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Aug 22, 2005 12:38 AM

So long, Parisian French Bread

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Friday was the last day for the Parisian sourdough bread bakery in SF. The bakery had been producing bread for 149 years. Kansas-based Interstate Bakeries, the owner of Parisian, closed the bakery and discontinued the brand. No more red, white and blue Parisian bread bags in the grocery store or at the airport. Sad...

Oh, and by the way, they also closed the Hostess/Wonder Bread bakery off Potrero in SF on Friday. In total, about 650 people lost their jobs.

Here's a link to the SF Chronicle article in Saturday's paper:


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  1. Amen to that. They'll be keeping company with Larraburu and Venetian in sourdough heaven, and long live Boudin's, tourist attraction though it may be.


    4 Replies
    1. re: Gary Soup

      Tadich's and Scoma's used Parisian brand sourdough. Wonder who they will switch to. The waiters on my recent visits to both places said Parisian supplied the bread.

      So, Gary. Who do you like better than Boudin?

      1. re: rworange

        I've always felt Boudin was better than Parisian for traditional San Francisco sourdough. Also better than Venetian, but Venetian was in the 'hood. I think Larraburu was the oly serious competitor. It was probably an Old Boy network that brought Parisian instead of Boudin or Larraburu to Tadich.


        1. re: rworange

          I thought Tadich uses Boudin for their sourdough.

      2. Does anyone know what happened to Parisian's starter? Is anyone out there baking with it, or was it simply thrown away?

        6 Replies
          1. re: pilinut

            One would think with all the discussion on this forum, someone in the bread making business would figure out they could make a killing if they just made an old fashion sourdough by using an old starter, and trying to duplicate the "Tadich bake".

            Do they just not care? Don't know better? Has the message not reached one of these artisan bakers yet?

            1. re: sugartoof

              The starter culture is readily available:

              Any bakery that wanted to make one could, and reportedly a few do:


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                yet another thread pining away for the sourdough of yesteryear that inspires suggestions such as .... acme.

                bordenave, sits with boudin as an old bakery not doing it the way they used to.
                i believe tartine gets the crust and texture right. if they wanted to make a sour they could nail it.

                any bakers out there? hello? you wanna call yourself a san franciscan?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I've come across that website before, and perhaps I don't understand the science, but how could it be a San Francisco sourdough starter if it is being maintained in Idaho? It doesn't say that exactly, but the company is located in Idaho. I know several people who brought their starter with them when they moved, and they claimed it was never the same, taste-wise at least. I guess the company can guarantee it is the same organism, but perhaps it will be missing that certain San Francisco-ness. Anyway, it is so easy to create your own starter at home, why on earth would someone order it from Idaho?

            2. I saw bags of Larraburu bread today at Lucky's supermarket in Mountain View, and the label says it is baked by Andre-Boudin Bakeries in San Francisco. Has anybody tried this new incarnation of Larrburu, and if so, is it any good?

              6 Replies
              1. re: operagirl

                Is it in a paper bag or plastic?

                Interesting. Andre Boudin Bakeries Inc. = Boudin. I thought that brand was extinct.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  I believe it was all in plastic bags. Selection included big steak rolls, batards, and rounds.

                  1. re: operagirl

                    Blech. Putting those loaves in a plastic bag ruins them, unless maybe you want to make garlic bread or toast.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      not only is it in plastic but it's the half baked stuff. truly disgusting... and sad that anyone would think that remotely qualifies as sourdough bread with no other point of reference.

                      1. re: cakebaker

                        Yes, the steak rolls were the half-baked stuff, while the batards and rounds were baked to Boudin's normal darker brown hue.

                        1. re: operagirl

                          not that it matters but the Laraburu batards I saw at Lucky's were par baked loaves in plastic bags in paper sleeves.

              2. As long as this topic has been bumped, I'll mention the peculiarity that the Interstate Baking truck that delivers Colombo-branded plastic-bag squishy pseudosourdough to supermarkets also has Parisian and Toscana bags painted on the side.

                1. Just tonight, while having dinner at Rex in San Francisco, I was lamenting the passing of Parisian. It's criminal that a local institution like this could be shut down by the makers of Twinkies. I shudder to think what's become of the mother yeast.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DandySF

                    indeed, those at Interstate Bakeries that caused the shuddering of the plant have reserved a special place in hell for their treachery. ....and is just a little bit less worth living.....