Great question. I live in Louisiana. It is a popular southern breakfast food that is white, and grainy , and soft when cooked. It does not have much flavor unless you add butter to it when it is hot. It goes well with fried eggs, and bacon. Now days they have it in different flavors I think. My wife, and daughter eat it sometimes. I don't know if it has much nutrition. It may have a lot of calories, and I think it is a major starch kind of food. It is grainy when cooked. Joann mixes a few spoons of it with a little water, and sticks it in the microwave a minute or two I believe. It is good with bacon bits. I bet the cowboys in wagon trains, or ranch hands might have ate it as part of their grub.
O.K. with coffee , eggs, bacon, with cow punchers that play harmonicas out on the range where the deer, and the antelope play like the song "Home on the Range," goes.
Sometimes I buy instant grits at the Dollar store. We like instant oatmeal too. The plain white grits are fast enough to cook. Why in the world did they need instant grits.
God Bless You Dear Heart. Good Question.