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Heirloom Grains, Old-Fashioned Milling, Inspire Chicago Bakers, Distillers

June 19, 2017: 12:00 AM EST
A small but growing cadre of grain farmers, bakers, distillers, and restaurateurs in the Chicago area are devoted to growing, milling and using ancient, heirloom and organic grains. These devotees have returned to the old way of making bread – no steel roller milling, thank you – in which the local miller grinds all the whole grain – fiber-rich bran, flavorful germ and starchy endosperm – to make flour for the town’s bakers. It has resulted in some high-quality and nutrient-dense, albeit expensive, loaves being sold in local shops. It has also resulted in development of a local vodka made from organic soft red winter wheat and organic rye, milled in-house: “a sipping liquor, with weight and a mild, grainy sweetness.”
Laura Levy Shatkin, "Grain Geeks Push Local, Heirloom Trends", Chicago Tribune, June 19, 2017, © Chicago Tribune
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