The New York Times Dining section reported today that the White Lily flour company, which makes the supposedly premiere biscuit flour (lighter, fluffier) is moving its flour mills from Knoxville to the Midwest, causing shock and despair throughout the Southern baking community. (I hardly exaggerate here.) I wrote about my attempts to make biscuits a few months ago, when I pledged I would track down some White Lily and try again. Now I am both re-energized in my search and a little discouraged. How am I to know whether I end up with Knoxville or Midwest flour? According to the NYT, it makes a difference, and they even consulted the writer of the much-respected food science book CookWise.
It’s funny, in all our talk about local food, that flour can even be a local product. White Lily is that product for the South, and even it is now disappearing. I will be mail-ordering my flour anyway (yes, this is possible, and yes, I am aware of my carbon footprint and the ludicrousness of mail-ordering flour) and trying the CookWise recipe soon. I will report back on if it’s worth the effort (and expense, and environmental impact).