SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Grits are a tradition in the Coastal Empire and many locals find comfort in the porridge that’s made from dried hulled corn kernels that have been ground to a fine, medium or thick consistency.

As simple as they sound, they have been front and center of the ongoing sweet vs. savory debate and some Savannah locals are ready to settle it for once and for all.

“Grits should never have sugar, pepper vinegar, jelly or any other sweet substance!” said Savannah local Jennifer Haddad.

Niki Burnett, also from Savannah, agreed with Haddad adding, “Butter, bacon, salt and pepper are the only items that should be in grits.”

After asking dozens of Savannah natives what goes in grits, the following top 5 ingredients were mentioned over and over again. Here is the official list of ingredients that, according to many Savannah locals, would make the ultimate bowl of grits. 

  1. Salt
  2. Pepper
  3. Butter
  4. Cheese
  5. Bacon 

Whether you use all of the listed ingredients, or just a few of them, locals are confident you can’t go wrong.

Lysa Rodriguez, a server at the Breakfast Place in Savannah said, “Here at the restaurant, people normally put sugar, jelly, salt or butter in their grits, I put cheese and salt.”

Robert Alexander, chef at The Holland House Restaurant said, “All you need is a little salt and pepper. I prefer some cream or half and half and a little bit of butter, the flavor will be there.”

However, Alyssa Burgess had a different take, possibly sparking another debate.

“I’m from California and we don’t have grits there so I’m definitely an oatmeal person,” she said.