Need local grits? The Congaree Milling Company is now up and running. Owner Ken DuBard worked for prestigious Anson Mills for six years; he’s now on his own, milling grits, cornmeal and other products from white, yellow and blue corn.
“I want this to be the best grits you can get outside of owning your own grist mill,” DuBard says.
His company isn’t certified organic yet, but the corn he’s buying is. And he plans to switch out the products he supplies to retail outlets frequently — weekly, even.
“Fresh corn just really doesn’t last,” DuBard says. He likens it to coffee: “Crack a roasted bean — you’re breaking up a little preservative unit. You’re releasing all the oils out of that shell. The same thing goes for corn.”
Many mass-market corn products have had the oil-rich germ removed, DuBard explains. “For larger mills to sell shelf-stable corn product, they degerm the corn first,” he says. “When they remove those oils, they remove the potential for rancidity, but ... also remove the flavor, oxidize everything. It tastes the same six months later, but it doesn’t have much flavor.”
Provisions, the bulk/local food store at 2843 Millwood Avenue, is stocking Congaree Milling Company grits now. You can also order online at thecongareemillingcompany.com. If you order by noon, DuBard says, the product will be milled that day. The website also contains recipes and a blog. And if you’re looking for something specific, DuBard says, give him a call: Contact information is on his website.
Here’s your annual reminder to make a reservation now if you’re going to try to dine out on Valentine’s Day. Since the holiday of love falls on a Friday this year, expect things to be extra, extra busy.
And where, specifically, should you go for the big day?
Well, Hunter-Gatherer Brewery and Ale House claims to have booked Elvis for Valentine’s Day. The King sings at 9 p.m. So there’s that.
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