Click here for a definition (scroll down the page and look for "hominy grits").
They're not quite a liquid, I would say they're more like a loose paste. I don't know of anything that has quite the same texture, except perhaps cream of wheat. The hominy grits I've had, though, are much grittier than cream of wheat, almost like large grains of sand.
Grits is great! And, yes, it takes the singular - check out this nice bit in wikipedia for an explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grits
As for grits, liquid or solid, the problem is in the preparation. Since grits is just ground corn boiled in water, the result can range from very wet to very dry (hard as a rock, in fact, sometimes!). As with Italians and al dente pasta, American Southerners are very particular about the consistency of their grits. One thing is for sure - it shouldn't be too wet or too dry, there is a magic middle point that is endlessly debated!
But, if you've never had them, find a cheap diner somewhere in the American South, and order some coffee, eggs, bacon, and grits (best with red-eye gravy, by the way!) - you will not be disappointed!
Grits is an acquired taste. I've eaten them in several diners in the South, and they tasted like a cross between library paste and poi! Everyone should try them once, but once should have been enough for me!
*And yes, I've had them with red-eye gravy; I've had them with salt and butter; I've had them with sugar and milk. I think you may have to have been born eating them to like them.
Ah, Joelline, I'm sorry to hear you were born in the wrong place!
And grits isn't just for breakfast anymore, it is also useful in fighting crime:
"Do you remember what you had?"
"Eggs and grits."
"Eggs and grits ... I like grits, too. How do you cook your grits? Do you like them regular, creamy, or al dente?"
"Just regular, I guess."
"Regular, instant grits?"
"No self-respecting southerner uses instant grits! I take pride in my grits!"
from "My Cousin Vinny"
Vinny is examining a witness. By determining how long it took to cook the grits, he proved that the witness could not have seen what he said he saw. Or something like that ... the point is - grits can do marvelous things!
James, I simply provided the definitions('grits'pl. is oatmeal(not porridge but 'groats')) "Grits' is mainly cooked in Texas and is called 'Grits'. It's a kind of 'polenta'. I have never eaten the 'grits', though.