I was fortunate enough to be able to make a trip to San Francisco recently and I had one goal on my trip: Sourdough Bread.
While out shopping in Los Angeles, I met a girl who happened to be from up north. We chatted a bit, and the thing she said she missed the most about up north is sourdough bread. I have seen ‘San Francisco Sourdough Bread’ in the grocery stores, but I had no idea why San Francisco is known for sourdough bread.
In San Francisco, near the famous Pier 39, is the famous Boudin bakery established in 1849. From the street, you are able to see the bread making process as well as the occasional long line of people waiting to buy fresh bread (I visited twice, and the earlier the better). Upstairs is the $5 20 minute self-guided museum, where you can find all your bread making answers to anything.
Here I learned of the historical significance of sourdough bread in San Francisco. It all started during the mining days. Many French immigrants came and opened up bakeries for the miners, but noticed one thing: the bread was unusually sour. The climate cultivated a certain type of yeast that gave the bread a particular type of flavor. Despite its ‘sourness’, the bread turned out to be pretty good, and thus, sourdough was born. If you would like to read a little bit more in detail about the history and development of this bread check it out here.
Also upstairs is a sit down restaurant where you can have a nice meal to go along with some freshly baked bread. The first floor is where you can order food to-go, buy souvenirs, and get some delicious bread to-go. One of the greatest things I found about the sourdough bread, was that you can order a sourdough bear. Yup, that’s right, a sourdough bear. They had turtle, crabs, bears, santa, snowmen, and much more available at the time.
I bought a sourdough loaf, a small bear, and a bread called the garlic volcano. The garlic volcano was a little bit too bitter for my taste, but my sister happened to love it. The small bear was too cute to eat. When I finally got the courage to rip one of his legs off, I realized I waited too long and the bread was already very hard. I loved the sourdough loaf the most. Ironically, it wasn’t as ‘sour’ as I was expecting and was delicious. I had this idea that maybe San Francisco would have the most sour sourdough of all, but this was a great surprise.
For any carb lover looking for somewhere to eat, or anyone that is curious about the bread making process, Boudin’s bakery is a great place to visit and eat. It’s a cheap place to explore and eat if you’re on a budget in San Francisco, and it is worth the historical value and knowledge you will receive after visiting.