The key difference between grits and polenta is in their texture; polenta has a coarser texture than grits.
Although both these dishes share many similarities since they are made with corn, there are also some difference between grits and polenta. Polenta is a traditional Italian dish made with flint corn whereas grits is a Southern dish typically made with dent corn. Many people use yellow corn to make polenta and white corn to make grits.
What is Grits?
Grits is a popular dish in the Southern United States. It originated in Native American communities. This dish is typically made with dent corn that is ground into a coarse meal. You have to add hot water or milk and cook it in the stove until it gets thick and has a creamy consistency.
Grits are neutral in flavor, so many people add other ingredients such as cheese, butter, and bacon when cooking grits. You can serve grits sweet, with sugar and butter, or savoury with bacon and cheese or shrimp. Some people eat it for breakfast while some serve it as a side dish for dinner. Shrimp and grits is a traditional dish in coastal South Carolina.
There are different types of grits such as stone-ground grits, hominy grits and instant grits. These different types have various cooking methods and cooking times. Stone ground grits take 45 minutes to cook while instant grits only take few minutes.
What is Polenta?
Polenta is an Italian dish made with flint corn. Note that the word polenta refers both to the cooked porridge and the raw grains. It is similar to grits, and you can cook it with a liquid with water or milk. Once cooked, you can serve it as a hot porridge. If not, you can cool it, and allow it to solidify. This solidified loaf can be baked, fried or grilled. You can even make cookies out of polenta.
It takes a long time to cook polenta; you have to stir constantly so that it doesn’t get lumpy. Although polenta is similar to grits, it has a coarser texture than grits. This is mainly due to the type of corn we use to make these two dishes. Although many people assume that polenta is made with yellow corn since its classic version is yellow corn, it can be made with either yellow or white corn.
What are the Similarities Between Grits and Polenta?
- Both are made with ground corn.
- You can make them as a porridge or eat with other ingredients.
What is the Difference Between Grits and Polenta?
Polenta is a traditional Italian dish made with flint corn whereas grits is a Southern dish typically made with dent corn. The key difference between grits and polenta is their texture; grits have a finer texture than polenta, which has a somewhat coarse texture. Since grits have a finer texture, it is easier to cook them. It takes more time to cook polenta. Many people use yellow corn to make polenta and white corn to make grits.
Summary – Grits vs Polenta
Grits and polenta are two types of dishes you can make with ground corn. Grits is a Southern dish whereas polenta is an Italian dish. The main difference between grits and polenta is their texture.
1.“What Are Grits Made Of? A Guide to Grits, Cornmeal, and Polenta.” Wide Open Eats, 21 June 2018. Available here
2.Thomson, Julie R. “WTF Is Polenta, Anyway?” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 Oct. 2014. Available here