Historically, Southern-style grits are made by grinding dried corn (typically a White Dent Corn) and then boiling it in a pot of water until softened with a pinch of butter and salt thrown in for good measure. However, the meals we call grits today go back centuries and have often crossed oceans on their pathway to our family recipe books adding memories along the way. Grits find their roots in the American Dream, the dream that we can enjoy the way we've come from wherever we started and share our journey with those we meet through stories, games, and let’s not forget about food!
At Barkley’s Mill, we take our farm-to-table goodness seriously and proudly grow gourmet quality Hickory King Dent heirloom white corn. It’s known for its exceptional flavor, which made it a perfect choice for our white corn grits.
In VanKeuren Stables (located on our family farm), we have a unique elevator system engineered by Micah Stowe that evenly and efficiently distributes the corn into cribs. This process enables us to easily hand-select each ear of corn that goes into our Barkley’s Mill stone ground heirloom gourmet white corn grits. Once the selections have been made, we then transfer the corn to our mill house where its fate is nothing short of mouth-watering, Stoned Happy Grits that are "mmmm, so good!"
Happily, our gourmet grits can be used in a broad variety of ways. One delicious way to whip up a tasty batch of this warm breakfast staple (you may remember it from Grandma’s house), is to use the Creamy Country Grits recipe. To do so, simply bring water to boil in a medium sized saucepan. Slowly add Barkley’s Mill gourmet grits and reduce the heat to a “simmer.” Cover saucepan but stir frequently. After approximately 35–55 minutes, the grits should be fully cooked. (Shorter cook-times leave grits crunchy and fully of body. Longer cooking pulls out the inner flavor of the corn and soften the texture.) Remove the saucepan from heat and leave it uncovered for 5 minutes. Turn another burner on low for a small saucepan. Add ⅓ cup of heavy cream to the saucepan. Stir constantly until cream is steaming (do not boil). Pour the heavy cream over your grits and slowly stir together. When your grits and cream are mixed completely, add butter, salt and pepper to taste. Want your grits sweeter? Just add a dash of sugar—brown or white. Want a healthy, fruity taste? Add your favorites during or after you cook your grits.
Cooking your grits in chicken or beef stock instead of water, adding American or Cheddar cheese, or even throwing in a few vegetables or pieces of fruit are popular ways to prepare your favorite grits and bring back wonderful memories. Southern style grits are not limited to your morning breakfast routine and can absolutely be adapted to fit your need especially when you use our gourmet heirloom white corn grits. For more info, check out our tips to make perfect stone ground grits.
We’re sure that whatever way you choose to prepare our grits that you’ll find them “Mmmm, so good!.” You can find our signature grits and seeds for purchase in our store.
Our heirloom corn seed, gourmet white corn grits come from non-GMO (non-genetically-modified) heirloom white corn seed chosen for its robust flavor and heirloom nature (Hickory King Dent white corn). Our corn is grown in the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina on our family land, Southern Cross Farm, where we take farm-to-table goodness seriously. The rich, full, and naturally robust flavor found in Barkley’s Mill grits is simply not found in your typical grocery store or local high-end grocer.
To gain our certifications from the non-GMO-project and NSF (Gluten Free) we had to go through a series of rigorous tests and must maintain specific methods to ensure our produce remains both non-GMO and gluten free. An inspector had to come by and observe our location and the maturity period of our corn to ensure that no crops are near enough to cause cross pollination. We also needed to send our corn, at different times, to independent labs to test our level of non-GMO (less than 0.05%) and gluten. Also, When we grow cover crops, to help keep our land fertile, we must grow non-GMO plants. However, Barkley's Mill goes above and beyond by not only meeting these requirements but we also dedicated all of our facilities to only storing and grinding our heirloom gourmet white corn grits. At Barkley's Mill we take our farm-to-table goodness very seriously.
After the corn is grown, we harvest and shuck it (removing the corn from its stalk and husk), crib dry it, inspect and hand-select each ear of corn before shelling it (separating the kernels from the cob) using an old-fashioned sheller and grinding it into our Barkley’s Mill signature grits.
As a final touch to preserve the highest quality grits possible we add no preservatives or artificial flavoring so that our grits have a 100% all-natural flavor. We are able to do this by cool storing our grits at 0 (zero) degrees Fahrenheit in our freezer dedicated to our non-GMO and gluten free grits to await your order instead of adding harmful preservatives or pre-cooking. This amount of delicate care dramatically increases the quality of our products to be the very best. We’re so sure you’ll find our grits to be truly award winning that we offer a 30 day /100% money-back guarantee trusting that each and every customer will be fully satisfied and testify that Barkley's Mill gourmet stone-ground grits are just about the best thing you've ever tasted.
*Only available upon request*, our unbolted grits hold the most natural flavor and hearty texture of our signature grits. Both varieties are packed right after being ground with our dual 1919 Williams Stone Burr Gristmills to keep their texture hearty. This coarse grade includes corn kernel skins and kernels ground to various sizes instead of the one-size kernel variety you’re probably used to. So, if you’re looking for a full bodied nutty and chunky taste for your warm breakfast or need some texture for a main entree our unbolted grits are what you’ve been looking for. While the chaff has been blown off, the texture of our unbolted grits comes from them not being sifted through an old-style bolter to remove the larger pieces of corn kernels or kernel skins.
Bolted grits come form the next step in the process. We take unbolted grits and sift them through an old-style bolter to remove the larger pieces of corn and corn kernel skins left by the corn's pass through our gristmill. Bolted corn grits make a hearty yet less chunky texture than unbolted grits, however, it provides a heartier texture than finely sifted quick-grits or pre-cooked instant grits.
Barkley’s Mill gourmet heirloom grits are nothing if not extraordinarily different. Our grits are different in the seeds we use, the way we grow them, the way we select each and every corn cob shelled for us by hand, the way we grind our corn, and even the way we package and store our finished products. Our facilities are dedicated to one purpose: to grind and store our gourmet heirloom white corn grits in preparation for your enjoyment.
We do not currently sell a quick-grit variety. Quick-grits are the sort of grits that come from the corn being run through a highly refined bolter to remove even the slightest hint of corn kernel skins or any non-small-sized corn kernels. This sort of grits often lacks the naturally full bodied texture we seek to bring you and lends itself to a bland bodiless texture you could find almost anywhere. This quick variety consists mainly of an almost cornmeal like texture and is often bleached or enriched, robbing you and your family of the naturally robust flavor you were meant to enjoy. We’re confident that once you try our full bodied robust flavored gourmet heirloom white corn grits you’ll never want to go back to instant ever!