It’s Monday, February 15, and we awake in Columbia, South Carolina. By 8 o’clock, we arrive at Anson Mills on Gervais Street.
I’d found this place while researching grits on-line, and it looks pretty interesting. Careful attention to the old ways of doing things. Grits are an important part of the southern breakfast, and I hoped to see how they get from the ear of corn to the tasty treat on the plate. The Anson Mills website is full of info.
I talked on the phone a couple of times with Glenn Roberts, the man behind Anson Mills, and he agreed to show us how his small milling operation makes some of the best grits in America. It was a quick morning.
We shot a long interview with Glenn, assorted b-roll shots around the small plant, and we were out of there by 11:30.
The people who work there do just about everything by hand, from sifting ground corn to separating it into the different size pieces, to mixing the pieces into different blends for different kinds of grits, to packing and shipping the products. Glenn told us that you can buy these products in some farmers’ markets and specialty stores, but the best way to get “antebellum grits” is to order them from the website. Some of the best chefs in America use Anson Mills products exclusively.
Glenn emphasized that you have to cook these slowly. They’re not instant grits. Glenn didn’t know any local breakfast spots that used his grits, but there are probably many food-loving Southerners who know these carefully created grits are the real thing.