Monday, March 1, 2021

‘Original Grit Girl’ Brings Delicious Flavor to Southern Restaurants

Georgeanne Ross stumbled into the grits business in 2001 and has since made a name for herself as the Original Grit Girl.

Georgeanne Ross, the Original Grit Girl
Georgeanne Ross, the Original Grit Girl

Thanks to her husband Freddy and his fascination with restoring old machines, Georgeanne is the proud owner of a vintage gristmill that originally was used for fun and has since spurred a business well known in Oxford.

Georgeanne began playing with the mill about once a month, giving away the corn meal and grits to family and friends. One friend, also a chef in Memphis, wanted more — pounds more. After an initial delivery in the Bluff City, her friend advised her to wander from one “white tablecloth restaurant” to the next, offering samples of her healthy, wholesome, homemade products.

“This doesn’t have any additives or preservatives,” Georgeanne said. “It’s pure cracked corn.”

John Currence's shrimp and grits is made with Georgeanne Ross' stoneground grits. Photo courtesy City Grocery Restaurant Group
John Currence’s shrimp and grits is made with Georgeanne Ross’ stoneground grits.
Photo courtesy City Grocery Restaurant Group

Over time, many restaurants nationwide began using her stoneground grits, including Oxford chef John Currence, who loves the grits and partially credits Georgeanne with his success, especially with his signature shrimp and grits dish at City Grocery.

“Georganne Ross and her grits are one and the same: delightful, delicious and fun to play with,” Currence said. “She has been a dream partner to work with on product and I know few people in the world who find as much joy in what they do as she does. I think of her as much a family member as I do a purveyor.”

The whole kernel grits, in comparison to those purchased from a grocery store, are usually higher in fiber and have a stronger color while lacking the artificial flavors, preservatives and additives. When Big Bad Breakfast, another Currence restaurant, began using Georgeanne’s grits, they also began adding less seasoning, cheese and extras to let the natural flavor shine through the product.

For more on the Original Grit Girl, visit her website.

The Original Grit Girl from The Southern Documentary Project on Vimeo.

Amelia Camurati is editor of HottyToddy.com and can be reached at amelia.camurati@hottytoddyarchive.com.

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