Grits are served in many states in the American South (such as Georgia). During World War II, soldiers called grits “Georgia ice cream.” The jocular nickname is still used from Georgia to east Texas.
Grits is a Native American corn-based food common in the Southern United States, consisting of coarsely ground corn.
Grits are similar to other thick maize-based porridges from around the world such as polenta. It also has a resemblance to farina, a thinner porridge. Grits can be served hot or cold and as a base for a multitude of dishes from breakfast to dessert, depending on the additives. Additives can range from salt and butter, meats (especially shrimp on the east coast), cheese, rarely (but in nouvelle Southern cuisine) vegetables, but never sugar.
Hominy grits is grits made from nixtamalized corn, or hominy. It is sometimes called sofkee or sofkey from the Creek word.[
(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
Georgia ice-cream n So. hominy grits. Joc.
1941 Kendall Army & Navy Sl. 6: Georgia ice cream...grits.
1972 in American Speech XLIX 91: Grits is...sometimes known as “Georgia ice cream.”
1984 Wilder You All 83.
Dictionary of American Regional English
Georgia ice cream n joc
1972 DARE FW Addit. Georgia ice-cream is ground hominy; jocular; current.
1979 DARE File Tallahassee FL, Georgia ice cream is cracked mill-ground corn—called “grits.”
1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance, 1 inf. neFL, Georgia ice cream—grits.
See Here, Private Hargrove
By Marion Hargrove
New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company
In the untiring imagination of the soldier, green peas become China berries; hominy grits are glamorized into Georgia ice cream;...
By Nancy Shea
New York, NY: Harper & Brothers
Georgia ice cream: Grits
Google News Archive
28 October 1944, St. Petersburg (FL) Evening Independent, pg. 3, cols. 4-5:
The grits were prepared on an old “Georgia ice cream” recipe by Commissioner Harris.
This is the South
By Robert West Howard
Published by Rand McNally
In Georgia, Alabama, and much of east Texas hominy grits, a direct gift from the Algonquin Indians, are as essential a part of breakfast as the eggs. Waitresses call the dish “Georgia ice cream.”
The Gasparilla Cookbook
By Junior League of Tampa
Published by printed by Hillsboro Printing Co.
And let us not forget grits. Many a transplanted Northerner who has taken to rice in all its forms will never, ever see the good of grits, but those who like them, sigh and call them “Georgia Ice Cream”. Grits with ham, grits with fish, grits with bacon and eggs! For a true believer, these are dishes to dream on.
28 April 1963, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, Travel & Resorts section four,
Rebel’s Reference Book: While we are mooning about the dear, deep South, it would seem appropriate to take notice of a slim pamphlet that arrived in a recent mail. It carries the intriguing title, “Guide Book & Dixie Dictionary,” and sells for “50 cents, Yankee Money.” (...) The slim pamphlet is chock full of other useless information, such as a glossary of southern foods. Grits? That’s “Georgia ice-cream.” And you are directed to say, “Kindly pass them grits, as there is no such thing as one grit.”
Google News Archive
1 March 1966, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, “A Corny Column On Grits,” pg. 5B, col. 1:
He (William C. Webb, president of Dixie Lily Milling Co Inc, Tampa—ed.) has no figures on sales of grits in the SOuth but says “I have always heard that South Carolina and FLorida eat more grits than other Southern states even though it has been referred to for years as ‘Georgia Ice Cream.’ Georgia people do eat a considerable amount of grits each year however.”
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 21, 2009 • Permalink