Author Topic: first time buying cultures  (Read 9789 times)

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Offline benny

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first time buying cultures
« on: February 06, 2007, 11:23:15 PM »
ive been reading about freds cultures and marcos cultures, Camaldoli, italian ones from sourdo.com.....

a couple questions:
i found camaldoli at a site,
i found the sourdo site
there is an italian culture that begins with an "I".....

where do i get these?
which should i start with and why?
who is fred , marco? do they sell cultures or are they people who are subj matter experts
if i get more than one type culture, over time will they "mix" by being  used in the same kitchen?
should i order dried or active?




Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2007, 12:51:37 AM »
The "Italian" starters from sourdo.com contain two cultures: Camaldoli and Ischia, both of which were contributed by marco (known on this forum as pizzanapolatana).

Bill/SFNM


Offline benny

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2007, 02:11:22 PM »
are these the two to start with? or something else? would you buy fresh are dry cultures?

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2007, 02:26:44 PM »
are these the two to start with? or something else? would you buy fresh are dry cultures?

Exactly what is it you are trying to do with these cultures?

Others may disagree (so what else is new?) but I suggest that you acquire some level of expertise with commercial yeast before messing with starter cultures. The Italian cultures, which are highly recommended for certain pizzas, are sold dry by sourdo.com. Is someone selling these fresh, already activated?


Bill/SFNM

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2007, 06:22:43 PM »
Benny,

I have already said this in the past, but any other sources but Sourdough International that "sells" Camaldoli or Ischia starter, is doing so in a fraudolent manner and cannot be guaranteed that what they sell it is actually the real thing.

So I would reccomnd to stay away from certain people/company.

Regards

Offline abatardi

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2007, 01:22:38 AM »
A couple points:

1) I would say you would be *safe* to buy it activated from the other sources (and I have seen them online as well)... they would have no reason to sell a mis-labeled starter and shouldn't be considered "fraudulent" by any means (can you copyright and/or prohibit resale of a living self reproducing organism?  Marco himself acquired one of these from an old bakery on Ischia Island I believe), but...

2) At the same time you *should* support sourdo.com by buying from them as they are the original distributors of these cultures, and you can also gain the experience and appreciation for the starter that you can only get by activating it yourself.

- aba
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2007, 06:17:12 AM »
Abatardi,

You know why is not safe? I have already said this before, but anyway:

Ed Wood received the original starters alive and activated with the right balance in the microflora. Ed keep that original stock to produce is dry cultures.

Other buying from Ed and then re-selling it, would have activated the dry cultures, and there is no guarantee that these were not contaminated or have a different microflora balance etc...

I also said that I do not see problem with people exachanging activated cultures for free, as the risk of the above is counterbalanced by the fact that you did not paid for it, but if someone want to charge you for it, in my book is fraudolent. This is like someone that read this forum, and from knowledge acquired on it, without being in fact a professional and knowing all the angles, start up a consultant business on pizza...

Ciao

Offline deb415611

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2007, 06:38:06 AM »
I would buy from sourdo.com again without hestitation - not only for Marco's reasons but for the support that you receive.  In another thread someone mentioned that Ed helped him with his activation via email.  Personally, I misplaced the one page updated activation instructions and received an email with them within a few hours on a weekend (on a Sunday I think).

I have only activated the Camaldoli and just started using it - one pizza so far and still in the experimental phase but the crust flavor was great --- Thanks Marco!!


Offline scott r

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2007, 06:41:16 AM »
If you are leery of dealing with the activation process (which I find taxing), you might want to check into the king arthur cultures. They are very inexpensive.  They come in an active form and just need one or two feedings to be ready for baking. I am not saying that they are better than the sourdo.com starters, but I can attest to the fact that at least the classic culture leavens dough with the best of them and has good flavor.  I think they may be the best way for a beginner to easily get right on the track toward the best pizza. Pizza made with wild yeast.

