Our Sourdough Starter!
Sourdough has many names! In the United states we call it a Starter, in France it is called a Levain, in Italy a Biga and in Spain it is called a Levita Madre. Many people confuse them as different things but they are all the same, give or take a little more water in each mix. Sourdough is the oldest form of leavening breads, having documentation all the way back to the ancient Egyptians!
Our starter has its roots back in the Klondike gold rush! In the late 1800's Gold was discovered in the Canadian Klondike. Seattle being the closest port to the Klondike, became the main transportation supply center for the over 100,000 prospectors who caught Gold Fever. Because of the mountainous and cold climate the Canadian authorities required every prospector to bring a year's worth of food to prevent starvation.
Sourdough starter was the best solution. As long as the starter was continually fed it could last indefinitely and it provided numerous foods. Prospectors would protect their starters furiously, carrying pouches of starter either around their necks or on their belts. They would even sleep with their starter to keep it from freezing in the winter. It was such a regular occurrence that even to this day old miners and homesteaders from Alaska and the Klondike area are called “Sourdoughs.”
Though we don’t sleep with our starter we do consider ourselves to be Sourdoughs! Since 1984 all of our dough has been made with a sourdough starter that originated in the 1897 Klondike Gold Rush! Every time we use some of our sourdough starter we feed it with flour and water so it is in fact a living "over 120 year old" sourdough starter! This starter gives our pizza a completely different flavor profile and consistency then any other pizzeria in the world!
It turns out that our Sourdough starter is some of the OLDEST in the world. It holds a space in Belgium at "The Quest for Sourdough" World Heritage Library as starter #104!