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stone ground grits

kwatts1 Aug 3, 2011 06:18 AM

Where to buy stone ground grits to cook at home in the greater Philadelphia area? in Chester County?or Berks County?

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  1. caganer RE: kwatts1 Aug 3, 2011 07:37 AM

    The truth is good grits are hard to find even in the South - just like here you mostly find the disgusting quick-cooking grits from big companies like Quaker. (I'm from NC originally).
    I know that Fresh Market grocery stores in NC usually have fancy grits and I know they're in the Philly suburbs now as well so so that could be source but I've never been to the stores here.
    I'd just order from anson mills online and get some carolina gold rice while you're at it.

    1. b
      barryg RE: kwatts1 Aug 4, 2011 07:01 AM

      Pretty sure most Whole Foods stores have them in the bulk section. If not, they might have them pre-bagged.

      8 Replies
      1. re: barryg
        caganer RE: barryg Aug 4, 2011 08:49 AM

        Those really aren't anything close to good stone ground grits - the grind is way too fine and they don't have much flavor.
        I've spent a lot of time looking for grits. They're hard to find because there aren't really that many people making them. It was always a small-scale industry and still is but the market is smaller now that southerners don't eat grits every morning so most of the mills are gone. What's left have become "artisans" who sell their grits for top dollar to restaurants and specialty stores.
        The texture and flavor of good, new-crop, stone ground grits is noticeably different from industrial producers or whole foods bulk bins. I think a high-quality stone-ground Italian polenta is a better, closer substitute for stone ground grits than the wholefoods stuff.

        1. re: caganer
          lowereastrittenhouse RE: caganer Aug 8, 2011 05:48 PM

          Agree with caganer. Another problem with Whole Foods grits is that they're not made from hominy corn. You're basically buying coarse-ground polenta and not high-quality polenta at that.

          1. re: lowereastrittenhouse
            barryg RE: lowereastrittenhouse Aug 8, 2011 08:43 PM

            Thanks for the lesson on grits caganer and lerittenhouse. Do any restaurants around here serve the good grits?

            (I would remiss if I did not mention Catahoula's smoked gouda grits as one the best preparations of grits--and one of the best side dishes, period--in the city. But I don't think that's because they use new crop stone ground grits.)

            1. re: barryg
              caganer RE: barryg Aug 9, 2011 09:01 AM

              Pub & Kitchen had a special with cheese grits that were really good but I honestly avoid grits or anything else "Southern" at restaurants in the North. Too many chefs make them thick and stodgy instead of the traditional runny and "wet" - like they say risotto should be. (I do think the quality of the grits matters less the more other stuff you put in. I usually eat them just buttered with a fried egg and hot sauce)
              But Philly has plenty of good chefs who I'm sure can be trusted not to screw-up a pot grits so maybe I'm missing out. Maybe the Happy Rooster - they have shrimp & grits on the menu and a chef knows Southern cooking, or so I've read.

              1. re: caganer
                barryg RE: caganer Aug 9, 2011 09:19 AM

                Catahoula has a great cajun style shrip & grits... check it out, the whole place is awesome, would be curious to hear your opinion.

                1. re: barryg
                  caganer RE: barryg Aug 9, 2011 12:06 PM

                  I always hated shrimp & grits until I got to college and had them at Crook's Corner, the restaurant, they say, where "nouvelle" shrimp and grits originated. Most fancy shrimp & grits follow their lead - sauteed shrimp and "stuff" with a simple pan sauce over grits, not much sauce. The traditional version is like a shrimp and bacon veloute over grits.
                  Are Catahoula's more in the nouvelle-style or is there a thick sauce involved?

                  1. re: caganer
                    famdoc RE: caganer Aug 9, 2011 12:42 PM

                    One of my favorite moments from this past season of HBO's "Treme" was when NOLA Chef Janette Desautel, working for David Chang in NYC prepares shrimp and grits for the staff of Chang's fictitious restaurant based, perhaps, on Momfuku Ko. Scroll down to the third video for a fantastic moment in TV cooking.


                    1. re: caganer
                      barryg RE: caganer Aug 9, 2011 01:20 PM

                      I don't know much about cajun food. They describe it as "traditional New Orleans BBQ sauce" but it's nothing like what most would consider a BBQ sauce and it's not particularly thick. It's actually a bit of an acquired taste.

                      I think the shrimp and grits are only on the brunch menu, but they serve shrimp in the same sauce on the dinner menu. Looking at the menu, I remember now that they mix mushrooms in with grits.

        2. famdoc RE: kwatts1 Aug 8, 2011 09:19 PM


          Doylestown-based, sold at Farmers' Markets in Doylestown and Stockton (NJ)

          2 Replies
          1. re: famdoc
            caganer RE: famdoc Aug 9, 2011 09:02 AM

            thank you. that made me pretty happy.

            1. re: famdoc
              Bigley9 RE: famdoc Aug 9, 2011 09:53 AM

              I just got these for the first time and thought about this thread. I got them at a small market around Hellertown

            2. k
              kwatts1 RE: kwatts1 Aug 9, 2011 03:20 AM

              Gechee Girl in Mt Airy serves them on their dinner menu - Shrimp and Grits with greens. If you go to google map and map Philadelphia and "search nearby" - several restaurants come up with them on the menu.

              1. FrancisdeR RE: kwatts1 Aug 9, 2011 09:52 AM

                The Mill at Anselma in Chester Springs (Chester Co) makes excellent stone ground flours and cornmeal. I don't know if their products extend to grits.

                1 Reply
                1. re: FrancisdeR
                  kwatts1 RE: FrancisdeR Aug 9, 2011 02:24 PM

                  I was at the Mill at Anselma last week. They do not make or sell stone ground grits.

                2. n
                  nccountryham RE: kwatts1 Nov 22, 2011 08:33 AM

                  North State Products carries a fine selection of yellow and white stone ground grits.

                  1. Delucacheesemonger RE: kwatts1 Nov 22, 2011 09:19 AM

                    Just saw this thread and remembered l have been getting grits from Callaway Gardens in Georgia for years 'Speckled Heart' Grits. Please tell me if these are good ones as l have enjoyed them for many years but am willing to learn if there is anything better out there.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                      caganer RE: Delucacheesemonger Nov 22, 2011 11:45 AM

                      Those look good. Speckled grits are one name for the "alternative" to hominy grits. They're made from the whole kernel, with the germ and husk.
                      If they have good flavor you're on the right track. Also, good grits take time. If the package says to cook for much less than 30 minutes, just walk away.
                      I've never gotten "bad" old fashioned, slow cooking grits. It's not so much that there are wide variations between the good stuff, its how utterly horrible the mass-market products are in comparison. It's like everyday "basmati" rice from the grocery store versus instant boil in bag rice.

                      1. re: caganer
                        Delucacheesemonger RE: caganer Nov 22, 2011 02:01 PM

                        These cook forever.

                    2. n
                      nccountryham RE: kwatts1 Nov 22, 2011 12:47 PM


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