Have you ever noticed how the waiters at dinner always offer a selection of breads on the good cruise ships. This is fine, and I applaude the cruise lines who offer this service. They could opt to just have a plate of bread placed on the table and a supply of butter on a separate plate. That would satisfy a lot of cruisers. The other nice feature about the waiter served bread is that a variety of breads are served. The breads are appealing to the eye and the waiter's twitching tongs make you feel obligated to select one - or maybe two pieces.
Now I want to get to the heart of the matter. How do they taste, and how do they smell, and can you remember when you were swept off your feet by any of the breads served on a ship.
One of the breads I have not been offered is sourdough bread. It is a white bread characterized by a pronounced sourness. The taste is pleasing and unique. Sourdough is also popular because of its ability to combine well with seafoods and soups such as cioppino, clam chowder, and chili.
I am not alone in my love for this bread. According to Sourdoughs International.
"Many people around the world are becoming facinated by sourdoughs. We see evidence of this interest here at Sourdoughs International, where we grow, harvest, anddry cultures that we have collected from around the world...Why the fascination? The simple answer is that , in many ways, sourdoughs improve the quality of life. They have a unique, inherent charisma, and they produce the best bread the world has ever seen. They are soul-satisfying and fun: we call them them "endorphins of the kitchen." They truly offer an extension of a personal quality beyond what we eat to what we do and what we are." from the Preface of Cassic Sourdoughs by Ed Wood and Jean Wood
"For eons, all new doughs required a bit of old dough to "start" the rising process. In villages and towns around the world , bread was the staff of life---it literally supported life. ... when people imigrated to the United state, they brought their dough starters with them . the California Forty niners and the Youkon and Alaskan miners get credit for the term Sourdoughs,"Cassic Sourdoughs by Ed Wood and Jean Wood
I am one of the persons enamored by the taste of sourdough bread. If you ever go to San Francisco or its environs you may have enjoyed sourdough bread. I wonder other cruisemates to enjoy it. That's why I am trying to interest cruisemates ito demandi sourdough bread on the crusies ships. I can't believe that I am the only person who loves the unque taste and crunchiness of sourdough bread.Not all varieties of sourdough are as sour as San Francisco sourdough), so much so that the dominant strain of lactobacillus in sourdough starters was named Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis. Ah ha you say but you can't get sanfranciscus starter outside of the San Farnacisco environs. Not true says the sourdough experts Ed Wood and Jean Wood. They are ready to ship the yeast to the cruise ships. And the plus side for the cruise ships is that traditional sourdough requires a culture with organiizimis that, with proper care, will survive and replicate themsielves forever." So each ship could have its own brand of bread.
As an aisdde, I don't think the government prohibits the use of the yeast which is key to making the bread on the ship. Our sea lawyers will have to research that one. That is if they are interested in getting sourdough bread on the ship' menus.
P.S. If the cruise ship companies don't go for this idea make sure you go to San Francisco it has the most famous sourdough bread made in the U.S. today. In contrast to sourdough production in other areas of the country, the San Francisco variety has remained in continuous production since 1849, with some bakeries (e.g., Boudin Bakery among others) is able to trace their starters back to California's Gold Rush period.