Ohio’s Own: Shagbark Seed & Mill
Gourmet Fritos aren’t something I’ve ever really considered. It just seems like corn chips are so profoundly, perfectly junky, they transcend the world of artisanal snacking.
Athens-based Shagbark Seed & Mill has put all the good things about corn chips into its Corn Cracker Minis. While the label says “cracker”, the product sure tastes like corn chips . . . only better. Shagbark’s snacks are flatter and bigger than the regular twisty chips, and the crackers have a heavily toasted corn flavor, a coarser -more interesting texture, and enough salt to keep my hand in the bag while typing this.
So, the corn crackers are the corn chip snack from childhood, on steroids. Everything about them is more intense.
There is quite a bit of philosophy behind Shagbark’s products. You can get an inkling of it by looking at the label of the chips, there are only three ingredients: corn, “expeller pressed non GMO sunflower oil” and salt. Shagbark is into sustainable agriculture, alternative crops and high-nutrition products. The business teams those interests with an evangelical zeal for bringing its products to people in all socioeconomic groups.
For the snack-addicted, there are also Shagbark Seed & Mill Tortilla Chips. True chips, they are thicker than the grocery brands, less salty and less toasty that the Shagbark crackers. Once you’ve hit the more flavorful crackers, it’s hard to love the Tortilla chips, but there’s probably some audience waiting for them with a bowl of salsa.
The big bag of corn crackers was $4. A little bag of tortilla chips was $1.25. Shagbark’s products can be found at The Greener Grocer, Weiland’s, and the mill is doing a little Kroger colonizing at the location in Worthington. You can find the full list of locations here: asfc.weebly.com/shop.html. Their website also has more information on other Shagbark products such as heirloom popcorn, spelt pasta and Adzuki beans.
Photo by Anne Evans.