OK.  A little off topic for this blog, but this came up as a result of recent travel for an acting gig.  So, tangentially, this fits.

My parents were both from Tennessee.  Not surprisingly, we visited relatives in TN almost every year at both Xmas and summer vacation.  I also spent a large part of my youth in Alabama, Northern Florida, and Mississippi.  And I went to college in TN.  So I’ve had my share of grits.  In fact, grits and hominy were favorites for my father which meant they were served in our house fairly frequently.  My mother even made a grits casserole! 

As a result, I’ve experience grits in a variety of different ways – with water, with milk, sweet, with butter and salt, in a casserole with cheese, etc.  But until my recent trip to an airport hotel in the Midwest, I had never had them whipped smooth.  Seriously, they were called grits, but they were smoother than the smoothest mashed potatoes I’ve ever had.  It was so … freaky.  If grits were meant to be smooth and fluffy, they wouldn’t be called GRITS. 

In addition, the breakfast buffet had them labeled only as grits – which they actually weren’t anymore.  But the chef had also infused significant amounts of sausage into the blended grits without identifying them as having sausage in them.  Can you imagine if someone inadvertently ate them who a) had medically necessary dietary restrictions; b) observed religious dietary restrictions; or c) was vegetarian?  It boggles the mind.  It was a well-respected national chain hotel at an airport.  No telling who ends up staying overnight there.  So why wouldn’t the hotel at least inform folks that their fluffy, blended-smooth corn glop contained sausage?  Grits – real, gritty grits – aren’t too bad with sausage.  But a restaurant has the responsibility to inform it’s patrons regarding their service items that may be harmful to a patron physically or ethically.

I like grits.  But I will now definitely think twice before accepting a serving of grits from anywhere that isn’t a bona fide southern eatery.

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