Amazing 120-Year Old Sourdough Pizza Starter

Sourdough starter from Bainbridge Island pizzeria is inducted into Belgium-based sourdough library.




Karl de Smedt and Will Grant discuss sourdough starters at That's A Some Pizza on Bainbridge Island in Washington.

That's A Some Pizza

Every pizza maker is proud of his or her pizza dough. But what if you had your dough starter requested by a sourdough library?

That's exactly what happened to Will Grant, 2017 Caputo Cup winner for Best Pizza in America, and owner of That's A Some Pizza on Bainbridge Island in Washington. (Grant has another concept in the works--Sourdough Willy's Pizzaria in Kingston, Washington).

That’s A Some Pizza’s 120-year-old sourdough starter, which dates back to the Alaskan gold rush, caught the attention of Karl de Smedt, the self-proclaimed "sourdough librarian" at Belgium's Puratos Group. 

De Smedt heads up The Quest for Sourdough, a project dedicated to protecting and keeping all things sourdough: recipes, history, and, most importantly, the starters that are at the heart of sourdough’s life and culture, according to a press release from That's A Some Pizza. Born out of The Quest, is The Puratos World Heritage Sourdough Library, a vault that stores, saves, and catalogs the world’s oldest sourdough starters.

After several calls and emails between Grant and the library, De Smedt scheduled a visit to record a segment for Quest for Sourdough’s YouTube series.

‚ÄčSince there’s no way to scientifically determine the age or origin of sourdough starter, oral histories have to tell the tale. The goal of the Library, with its rigorous cataloging process, is to build a base set of data for each of the starters to see how they evolve with age or, even, the seasons or other environmental conditions, according to the release.

To date, the Library has 106 samples, with 17 in the collection hailing from the U.S. That’s A Some Pizza’s starter—sample number 104—is one of only four that is being used commercially. It’s the only one De Smedt has experienced being used to make pizza.

 

Related: Will Grant talks with PMQ about his dough, pizza competitions and more.

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

7 Crazy Ways to Deliver Pizza

When traditional delivery isn't enough, here are a few wacky ways pizza is being delivered around the world.

Glass Nickel Pizza Plans Rebuild after Explosion

A natural gas explosion leveled his pizzeria. Now the owner of Glass Nickel Pizza in Sun Prairie makes plans for the long recovery.

Buddy's Pizza Selling Original Location

Inventor of Detroit-style pizza is selling original location to raise capital for national expansion.

Where to Visit a Pizza Farm

Pizza farms are growing across the Midwest as farmers and consumers continue to embrace the farm-to-table movement.

Decline of Hotel Room Service Offers Opportunity for Pizzerias

As hotels close their room-service restaurants, pizzerias can market directly to hotel guests and tourists.

Regional Pizza Styles Continue to Grow in Popularity

As consumers continue to experiment with flavors, pizzerias offer styles of pizza beyond the local favorite.

John Schnatter Resigns from Papa John's Board of Directors

Papa John's company founder submits resignation to board after apologizing for racial slur made during a May conference call.

North American Pizza & Culinary Academy Opens in Chicagoland

Cooking school is the second in the United States offering accreditation as part of the esteemed Scuola Italiana Pizzaioli in Venice, Italy.

Online Freestyle Pizza Tossing Battles Return July 16 to 22

How to participate in the pizza tossing competition that's open to everyone.

Why Straws are Disappearing at Restaurants

Pizzerias across the nation join the movement to eliminate plastic straw waste.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags