Grits begin as hard, dried corn kernels. Stripped from the cob, the kernels are slowly ground in a gristmill between two granite stones. The resulting large chunks of corn are called grits, and the powered produced in the grinding is cornmeal. Grits come in white or yellow, depending on the color of the corn.
"Quick Grits" or "Instant Grits" are different from Stone Ground Grits for several reasons. Stone Ground Grits are ground between two cool granite stone in gristmills, while Quick Grits are ground between hot steel rollers in a factory. This steel roller process is much quicker, but many of the essential oils are lost in the process. Additionally, factories remove the heart of the corn during processing. This helps to keep the grits from going bad, and therefore gives them a longer shelf life. Unfortunately, most of the corn oils are contained in this heart that is removed. Stone Ground grits still contain the heart of the kernel. The gives the grits a much shorter shelf life, but provides a much greater flavor.