Because were not all lucky enough to be born in the South, we're here to talk about how to cook grits. Grits were weirdly considered gross for an incredibly long time, but thankfully, are finally starting to get their due respect in the food world. We like our grits coarsely ground, and as fresh as we can get them. Anson Mills and Geechie Boy Market & Mill make some of our favorite grits -- their resilient texture and actual corn flavor beat anything else we've ever tried. Both producers recommend keeping your grits fresh between uses by storing them in the fridge.

Grits are usually eaten at breakfast, either as a side dish or topped with gravy, cheese, sausage ragout, etc. The iconic Southern dish of shrimp and grits has finally made its way north as well. We've taken to treating grits the same way we'd treat polenta, cooking them low and slow, whisking in butter and creme fraiche (or an immoderate amount of cheese) and topping them with stewed vegetables, tomato sauce, or anything else we happen to have around. Like cooking barley, we always remember the basic idea, but can never commit the ratio to memory. Here's a simple recipe for grits to bookmark, so they come out perfectly every time.

Simple Buttered Grits

1 cup coarsely-ground grits
5 cups water or stock (4 1/2 if you want thicker grits)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter (or to taste, go with your heart)

  • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Bring the heat down to medium, so that the water simmers, then slowly whisk in the grits, stirring constantly until they begin to thicken (3-5 minutes).
  • Reduce the heat to low, so that the grits bubble once or twice every few seconds, but aren't rolling. Cook for 40-50 minutes (the coarser your grits are, the longer they need to cook), stirring frequently to make sure the grits aren't scorching on the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the grits are tender and cooked through, beat in the butter and salt and serve hot.

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Brown Ale And Cheddar Grits With Pancetta And Crispy Sage

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Brown Ale and Cheddar Grits with Pancetta and Crispy Sage recipe from The Beeroness</a></strong>

  • Grits With Corn And Onion Greens

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Grits with Corn and Onion Greens recipe</a> by Simply Recipes</strong>

  • Buttermilk & Grits Waffles

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Buttermilk & Grits Waffles recipe from Southern Souffle</a></strong>

  • Shrimp And Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Shrimp and Grits recipe</a> by Steamy Kitchen</strong>

  • Goat Cheese Grits With Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, And A Fried Egg

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Goat Cheese Grits with Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, and a Fried Egg recipe from Food52</a></strong>

  • Pumpkin Pie Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Pumpkin Pie Grits recipe</a> by Healthy Food For Living</strong>

  • Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock's Shrimp Grits

    <strong>Get <a href="" target="_blank">Edna Lewis & Scott Peacock's Shrimp Grits recipe from Food52</a></strong>

  • Sweet Grits And Sorghum Peaches

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Sweet Grits and Sorghum Peaches recipe</a> by The Runaway Spoon</strong>

  • Grits, Cheese & Onion Souffles

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Grits, Cheese & Onion Souffles recipe from The Nesting Project</a></strong>

  • Smoked Cheddar Grits With Broiled Heirloom Tomatoes

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Smoked Cheddar Grits with Broiled Heirloom Tomatoes recipe from Oh My Veggies</a></strong>

  • Sunday Breakfast Casserole

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Sunday Breakfast Casserole recipe</a> by Dr. Mommy Online</strong>

  • Healthy Fish And Sweet Potato Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Healthy Fish and Sweet Potato Grits recipe</a> by Spinach Tiger</strong>

  • Banana Maple Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Banana Maple Grits recipe</a> by Andrea Meyers</strong>

  • BBQ Shrimp + Blue Cheese Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="">BBQ Shrimp + Blue Cheese Grits recipe</a> by 20 Something Cupcakes</strong>

  • Grits California

    <strong>Get the <a href="">Grits California recipe</a> by Average Betty</strong>

  • Baked Cheese Grits

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Baked Cheese Grits recipe from Buns In My Oven</a></strong>

  • Cheese Grits Nuggets

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Cheese Grits Nuggets</a> recipe</strong>

  • Creamy Coarse Grits With Fresh Corn And Farmhouse Cheddar

    <strong>Get the <a href="" target="_blank">Creamy Coarse Grits with Fresh Corn and Farmhouse Cheddar</a> recipe</strong>