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WQED TV producer and PITTSBURGH Magazine back-page writer writes about his current work and assorted other things.

Sifting grits.

March 5th, 2010 · 3 Comments

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 websiteSome 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.


Tags: "Breakfast Special"

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap // Mar 5, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Mmmm…I was just talking about grits to someone last night and love how they can be used from sweet to savory. I’ll have to check this type out- thanks Rick!

  • 2 Rick // Mar 5, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    MOD BETTY I’m a sweet guy, and I love dessert, but grits to me are just a savory side dish. I want butter & salt & pepper on them. Or red-eye gravy if I’m in North Carolina, maybe shrimp if I’m in Charleston, but I don’t think I ever want ’em sweet. Oatmeal sweet, yes, but grits: salty and corny.

  • 3 Rick Sebak’s Blog » Gritty video? // Apr 5, 2010 at 6:32 am

    […] already written a bit about our visit to Anson Mills in Columbia, South Carolina, but now we have some video back-up too.  It’s a […]

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