Grains are a relative newcomer to the list of great artisanal foods produced in the West. Our shimmering fields of wheat, corn, and oats are mainly commodity crops, planted by huge growers. But one producer has been raising and milling delicious artisanal whole grains for more than three decades now: Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, with headquarters about 10 miles outside of Portland. They don’t rely on the latest machinery—instead, they use old-school quartz millstones that you can check out during the daily tour.
Bob’s Red Mill has produced just about every kind of whole grain you’ve ever heard of, from barley to teff, and on top of that, they’re just good people. On founder Bob Moore’s 81st birthday in 2010, Bob announced that he was turning over ownership of the company to his employees, and they’ve donated millions toward health education at Oregon State University and the National College of Natural Medicine for its “Ending Childhood Obesity” project. Makes you feel even better about eating their whole grains. Learn more about local grains: