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stone ground grits

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. Online.
    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. 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

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

                    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.

                    http://tinyurl.com/6lxz3xh

                    1. re: caganer

                      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. http://www.castlevalleymill.com/

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: famdoc

            thank you. that made me pretty happy.

            1. re: famdoc

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

            2. 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. 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

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