native American origin; Cornmeal is a coarse flour meal that is ground from dried maize

  2. Cornmeal comes in various types that are derived from blue, white and yellow corn.  Varieties of grits include stone ground, which is whole grain and takes longer to cook, about one hour to be precise, they retain all their nutrients; instant grits are less nutritious comparatively but take about 5 minutes to cook

  3. Cornmeal is used in corn cakes, such as ho cakes and griddle cakes, in cornbread etc., to coat baking surfaces in the preparation of Italian and French bread loaves and pizza crusts; Grits are normally used as a breakfast dish, may be used as cheese grits or buttered grits, also used as a side dish or with other dishes such as Shrimps.

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1 Comment

  1. as cornmeal is not available here in the Philippines, what Filipinos call “Corn Rice” is actually grits.Or coarse grinded corn..My real question here is, what’s the difference between grits and cornmeal?
    I have been looking also to differentiate cornmeal from corn starch. Which seems to be a finer milled corn…correct me if i’m wrong. Is cornstarch derived from corn any different from simply milling the corn from coarse to fine? And if so, is their any other process that differentiates corn meil from girts? Other that milling? Hope you can answer my question.

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References :


[0]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grits

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