Thursday, August 16, 2012

San Francisco : Boudin Bakery (The Origin of San Francisco Sourdough?)

Long before I arrived at San Francisco, my wife has been talking about the Clam Chowders that she is going to wallop when she gets there. So did a few of our other friends who would be making their way there too.
Well, we did have our `several' (ahem) Clam Chowders at different restaurants and they were really out of this world. This is definitely something that one must try when you are in San Francisco. Now, Clam Chowder can served in a cup or a bowl, but I would strongly recommend that you try Clam Chowder in the San Francisco traditonal sourdough bread, which by itself has a story to tell....

Sourdough is a bread product made by a long fermentation using naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacilli, a bacteria that can convert lactose and other sugars to lactic acid, which in turn give the bread a mild sour taste.

It was reported that the San Francisco air somehow create a sourdough quite unique and different from those produced elsewhere and hence, the sourdough in San Francisco has become an icon of sorts to the city itself. There were several bakeries that of course claimed to have the original recipe of the sourdough in San Francisco and one of such is the Boudin Bakery.

Boudin Bakery started way back in 1849 and after going through her ups and downs is one of the larger bakery chain in San Francisco who is reputed to be still baking her sourdoughs with a portion of the `mother dough' (pre-fermented starter in the traditional bread baking process). Apparently during the great San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906, the bakers at Boudin, saved their `mother dough' in a bucket while they escaped from the fire.

We had the privilege to visit the Boudin Bakers Hall located at Fisherman Wharf, San Francisco which was opened in 2005 for one of our breakfast. This outlet covering over 26000 square foot featuring a demonstration bakery, Bakers Hall market where one could buy freshly baked breads of any shapes or sizes, Bistro Boudin, a full-service restaurant and private dining room and the Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour.
Customers queuing up to have their order taken, paid and collect their breakfast....
 Demonstration on how the breads are made. Take note of the huge alligator bread in front ...awesome!
...and not only do they make alligators, but they made teddy bears and turtles too .....isn't this cute?
Freshly baked breads being transported overhead from the bakery to the retail section for sale ....

We were there for breakfast and hence a little too early for clam chowder in their sourdough break. Instead we ordered their breakfast instead.
I ordered their sourdough French Toast set with bacon on the side.....
My wife ordered the waffles with fresh strawberries ....
Boudin has several cafes all over town including one at Pier 39 but I would strongly recommend that you visit this one located at Fisherman Wharf.

So the next time, you visit San Francisco and order your Clam Chowder, do considering it with the sourdough bread.....:)

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