April Feature

Tidewater grain co

Oriental, NC

Tidewater Grain Co

Oriental, NC

A farm in Pamlico County, NC growing heirloom rice - both Carolina Gold and Santee Long Grain - for the first time in 120 years.

Tidewater Grain Co is a family owned farm that mills and packages their heirloom Carolina Gold rice themselves, putting the whole process in their control to make sure it arrives to your table with the quality they strive for.

They are the first and only NC rice farm located in Oriental NC, making it special not only for the unique taste and heirloom quality of Carolina Gold but because it’s farmed here in North Carolina. 

We met Chuck Hall at the Atlanta Market as we rounded a corner towards the end of the temporaries. We were exhausted and were talking about where we might grab dinner and totally didn’t notice the booth but for some reason I looked back and noticed a big sign that said Oriental, NC. I grabbed Travis and went back excited to see something new from NC. After talking to him we got excited about the product and made a purchase on the spot.

We were nervous about making the investment on rice. A pantry staple that can be found in every grocery store. But we couldn’t be more happy and can’t wait to make another purchase from them, supporting what they are doing with an heirloom crop here in NC.

We’re carrying both the 2 cup packages and 2 lb packages of the white and brown rice. Tidewater also partnered with another well loved NC company, Manobella, to create a Risotto mix also on our shelves. Carolina Gold is a fantastic rice for wet rice dishes like risotto or stews because it’s tough to overcook. 

Carolina Gold Rice at one time was the most sought after rice in the world but was abandoned by the early 1900s. This long grain rice though was rediscovered in the 1980s just as chefs started to turn towards more locally produced foods. Tidewater is single-handedly bringing it back to NC.

Tidewater is used in restaurants all over NC (and the nation) for the non-gmo and non-hybridized version, the heirloom variety that has a unique nutty flavor, and it’s ability to hold it’s texture well and withstand overcooking.

Ever wonder what the difference is between brown & white rice? Here’s their explanation: 

Brown rice is revealed when the hull is removed from paddy rice that’s been harvested and dried. Then, brown rice is mechanically polished with a stone and the layer of bran is removed and white rice is left. During the process, some grains are broken into pieces like grits or rice middlins . When the rice is ground finely, you’re left with rice flour.

Want to read more about Tidewater Grain Co?

Check out this story from Our State: North Carolina’s Rice Revival.

Or read their story: Tidewater Grain Co, Our Story