Old School is one of a growing number of purveyors that process grits the old-fashioned way, in a stone mill. Late founder Dave Hinson started the operation as a hobby. (Since he passed away in 2010, his widow, Robin, has been running the company.) In 1986, Dave bought and refurbished a 45-year-old mill, and he studied under the state's few remaining millers to learn their craft. That means crushing locally grown, dried white corn kernels between stone wheels, a technique that incorporates the endosperm along with the germ, which is packed with nutrients, oil, and that delicious corny flavor. When cooked, the resulting rustic mix of brown and white opaque pieces—speckled in grits parlance —tastes nutty, toasty, and pleasantly earthy. And even when stirred to creaminess, they retain an extraordinary texture that's chewy and velvety at once.