|This is Eleanor emerging from the best and|
busiest ice cream place in La Paz, Neveria
Fuente. Surprising to me and the folks who
work there, she likes the flavor Tequila
Almond. I guess the apple doesn't fall
so far from the tree.
We first met Deb online when she won the book giveaway during our Great Pre-Departure Stuff Purge. We caught up with Deb months later as we passed through her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. I knew Deb was a former sailing instructor, but I now know she is also a former chef who has been, “probing the depths of sourdough for the past year or so.”Deb wrote: “What you have is sourdough starter. Sourdough does not necessarily mean dough that tastes sour, although I sure like it when it does. It just means using wild yeast instead of commercial. The sour flavor can come from a variety of things--type of flour, type of water--but mostly comes from a long proofing time.”
We baked our first batch shortly after it rose. We gathered around two hot loaves, a knife, and a crock of butter and devoured them both in one sitting, like hungry savages. It was fantastic.Yet neither loaf tasted sour, but like really good French bread.
|Moonrise at anchor off La Paz.|
In the same email, Deb wrote: “There are so many names for sourdough starter--chef, biga, poolish, mother--depending on the percentages and your background--but any starter that's 20 years old is nothing but wild, crazy yeast…I'm sure it's been colonized by foreign-language-speaking yeasties from all over the world.”I’m sure it has been too. Just today, I heard again from the French crew of La Loupiote. They are back online after running into our friends Kyra and Rick aboard the Canadian-flagged Nyon a few hundred miles south, anchored off Mexico’s Isla Isabel. The Nyon crew told La Loupiote about our sourdough dilemma and that we needed help.
So where next? We’re spreading the love. We’ve already decided to send some of this 20-year-old bread starter across the Pacific (once again, I’m sure) with our friends aboard Wondertime—because you can’t keep a good bread down—err, you can keep it down—pardon that pun.