We Charlestonians wouldn’t know what to do without our grits. Whether we’re eating them for breakfast, as a side item, or as a bed on which to rest some shrimp, grits are a practically perfect food. But for those of you who think picking up a pack of instant grits from the grocery store will do to satisfy your grits craving, I beg you to think again.
Living in Charleston means that we’re blessed with some of the best grits in the world (and I say that in a totally unbiased way), and those grits come from Geechie Boy Mill. Located just down the street from Charleston in quiet Edisto Island, SC, the Geechie Boy Mill and Market is an unassuming building right off of Highway 174.
Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of locally-made goodies. Amazing grains of different varieties. Handmade soaps. Fresh donuts. T-shirts. Farro. Cornmeal. Pottery.
And a wide variety of Geechie Boy’s own dressings, marinades, and jams (which are spectacular, btw). But they don’t just peddle their own goodies, they also support locally-made companies and products, like Red Clay Hot Sauce, Burnt & Salty brand condiments (try the Korean mustard; it’s amazing), Melvin’s BBQ sauce…the list goes on.
And, of course, the pièce de résistance: grits!
But not just the white or yellow grits you’re accustomed to. They also have Jimmy Red Grits. And blue grits. And speckled grits. And any other grits that might appear seasonally. There’s a whole world of grits out there, just waiting for you!
So it’s an easy choice to make the switch to eating local when local means eating some of the best tasting grits of your life. Also, take a leaf out of Sean Brock’s book (and I mean this literally from his cookbook, Heritage) and soak your grits in water overnight for creamier, more flavorful grits.
If you can’t make it all the way out to Edisto, you can find Geechie Boy Mill grits all around town, at places like Mercantile & Mash, Blackbird Market, Bull Street Gourmet, and sometimes even in the local section at Harris Teeter or Bi-Lo.