In addition to fish, crab and Ghirardelli chocolate, San Francisco is also known for yet another culinary tradition: sourdough bread. A slightly sour taste, soft inside and crispy crust characterise this classic treat from the Bay Area. Although this bread can be bought throughout the city, there are a number of places that are worth going a little out of your way for.
The history of sourdough bread dates back to the days of the California Gold Rush. Around the year 1846, due to the continuous arrival of new fortune seekers, the population of San Francisco increased from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand. This included the French baking family Boudin that arrived in 1849. They used natural yeast and bacteria to bake their bread, but the result turned out to be quite different in the San Francisco climate than back home in France. A completely new type of bread was born: sourdough.