Grits Festival in South Carolina Features First-Ever Grits Cookoff
Now in its 27th year, the festival attracts more than 45,000 diners
Of all the food festivals around the country — no less, all the festivals featuring Southern fare — grits isn't one that comes to mind. But the popularity of this weekend's Official World Grits Festival in St. George, S.C., makes it one of the most notorious food festivals in the region.
The Post and Courier reports that although St. George is a town of 2,000, it hosts nearly 45,000 fans of the cornmeal each year. That puts the total amount of grits consumed (and donated by Quaker) in the tons, say event officials. Unsurprisingly, St. George residents are known for eating the most grits per capita, according to "unofficial research."
The festival has every grits-themed event you can imagine, from grits creations lining the streets to a 5K race, a corn shelling contest, a Grits Beauty Queen contest, and yes, a grits-eating contest. This year's festival also marks the first-ever grits cooking contest, reports the Time and Democrat. Grits chefs can compete in appetizer, entrée, side dish, and dessert categories for the cash prize.
And for the true fan of grits (and those who aren't afraid to get messy), there's a grits-rolling contest. Yes, you literally roll in a grits-filled inflatable pool and see how much grits you can get to stick to you. Contestants are weighed before and after the rolling; the record weight is 46 pounds. (At least it's not grits wrestling.)
St. George is about an hour from the capital of Southern class, Charleston, making it an easy weekend getaway. Can't make it to St. George but still want some comfort food? We like Fat Tommy's grits recipe — can't go wrong with Velveeta and Tabasco.