In Sweden, Someone Will Babysit Your Yeast While You Go on Vacation
In the democratic socialist countries of Scandinavia, the social safety nets are famously robust with everything from universal healthcare to publicly financed college. It’s not just human beings that receive support though; their beloved baking ingredients do too. According to a report from NPR, Stockholm is home to a sourdough sitter—a bakery where home bakers who have lovingly cultivated sourdough starters can leave their handiwork while they leave for, yet another of Sweden’s many perks, five weeks of guaranteed vacation.
Sourdough starters (the yeasty slop that imparts the distinct, delicious flavor to loaves of the beloved bread) are famous for their longevity—some are over a century old—but they need some TLC. A good sourdough parent will feed their starter weekly to keep it healthy.
So at the Stockholm airport outpost of RC Chocolat, you can drop off your starter and have the employees care for it while you’re travelling the world for the low, low price of $3 a day. “We don’t do anything,” bakery owner Joakim Blomquist told NPR, “[The service] is just spread word-of-mouth.”
Right now RC Chocolat’s sourdough sitting cares for just a small niche of clients—five or six at a time. And realistically, it will probably always be a pretty select group people using the service. But it does seem like the sort of business that could jump across the Atlantic easily. We’re starting a Google alert for a Bushwick Sourdough Sitter Kickstarter right now.