Jimmy Red is a bright red corn with a colorful history and a celebrated reputation with chefs. Thanks to chefs like Sean Brock it has burst onto the culinary scene and is adorning restaurant menus throughout the US.
Now protected in the Slow Food Ark of Taste, Jimmy Red was a Native American corn that made its way south to Florida, Georgia and the South Carolina Islands where it was largely used to create moonshine. It was not well known outside of bootlegger circles until the last of the bootleggers passed away and nearly took Jimmy Red with him. Lucky for us someone saved a couple of ears and gave them to a celebrated farmer and seed saver who found that this unique variety was good for much more than hooch. He gave seeds to several small farmers including Geechie Boy Mill who makes spectacular grits and cornmeal with the grain.
Why all the fuss? Jimmy Red is a distinctly unique corn with a nutty aroma and a personality all it's own. It has been said that tasting grits made of Jimmy Red is like tasting what grits must have tasted like in the 1800s.