Last week, I talked to you about Charleston, South Carolina and the very real chance that you would burst into flame if you dared walk outside. I’m happy to say that I have returned uncombusted and in fact with a report of perhaps the best singular meal I’ve ever eaten.
So yes, here I’m going to briefly talk about food. That I have eaten. That you, if you are lucky, have eaten too. That if you are unlucky and have not eaten, are hereby simultaneously lucky, because you have something to really look forward to. In fact, if you have not eaten this dish, you are like the Schrödinger’s cat of the culinary world, both dead to the dish yet alive to the possibility, all at once, in unison, amen. How cool is that?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you real lowcountry shrimp and grits, as presented by the Hominy Grill in Charleston, SC:
Wha?, you say. What’s this? Looks like a greasy bowl of Cream of Wheat with some cooked crustaceans on top. And nice grease stains on the table paper, Jeff, you no-motor-skill-having slob. Well ignore all that, because mocking this dish can lead to tooth loss and higher gas prices. Some things you don’t trifle with, and this is one of them. Are we clear?
Whatever Hominy Grill does to this dish, it’s magic. As near as my insanely refined palate can tell (Ed. note: his palate is not insanely refined. He can barely differentiate bacon from peanut putter.), it’s got the following ingredients in it:
- Stone-ground grits, fresh off a farm about three hours away from Hominy Grill itself (so said my waiter)
- Farm-raised bacon, cooked perfectly
- Smallish chunks of mushrooms, which despite me not being a subscriber to Mushrooms Illustrated, are still amazingly good
- Enough heavy cream to fill the interior of a 1979 Buick
- A zip code’s worth of unsalted butter
- A dash of hot pepper-infused vinegar which, if this were readily available here in Michigan, I would put all over everything, including my food, hair and cats
- A benevolent smile from the heavens, for lo, this is good and deserves it
- A finishing wedge of perfect cornbread, which, when combined with butter, could end world wars
This dish taught me in one fell swoop that here in the North, we don’t understand grits. We’re grit idiots. Here, we get these nasty, probably instant, grits and put maple syrup, butter and salt on them. Which is wrong. Dead wrong. If someone from the South saw us doing that, they’d have every right to get up and strangle us and ask us why we hate our country so much.
The right way is the lowcountry way. Real grits, heavy cream, a dash of spice, thick bacon, perfect shrimp, butter and a dash of salt and some vinegar for acid. I don’t know what else to say except this: it’s worth making a trip to Charleston just to go to the Hominy Grill for their shrimp and grits. They will change your life.
In other news, it was brought to my attention that my last Friday Linkology post didn’t, in fact, contain any links. I blame router gremlins, the CIA, or LeBron James, not the fact that I wrote the post several days before publication and I forgot to add links by the time it went live. Oh no. That’d be impossible.
So, to make up for that horrible error, I present to you the following fine hypertext products:
If this video of two dogs chasing one another doesn’t make you laugh, check your pulse. Or, more accurately, have someone check it for you, because you’s dead.
Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse. Sad and poignant.
If you’re going to supplement with protein shakes, do it with whey, not soy.
Unless you have pure sub-Saharan African blood in you, you probably have Neanderthal genes. There’s your conversation starter for tomorrow’s graduation party.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
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