White Lily, the most Southern of flours, is leaving the South. Milling operations shifted to two Ohio facilities earlier this month, leaving the Knoxville factory that had produced White Lily for 125 years.
Supermarket shelves still stock the Tennessee-produced flour, but as supplies dwindle, bags made in Ohio will replace them.
For bakers accustomed to the ultra-fine flour, which is milled to produce more tender biscuits, cakes and pie crusts than a conventional, higher protein flour, it's alarming news. For Southern food devotees, it's a strike at a cherished tradition, one handed down from mothers and grandmothers for generations.
This worries me:
An informal test organized by The New York Times sent unlabeled bags of flour from the old and new mills to several bakers. All said they could tell the difference — and wanted their old White Lily back.
I am not happy about this.