For only the third time in 2014, Nancy Silverton has awarded the coveted Five Nods to a food item.
The silent declaration came Monday afternoon in San Francisco when she grabbed a steam-emitting sesame loaf at Tartine Bakery, took an intense sniff comparable to Tony Montana's right before the his "Say hello to my little friend" line, then took a bite. Her eyes closed. Seconds later, the silent nods began.
As a small group of privileged onlookers watched - actually only one, me - the nods mounted . At three well-paced, deliberate nods, as more steam rose from the remaining loaf of bread, there was absolute stillness in the bakery. Then the fourth nod came, and with it, the anticipation that magic was in the air. Sandy Koufax was walking to the mound for the 9th inning, September 9, 1965. It was two strikes on Harvey Kuenn. "It is 9:46 p.m.," said Vin Scully.
Nancy Silverton took another delicate chew. And she nods. Five nods!
To confirm it, I ask her "Five nods?" . She nodded.
The bread baker that memorable day at Tartine was Nick Beitcher. When he saw that particular, now-famous loaf of Sesame, he reportedly said "Awesome. Gonna be a good bake today."
The other Five Nods were awarded to the .French butter, Beurre de Baratte of Rodolph de Meunier, and the storied Salty Peanut Butter gelato at Pizzeria Mozza Newport Beach.
Warning - The photo below is NOT of the sesame loaf, but rather Tartine's superb country loaf. Sesame was long gone by the time a camera came out. As for the country loaf, no rating was given as it was for Lissa Doumani who, with her husband, chef Hiro Sone, is opening a restaurant nearby on Valencia Street and 17th Street this summer. Doumani refused my repeated requests to tear off a chunk. To emphasize her stalwart position. Doumani, recklessly driving a large army green SUV, nearly ran over a homeless woman on Mission Street and Capp Street . At that juncture, I quit asking
A older photo of Sesame is seen below the Country bread
2nd Warning - Do not attempt to eat the sesame loaf with the butter of Rodolphe de Meunier.
The bread is available after 4:30 p.m..
600 Guerrero Street San Francisco, CA 94110 (MAP) . 415 487 2600 Hours: Monday 8-7 | Tuesday, Wednesday 730-7 | Thursday, Friday 730-8 | Saturday 8-8 | Sunday 9-8
Vin Scully's call of Koufax perfect game - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJdli-ONL-8