The Clever Root

Winter / Spring 2016

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1 2 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Introducing the people across the country behind the food we love to eat by Jesse Hom-Dawson Glenn Roberts Founder of Anson Mills in Columbia, South Carolina MEET YOUR MAKERS GLENN ROBERTS, A FORMER HOTEL and restaurant architect, moved from building kitchens to being inside them when he decided to be involved in the food industry in a more hands-on way, and founded Anson Mills in 1988. Focusing on heirloom grains that can trace their heritage from the Carolinas to Asia and back, Anson Mills has gone from producing six products to over 400 ingredients that are used by chefs all over the country, including Animal in Los Angeles, Stone Barn at Blue Hill in Upstate New York and Coi in San Francisco. Roberts produces all sorts of grain, including his well-known non-aromatic Carolina Gold rice, various wheat flours and beans. Carolina Gold rice is a historic crop, the first American long grain rice and now a crop grown worldwide. Roberts is bringing the crop back to its original home, where its green tea and nutty flavor makes it a popular pick for paella and other rice-based dishes. Roberts explains the appeal of his products, saying, "Anson Mills is unique in that its practices are built around pre–Industrial Revolution farming; we provide their farmers with heirloom seeds for free, and we grow multiple crops in the same acreage, staggering their plantings so the crops mature all at once and can be separated post-harvesting." Their flours don't contain preservatives and are fresh-milled for immediate use. It's a throwback to the bygone era of careful, hands-on Southern farming, one that's gaining traction as we pay closer attention to what we put in our bodies.

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