Grits are so popular and such a delicacy in the Southern United States that they have been dubbed the “caviar of the South.” A 1968 newspaper article stated that grits had long been known as “the caviar of the South.” However, this moniker has only very infrequently been used to describe grits.
Other dishes have also been called the “caviar of the South,” including boiled peanuts (since at least 2007) and pimento cheese (since at least 2010).
Many other dishes have been called “caviar.” Black-eyed peas have been called “Texas caviar” and been dip has been called “cowboy caviar.” Huitlacoche (corn smut) has been called “Mexican caviar” and escamoles (ant larvae) have also been called “Mexican caviar.”
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. “Instant grits” have been processed to speed cooking.
Google News Archive
28 March 1968, The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), “The Lighter Side: Almost Forgotten Grits Coming Back, Says West” by Dick West, pg. 5, col. 1:
WASHINGTON (UPI)—Like so many other magnificent morsels with which the earth is blessed—blackeyed peas, cornpone, etc.—grits are widely misunderstood and unappreciated.
I understand that very few of the “beautiful people"dine on grits even though this gastronomical delicacy has long been known as “the caviar of the South.”
Yum! The caviar of the south! “@ninermac: Turns out i like grits. Who knew?! #litaforum”
12:13 PM - 3 Oct 2010