For More Flavorful Grits, Add Some Cream Cheese

Grits are a staple food in the Southern part of the United States, passed down from the Native American Muskogee tribes that inhabited the area during the 16th century. Made from ground corn that has been slowly simmered in water, the thick and creamy porridge-like dish is typically eaten for breakfast, but can also be served for lunch or dinner, often alongside barbecued shrimp or fried fish.

While grits are imbued with the subtle taste of corn, they tend to take on the flavor of whatever else is added to the pot, much like oatmeal. For that reason, recipes for grits often include additional flavoring agents, like milk, broth, and butter. Those who prefer a sweeter bowl of grits may also include jam or sugar, while those with a more savory palate tend to opt for cheese instead. Although most cheesy grits recipes call for cheddar cheese, you might consider folding in some cream cheese as well for an extra dose of that rich, creamy goodness.

Almost everything tastes better with cream cheese

Cheesy grits are an art form in the South and, as such, some experimentation is encouraged. While cheddar cheese is often the top choice among cheesy grits enthusiasts, who says you have to pick just one? Because cheese is folded into the grits just before serving, any cheese can work so long as it melts easily. Cream cheese's ability to melt without becoming stringy means that a diced block of cream cheese can easily be incorporated into your favorite grits recipe, either on its own or alongside shredded cheddar, pepper jack, grated parmesan, Swiss, or goat cheese. The cheesy possibilities are practically endless.

Cream cheese contains at least 33% milk fat which, when melted, lends a supremely rich and creamy texture to grits and adds a depth of flavor that can't be achieved with butter and cheddar cheese alone. Best of all, the subtly sweet and mildly tangy flavor of cream cheese is also versatile enough to be included in both sweet and savory grits recipes.