Since the California Gold Rush in 1849, sourdough bread has been an important part of the cuisine of San Francisco. Though this style of bread originated much further back in history, the unique starter used in San Francisco’s sourdough has become world famous for its intense sour flavors and dense texture, and is difficult to reproduce elsewhere in the world. The starter’s microorganisms can only thrive in the specific combination of conditions found in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sourdough bread was a favorite of the miners during the Gold Rush, who carried the starter with them as they dispersed across the state, bringing the delicious bread wherever they went. Sourdough bread has become so closely associated with San Francisco, that sourdough became a nickname for miners, and today the mascot of the football team, the San Francisco 49ers, is named Sourdough Sam.
San Francisco’s Boudin Bakery began baking sourdough bread way back in 1849, and using the same starter, has been in continuous production ever since.
This white bread has a chewy, crispy crust, and is the perfect pairing for many popular San Francisco soups, like clam chowder and cioppino, and can often be found hollowed out and shaped into a bowl in which to serve the soups.