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World Grits Festival | Charleston Metro Homes

Posted By @ Mar 12th 2014 1:05pm In: News From Charleston Metro Homes

The 29th annual World Grits Festival welcomes you to the world of grits taking place April 11 - 13, 2014 at St. George SC.  One of the best things about South Carolina is all the great festivals and the World Grits Festival is one of the favorites for Charleston Metro Homes. 

What Are Grits

Grits refers to a ground-corn food of Native American origin, that is common in the Southern United States and eaten mainly at breakfast.  Modern grits are commonly made of alkali-treated corn known as hominy.  Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta.

Origins of Grits

Grits have their origins in Native American corn preparation. Traditionally, the hominy for grits was ground by a stone mill. The results are passed through screens, with the finer sifted materials being grit meal, and the coarser being grits. Many communities in the United States used a gristmill until the mid-twentieth century, with families bringing their own corn to be ground, and the miller retaining a portion of the corn as a fee. In South Carolina, state law requires grits and corn meal to be enriched, similar to the requirements for flour, unless the grits are ground from corn from which the miller keeps part of the product for a fee.

The History of the World Grits Festival

In late 1985, the store manager of the St.George, SC, Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, Bill Hunter, was giving a broker of a large grits company an order for grits. The broker made a remark that his company sure shipped a lot of grits into St. George, considering how small the town was and its meager population of around 2,000 at the time.

 A week or two later another broker from another major grits company made a similar remark about the large quantity of grits shipped into this small town.  The manager spoke with the two owners of the Piggly Wiggly, John Walters and George Axson.  They all agreed that if it proved to be true, that we did consume a disproportionately large amount of grits, that they would do some research to find out just how much we did eat.

As it turned out, the people of St. George actually ate more grits per capita than any other place in the world.  Thus the World Grits Festival was born.  John Walters, one of the owners of that Piggly Wiggly, was designated as the Chairman of the first festival, which was held in April 1986, and served in that capacity until 1988. 

Since the very first festival, this weekend long celebration has drawn much attention to this small Southern town, considered to be a bedroom community of Charleston, SC.  It has been estimated that the crowds during this three day event sometimes exceed 45,000.

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