Once that is mastered I would move up to the activation of dry specialty cultures.  I know I activate much better now that I understand the way the cultures live.  I see no reason to bother with commercial yeast.  It creates an inferior product.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 06:43:54 AM by scott r »

Offline benny

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2007, 12:22:01 PM »
im not asking to do any thing underhanded or fraudelant.  Im asking are the ones from sourdo the ones you would recommend for a beginner, or are there other strains or brands out there.  I didnt realize that the sourdo was proprietor of the two italian strains talked about on this forum.  if thos are the ones to buy ill buy them there anyway. Frankly i don't know anything about starters, and thats why im startin here asking for advice.

im gonna order the ones from sourdo anyway. its only twenty bucks.  what im concerned about is will these different strains or brands, over time somehow take hold in each other and my two starters tasted become a blend of one. Ive read here that one could set flour and water out in say patsy's and have some mojo going on very quickly from just the air.


Offline benny

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2007, 12:24:03 PM »
from an email in this string, how do i know that im not contaminating my starter mix ferment.

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2007, 01:01:22 PM »
Benny,

If you use the search button or you may find information on how to ensure proper activation and avoiding contamination.

Ciao

Offline abatardi

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2007, 01:42:10 PM »
Other buying from Ed and then re-selling it, would have activated the dry cultures, and there is no guarantee that these were not contaminated or have a different microflora balance etc...

Um...by that logic you are basically saying that when we buy from Ed Wood and activate ourselves there is *also* no guarantee that they were not contaminated or have a different microflora balance..."etc.".. so that is not a good point.

Also, I do not see the problem with others exchanging cultures for free or profit.  Someone's time and flour went into the culture... they can/should be compensated for that.  I'm sure you were compensated by Sourdo International in the first place.

- aba
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 01:45:06 PM by abatardi »
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2007, 02:25:48 PM »
I wasn't compensated. My objectives were different.

And, yes that is the point. There is no 100% guarantee that everybody out there got the same starters. It can be 10 to 99 % similar and depends by the way it was activated and managed. If it get straight to you from Ed, Then you can be 100% sure of what you have done to re-activateing it and managed it properly. If it gets to you viathird parties, there you lost the guarantee.

They should not call it Camaldoli and Ischia as they have not obtained first hand, so who tell you that what they are selling is the same thing? Mr X in California can start a company, catching a starter on the back garden and selling it as Ischia (this is the "etc"). Is that ok for you? Good for you if it is so and for the other that would buy from Mr X . For me it is Fraud (selling something without any guarantee that what is being sold it is actually what it is say on the package).

So I will continue to make people aware of it


Offline abatardi

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2007, 03:24:49 PM »
They should not call it Camaldoli and Ischia as they have not obtained first hand, so who tell you that what they are selling is the same thing? Mr X in California can start a company, catching a starter on the back garden and selling it as Ischia (this is the "etc"). Is that ok for you?

But why would they?  It's not like it's hard to come by the real thing.  It's reproducable and there is nothing wrong with it.  It's simple business.  You should know that.  Either way it seems you are saying that this business that reproduces these cultures for profit probably hundreds of times is somehow less capable than the average home user that is activating one from sourdo.com themselves and never done so before.  Like *they* are more succeptible to other microflora or for some reason they have any reason in the world to misrepresent what they are selling. 

And for someone who won't even tell someone the name of a pietroberto mixer without compensation, I find it hard to believe you would just give away your own culture and the culture of a 200+ year old bakery to a company selling them for profit (probably without their knowledge), and then being angry that other companies are trying to sell it for profit as well?

- aba
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Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2007, 04:06:09 PM »
I have talked about pietroberto on this forum (just do a simple search). I do have some commercial agreement that do not allow me to discuss certain things, but I do not recall to have said something like "give me a compensation and I gave you few names"... That is not consultancy and certanly not what I do. What I do not do is discussing Consultancy for free (and that is a different ball game)....

Why? Just this week a guy has published a book in Italy by just copying and pasting most of my posts (together with the ones of other few expert member) on an Italian forum...

What you believe or do not, doesn't really interested me. I know where my writing are based.

Think about just for a second, where you or others on this forum have read or learned about Neapolitan pizza and who was the original source of that?

