On my last day at Santa Rosa, Kavita took us to an organic restaurant called Santi.Sonoma County has an abundance of fresh farm produce.It was there I was introduced to sourdough by Kavita.I was hesitant at first but I was pleasantly surprised when I actually tried it.This region is famous for it since the California Gold Rush days.Yes,it isn't a new flavor.It's the old technique of making white bread when commercial yeast was not available.In addition to yeast,there is lactobacillus that gives the sour taste to the bread and make it hard on the outside and soft on the inside.Akin to homemade yoghurt or curds,a small amount of the mix is kept aside to use for the next dough.This is called the sourdough starter and is carried forward for many generations.
The sourdough at Santi was excellent.We dipped it in olive oil.Then I had the panini of the day which had thinly sliced veal and organic veggies packed in slices of sourdough,a bit greasy but flavorsome all the same.Portions are huge here.The place had the feel of a country cottage and the service was excellent.
I had sourdough again at Boudin Sourdough Bakery and Cafe at the Costa Mesa Mall and it was awesome here as well.This time my friend Bijal recommended the tomato soup.It was served in a bowl made of bread whose center had been scooped out.This part was served alongside the bread-bowl.The soup had a unique flavor as the sourdough mixed with the tomato ! The last picture is that of this dish which is a meal in itself.Other flavors available are clam chowder and beef chili.
The best part of this cafe was that one could watch the bread being baked.They also make bread in shapes of turtles,crabs and alligators! The menu also features sourdough pizza and burgers.
In San Franscisco Boudin Bakery is a landmark in itself.