Grits and Shrimp —
So simple, so easy, so very good.
I don’t think – can’t ever recall – no, I don’t think I’ve ever had that before, ‘Shrimp and Grits.’ Non-Southern people might find it alarming, and/or amusing, the title and the general use of grits, in and of themselves.
Think, like ‘polenta,’ if that helps.
Someplace along my travels, I know I’ve heard of this dish, but it was a first. Along with ‘oysters diablo,’ quite good. The oysters were lightly battered, this late in the season, over rice with two thin sauces on top. One sauce, I can state with authority, was Tabasco. Maybe a quarter of one of those little bottles.
The, at one time, world famous Melios Brothers Hamburgers, Lower Greenville, Dallas — they had a ‘special sauce’ that was nothing more than mayo and ketchup, stirred up together.
I won’t say that the same special sauce accompanied the oysters, but it tasted like it. Still, soaked in Tabasco Pepper sauce?
Shrimp and grits is Southern, as in ‘cuisine of the Southern United States.’ Regional food. Drifted to South Texas Coastal Bend, but geographically, not that far from ‘The South.’
Cutest server lad, Virgo, do adore them Virgo lads, “No man, I’m moving to Houston, the Heights,” he said, “day job. Well, night job, I’m also a night auditor at (hotel chain).”
Be a shock to go from a coastal village to hotel that has more employees than his home town.
My wandering point has nothing to do with hotels, Virgo guys, or South Texas and its Coastal Bend. Not really about fishing, either, but that’s why I was there.
The Tabasco got me thinking about Louisiana and their multiple influences on cuisine. The place that makes the tastes.
Something about Southern Cuisine that is perfected, honed, and maybe, too, it’s that Louisiana spice for life.
I was raised, partly Southern. I can recall cold winter mornings, a warm bowl of grits, brown sugar and a slab of butter. Good stuff.
I am not an impartial observer.
I admire, relish, enjoy and partake of Louisiana food, in many variations, as often as I can.
The question, though, why? What sparked the fire that became the tradition of spice? Why is that single state, and not even a big state, the home to such an international influence?
Shrimp and grits, it’s not just for breakfast.