Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Culinary Tourism

Long before the term "Culinary Tourism" had been coined, the folks at Boudin Bakery recognized that curious consumers wanted to see the birthplace (aka "bakery") where their famous product, known as San Francisco Sourdough bread, had originated. Most of us have seen the bread in numerous airport terminals across the U.S., where it was flown in on a daily basis, for travelers who had come to associate the brand with San Francisco. In keeping with the Boudin foresight, they were a mover and shaker in selling their product in this way around the globe, years before we all became familiar with the term "global economy". So it is not surprising that they have developed a great tourist attraction at Fisherman's Wharf that includes exhibits about the history of SF sourdough bread, a glassed-in observation area over the food-production equipment, and yes, free samples at the conclusion of the tour! It is delicious, baked dough samples for no dough on your part! Of course, after you sample it, you will want to purchase more of it for the ride home, so rest assured, you are able to do that. There is also a well-stocked gift shop with plenty of souvenir items displaying the Boudin logo, as well as other culinary-related gadgets and cookbooks. And even if you were not hungry when you got there, by the time you have completed the tour, perused the gift shop, and smelled those wonderful aromas for an hour, you will be ready to have a meal at the adjacent cafe they run. I had the chowder in the Boudin bread bowl, and it was memorable! The old song may say "I left my heart in San Francisco", but there were certainly no leftovers from lunch that day! Miles of smiles!
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