We continue our very, very limited series on products made and sold in Baltimore with a most basic of staples: Flour.
Washington Flour. A most basic but crucial product, one which enters every delicious muffin, cakey thing or pancakey thing imaginable, when thinking about buying local (or the marginally less favorable buying regionally) it’s good to know that a ubiquitous staple like flour can be bought with the knowledge that the company producing the gobbledegook is at the very least within driving distance of the epicenter of Baltimore City.
In fact, Washington Flour, as produced by WR Mills, has been around for 100 years as of 2013 and has one of three major production facilities right over there in Ellicott City. You’ve probably driven past it a million times and thought it was old and/or abandoned, and you’d be half right:
Yes, it looks old and crappy but have you ever gotten really close to the Domino Sugar facility? Holy shit that place is old. Fortunately for us, flour/corn meal and other grain related products don’t really require state of the art tech facilities to put out (but it doesn’t hoit!) and while the idea of an agribusiness strumming along at the entrance to uber cute boutique world Old Ellicott City, if you crack your history book open for three seconds you’ll find it a universal truth that prior to being “Old,” Ellicott City was historically a mill town – before the advent of the super cute boutique – so it makes a great deal of sense. Yup, right there on the river. Perfect place for a mill town.
Much like Fells Point, which in the face of luxury condos and places for rich people to shop contains an industrial bakery and a major plant seed distributor. Truly a ghost from the days of Baltimore Industry Past. Lest we forget that as recently as 1985, horse drawn steam trains were shuttling industrial materials back and forth alongside ’83 Datsuns, and if you’ve ever eaten at Kali’s Court, well, it was a foundry. A FOUNDRY.
At any rate, non sequitur aside the product remains: locally made flours and corn meal, for your baking pleasure. Bake away Baltimore!