Sourdough Starter

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My best memories of San Francisco are the sourdough rolls my dad would buy us filled with mayo and rich dry salami slices. On the wharf, my mother and he would buy a whole crab and she’d pack some local butter. I’d have the claws, but later, when I was older, my dad taught me the delights of crab butter with the still-warm sourdough boule we’d buy to go with the crab. Which,I might add, was never broken or washed for us. It was taken straight from the huge pot, straight into its butcher paper wrapper.
I taught my boys that tradition, along with bonfires at the beach where I’d roast some mild Italian sausages we’d share, along with the sourdough bread rolls.
Miss those days.

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The biology in this article could use some clarification. Sourdough is the result of a symbiotic relationship between yeast and bacteria. Yeast makes CO2 that gives sourdough it’s rise. Lactobacillus is a type of bacterium that gives sourdough it’s tangy taste (by producing acetic acid or lactic acid).

One species commonly found in sourdough cultures is Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. While it bears the name of San Fransisco, it shows up in sourdoughs made anywhere on the planet.