Chef Bob Waggoner prides himself on the ingredients he tracks down for his restaurant Charleston Grill at the Charleston Place Hotel in South Carolina. When he discovered these exceptionally aromatic, stone-ground grits, produced right in Charleston, he liked them so much he decided to sell them. The secret is the milling; a water-powered mill that dates back to the Civil War uses two enormous granite stones to grind the corn extremely slowly. Slow grinding means the dried kernels don't get hot, which can destroy oils that deliver a punch of strong flavor. These grits will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month, but as Waggoner says, "they're never around here nearly that long" ($10 for a 2-pound bag; 843-937-9142).
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