Nation: Bread for Sourdough

After the cable car and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco takes a particular civic pride in its unique sourdough bread. Its special qualities depend on a yeastlike "starter" used in the baking, and locals are fond of arguing that the city's cool, foggy climate gives it qualities that cannot be duplicated.

Trading on this argument, Researchers William Sandine and Paul Elliker at Oregon State University have persuaded the U.S. Department of Agriculture to finance a study of the bacterial species isolated in sourdough. When more is known about these starter cultures they can be packaged for sourdough production all over the...

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