Popular Science


It’s easy to get a rise out of a local TV news crew. Especially in a slo-mo state capital like California’s. So it was on September 6, 2007, when KCRA’s LiveCopter 3 hovered over a Sacramento parking lot, at 8:23 a.m., beaming images of a slow-moving red van, tailed by a black-and-white police cruiser. As soon as the van pulled over, a man in a white baker’s cap popped out. Instead of making a run for it, which is how you expect these things to play out, he labored up to a reporter’s microphone, arms weighed down by bread dough. “It’s about 40 pounds,” he said. A crowd of bystanders cheered.

The Boudin Bakery in San Francisco, the city’s oldest and one of the best-known purveyors of its famous sourdough bread, was delivering a key piece of its history to its newest outpost. Since 1849, the bakery has relied on a bacteria-and-yeast-rich

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