The odyssey started about a year ago.
It was then that I became determined to make roasted cornmeal and grits from blue corn. True to form, I decided to try the hard way first: I tried to have the corn grown for me. The winter was spent searching for seed, settling on an heirloom variety of Peruvian purple corn. The spring was spent waiting for it to come through US Customs. On May 8th, it was drilled into 8 acres of soil in Snow Hill, NC. Summer was spent watching the stalks grow, then tassle. And this fall, the combine ran through the fields to harvest the bounty of the earth. Guess how much corn we wound up shelling and cleaning for you to enjoy?
That’s right, I had a cruel reminder of what it means to be a farmer. Corporate America likes to talk about risk. But when you have everything you own, and everything you can borrow in the ground, praying for rain, that’s when you understand risk. And this year, the rains just didn’t come. So neither did the kernels. I don’t know who was more disappointed, me or my farmer friend Harry, who planted the corn. I think he was looking forward to his name and photo on the bag.
Undeterred, I struck off to find a source of blue corn for human consumption. How hard could it be?
Damn near next to impossible, as it turns out.
But things worked out, as they always do, when you are persistent. And you have the best network of friends in the whole wide world. Even the new friends, the ones you meet along the way. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that a sweet lady from Texas named Loretta was my heroine. Loretta not only hooked me up with blue corn, it is certified non-GMO, organic and never fumigated.
I’m gonna guess you don’t understand how rare this is. In a year of buying corn, the best I have been able to do is narrow down within a few states where the corn comes from. And I have NEVER seen a certified non-GMO, organic. And every bit of corn usually available is fumigated with Methyl Bromide. Yup, that’s right, they fog it with a substance toxic to humans. Don’t believe me? Read THIS LITTLE GEM from the University on Minnesota. My favorite line is
All fumigants are poisons—highly toxic to humans and other warm-blooded animals, as well as to insects.
Pedigreed corn, not fumigated, in my experience, is about as rare as hens’ teeth.
Yet that’s exactly what we have. The 2010 crop. Grown right here in the USA.
The only catch was I had to buy 2000 pounds. And that’s after Loretta bent the rules for me, cause she wasn’t supposed to send me anything less than 10,000 lbs. But Loretta took pity on me. And I promised to send her grits. Because even though Loretta is from Texas, she doesn’t live there anymore. And where she lives now, well, they just don’t know the first thing about grits. So she says.
So as of this afternoon, I am the recipient of one ton of beautiful, non-GMO, organic, non-fumigated blue corn.
Tomorrow, we dive in. Roasting. Milling. Eating.
If you want to try some, in any way, shape or form, get in touch. We’ve got plenty of corn. Look for it on our web site soon, like next week.