Hominy is dried corn that has had its hull and germ removed. Grits are produced from hominy, but are ground as opposed to the whole kernel form which hominy maintains. For this reason, grits are sometimes referred to as "hominy grits," as they are derived from hominy.
Grits are cooked in water or other liquids, such as milk or chicken stock, to create a creamy, porridge-like food. They are served as a breakfast accompaniment, as well as a dinner side. When served for dinner, shrimp or cheese is often added to the grits to make the dish more substantial. Grits have very little flavor on their own, and for this reason, they are most often richly seasoned. For breakfast, butter and sugar is often added to grits for a sweet side. Grits are most commonly used in Southern cooking.
Hominy is considered one of the first foods gifted by Native Americans to settlers. However, cornmeal is more ubiquitous in the American kitchen. Cornmeal is dried corn that is ground into a flour without having its hull and germ removed. This allows it to maintain its yellow color and more distinctive flavor when compared with the minimal flavor of hominy grits.