We currently grow and harvest 17 authentic cultures collected from Australia to Russia and from many other countries at our Idaho facilities. The dried cultures are packaged in Mylar envelopes containing a 1 ounce, (28 gram) mixture of dormant sourdough organisms and the flour in which they were grown. If properly cared for they will remain viable and useful for your lifetime. Once activated by feeding flour and water as directed by the included instructions, which usually takes 3-5 days, they are ready to use or refrigerate (not frozen). In the fridge they again become partially dormant the degree depending on how long they’ve been in the fridge. If they are used once a week, they reactivate quickly in an hour or two. If used only once a month, it may require a day or so. We not infrequently hear from home bakers that cultures lost in the fridge for 1 to 2 years have been reactivated successfully.
There is a popular myth on the Net that declares if a culture is moved from one area to another it becomes contaminated by the organisms of the new area. This is absolute nonsense. Our cultures come from vastly different parts of the world and have done so for the past 25 years. None of them have ever become contaminated with Idaho organisms or even with the organisms of each other. I cannot debunk this better than Dan Wing on page 55 of the Bread Builders who says “Home bakers often have trouble maintaining a stable, active leaven culture because they don’t understand the proper methods or they forget to use them.” I can only add, “and that is when they blame the local organisms for their problems.” ‘Nuff said?
Perhaps a word of caution is appropriate. Over the years a number of sourdough wannabe experts have purchased cultures from Sourdoughs International, tried to reproduce them, and then offered them for sale at reduced prices. By comparison, you should know, all cultures from Sourdoughs International are grown, harvested, talked to and guaranteed by Ed Wood.
We would like to call your attention to two truly remarkable cultures. Our newest acquisition is from Poland. It produces fabulous sourdough pumpernickel with methods developed by Ed that rival everything you have ever tasted in sourdoughs. Look at it in “our Recipes Section”. In contrast is “La Giza” our oldest culture. Ed says she is the “mother of the pyramids” with a fascinating history. Recently “La Giza” has been impressing a lot of home bakers with every recipe in the book.