Hubby was in San Francisco recently and he brought home a loaf of this famous Boudin Sourdough bread. I first tasted Sourdough bread in San Francisco 9 years ago and at first, I thought the bread tasted weird as it was slightly tangy and smelled funny. Living in the East Coast for 10 years, I get to eat this bread in the American chain restaurants, where it is usually served as a bread bowl for the mushroom soup offering. Having eaten the original thing in San Francisco and the imitated ones here in New England, I still don't taste the difference between them. Same tangy sour taste, chewy texture with random air pockets visible and best served with soup but not very appetizing to eat it on its own. The only thing I find different is that the imitated ones doesn't have that funny smell.
In every bread book that I read, it is always emphasized that the sourdough bread is the non replicable bread in the home baker's kitchen and there is simply no way the taste and texture can be attained other than living in San Francisco itself! Well, I haven't actually tried making one yet and cannot comment on that till I really attempt one. It is said that the weather atmosphere over in San Francisco possess that special wet cool quality and certain culture that I don't really can read nor decipher from its scientific term but explained in Wikipedia that makes the starter dough for the Sourdough bread so exceptionally good. Being originally developed in San Francisco, the Sourdough bread available there is considered Artisan and bread in Boudin doesn't come cheap.