Did I get paid for it?
I should not even share this, but just for the record, I received from Ed a copy of his book and few dry cultures, with the understanding that whenever I would have need one of mine back because something had happened to the one I had in the fridge, I would receive one, whereever in the world. I was still at Uni when I sent Ed the fresh cultures and did not know what I would have don or have been soon after (London, Swiss or America.. I had few opportunities). this would have been the easier, probably lazier, way of getting the starters back and not waiting for the next trip to Naples and finding the time to collects starters...

Edited

Aaron, not long ago asking on how to activate and wash a starter ......

« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 04:20:17 PM by pizzanapoletana »

Offline abatardi

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2007, 04:38:43 PM »
Think about just for a second, where you or others on this forum have read or learned about Neapolitan pizza and who was the original source of that?

Not you.  Most of that knowledge came from others, actually.. I think the few people on this board who can make a decent version would agree with that.  Here is a condensed version of your posts over the years...well, the cliff notes version at least:

pizza napoletana...
is impossible to do without proper mixer (but I won't tell you what that is, only that yours is wrong)
is impossible to do without a proper naples oven built by one of four magician families in naples who summon the pizza gods to make the oven..
xxx (oops, posted something i shouldn't have)
is only possible to do with proper ingredients (and of course I won't tell you what those are, only that the information you read elsewhere is wrong)
here is a picture of my pizza (but won't tell you anything about it)
xxx (there i go again posting that 'information' thing people speak of)
can't be improved upon... pizza technology peaked 300 years ago and it is blasphemy to speak otherwise...
can't be done properly by anyone with under 20 years of experience...

Am I off base at all?  haha  :-D

Of course we've all seen this veil of secrecy in other professions... namely, magicians!  Why is that?  Well, because as soon as you see the trick... everyone goes.... "um...what?...that's it?"

And of course most people on here that have been here more than a few months are reading this and laughing to themselves because they know it's pretty damn accurate.. and of course I will get a few replies flaming this but I don't really care.  ;-)

Edit: What do *I* do?  I'm a software engineer who believes in OPEN SOURCE.  Maybe that's my problem.

- aba
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 04:40:40 PM by abatardi »
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Offline scott r

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2007, 04:50:19 PM »
Flames arrive

I don't understand the attacks on Marco, and abatardi, you are not the only one doing this lately.  Sorry to single you out.  He has from the very beginning shared the deepest darkest secrets of how to make authentic neapolitan pizza.  None of this mass of information was available written in the english language before.  By studying his posts I have been able to produce a product that is superior to every neapolitan pizzeria I have tried in the untited states except for Pizzaiolo in Pittsburgh.  We have all learned a great deal from him.  

Would Shango be experimenting with wild yeasted pizzas if Marco had not come to this forum earlier with his direction?

The man wants to make a living consulting for pizzerias.  Do you really expect him to answer every time somebody asks him a question?  Most of the questions he doesn't answer he has already divulged in previous posts.  I don't blame him for not wanting to repeat himself all the time or being slightly cryptic in his posts.  Don't be lazy, go back and search the forum.  

Does he really need to be insulted for wanting to make a living out of this?  

I don't see Chris Bianco, Anthony Mangeri, or Dom DeMarco on here giving us their tips and secrets.  If they did and decided to hold something back would they be insulted too?

Sorry to rant, but this has been building up for some time now.

Offline scott r

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2007, 04:52:38 PM »
Not you.  Most of that knowledge came from others, actually.. I think the few people on this board who can make a decent version would agree with that. 


Are you crazy?  did you read the neapolitan section of this site before marco came aboard?

Offline abatardi

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Re: first time buying cultures
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2007, 05:00:19 PM »
Exactly my point... Can I tell you what programming language I write in, what IDE, what MVC framework I use and still make a living as a software developer?  Yup.  No problem.  Could I even share my code and still make a living?  Yuuuup.  That's not it.  I'm not denying he has a skill, and THAT is what people pay for.  You are under the impression that it is just a set of ingredients and processes and equipment and that is IT.  That is not it.  All of that could be exposed and he could still make a living.  If he doesn't feel that way, then I guess all he actually has is secrets and not the talent behind it.

BTW, Bianco actually has given names of his ingredients, etc... even published a simple recipe.  He will tell you that he is the secret, nothing more.  That's what I'm trying to get at.  Everything else can be transparent and there will still be separation between can / can't.

- aba

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