Famous Southern Foods of Charleston, SC – Grits

It is a typical dish in South Carolina that has gone from a breakfast meal or a common side dish to the base for a delicious entree with shrimps served in most restaurants in Charleston. The word “grits” comes from am Old English word “grytt” meaning coarse meal. Surprisingly, grits have a very long history: they were introduced by Native Americans in the 16th century in the form of a coarsely ground corn and were eaten mostly for breakfast. Today, grits are the official symbol of South Carolina.  

The most common and beloved pairing in Charleston is shrimps and grits. Well, it is not surprising: South Carolina is a traditional shrimping land. Even though it is unknown who exactly invented the dish “shrimps&grits”, it is believed that fishermen and shrimpers started combining their catch with a coarsely ground corn and eating it as a simple and nutritious breakfast. Then other people in Charleston started doing the same things at home, and finally, the dish appeared on restaurant menus in South Carolina and especially in Charleston. Since it is a signature dish in Charleston, it is not difficult to find it. Almost every restaurant will have it with its own unique recipe and the way of cooking. 

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