Welcome to our Farm to Table blog. We’re looking forward to sharing healthy recipes, introducing you to our local farmers, and providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of our kitchen & bar. Our hope for this blog is to connect our customers directly with the community we support and share the intimate connection we have to our food.
Today we will explore an essential ingredient found in Southern cuisine, and common to many cultures around the world: rice. We proudly utilize Carolina Gold Rice, a specific strain with a fascinating history. Once the most popular rice in American history, by the mid 1700’s, Carolina Gold was king. Sometimes called The World’s Greatest Rice, it’s a flavorful, richly textured, long-grain rice that adds complexity to a variety of dishes. But by the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the crop almost disappeared entirely. The Civil War destroyed many rice fields, and destructive hurricanes complicated replanting efforts into the early 1900’s. The Great Depression was almost the end of this tasty long-grained rice as it disappeared from the American food scene in favor of mass produced commercial strains. Decades later, a fortuitous turn of events led to the most important thing to happen to Southern food in 30 years: an eye doctor named Dr. Richard Schultz discovered neglected seeds in a Savannah, GA seed bank. Originally intending to produce feed for local ducks, Dr. Schultz eventually began planting enough Carolina Gold Rice to sell to the public. By 1988, Glenn Roberts from Anson Mill single-handedly brought old and nearly extinct species of heirloom grains & corn back to life. The Master Seed Saver, his mission first and foremost was flavor. He sought to export local rice around the world, but he started in the south. Today, in addition to a collection of native heirloom grains, Anson Mill also grows Japanese buckwheat, French oats, Mediterranean wheat, and Italian farro. Each day, The Kitchen starts with a fresh batch of Carolina Gold Rice that will make its flavorful debut in beloved dishes like our Caramelized Alabama Catfish. Look for that coveted Carolina Gold Rice in new feature dishes on upcoming weekend specials & seasonal menus at The Mill Kitchen and Bar.