After a fabulous ‘social appetizer’ at Blue Hound Kitchen + Cocktails the night before, the official Foodies In Phoenix tour started with a true taste of Arizona and a sneak-peek of Hayden Flour Mills at Sossaman Farms in Queen Creek, Arizona.
I was really excited to get a behind-the-scenes tour of Hayden Flour Mills operation at Sossaman Farms. After watching the chefs at Cafe Allegro, at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), cook and bake with their products for the past few years, this sensory experience really brought me full circle.
Over the past few years, carbohydrates have gotten such bad ‘PR’, but Hayden Flour Mills is managing to make carbs cool again, by really tapping into their history and heritage using ancient grains.
It’s amazing to consider how much Hayden Flour Mills produces, especially considering it’s literally a one-man show. Ben Butler is - as they lovingly refer to him - the “bearded miller extraordinaire” and he gave the Foodies In Phoenix a tour of the milling room where all of the magic happens.
After Ben told us about the milling process, we were lucky enough to take home samples of his fresh, handmade pasta. Naturally, the foodies were drooling over the thought of going home to cook some of the purple barley rigatoni and mafalda, as well as freekeh and durum semolina fazullio and macaroni. While Hayden Flour Mills’ pasta is still very much in the test stages, it may appear on shelves next to their flours and grains in the not-too-distant future.
Hayden Flour Mills may not yet be a household name for all Arizonans (yet), but they should be. In fact, they’re kind of a big deal. So much so that in 2014, Hayden Flour Mills won the Martha Stewart American Made award and they’re also featured in an upcoming documentary, “The Grain Divide.”
What’s even more exciting is that soon everyone will be able to schedule their very own behind-the-scenes tour of Hayden Flour Mills also! With an official grand opening scheduled for this fall, the mill will be giving visitors the opportunity to take baking classes and educational seminars. The intimate space is a perfect setting to learn about the importance of these flavorful heritage grains in the American diet.
***Story and photos by Lauren Potter*** ***Tour & tasting courtesy of Visit Mesa***