Local ingredient: Coarse-Ground Grits 

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These are nothing like the instant stuff you nuke for breakfast when you’re late – that’s just mush. Coarse-ground grits are the real Southern deal, and they take time (and lots of stirring). The texture of the meal is what’s worth it, not to mention the truly corny flavor that comes from the grinding technique, which incorporates both the endosperm and the germ of the corn kernels. Don’t be fooled; grits ain’t just for the a.m. – the Low Country shrimp & grits at John Rivers’ newest venture, the Coop, uses them as a bed for tender shellfish in a tomato-based gravy. If you’re game to try cooking them yourself, find yellow or white stone-ground Bradley’s Country Store grits at the Local Roots farm store in East End Market.

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