Meet Herman

Herman is a friendship sourdough starter. When you receive Herman from a friend, you first have to look after and feed him or her for four days. When the time is right, you can use part of Herman to make a yummy cake or a tasty bread, and give the other parts to friends. Your friends will hopefully look after Herman just as well as you did, and bake cakes and bread. You can also save some of Herman for yourself and continue to more cake, pizza, pancakes, or whatever else you feel like. If you are up for it, we also welcome you to drop off or send in a sample. We will then determine the make up of your sample, and share the data with you again in time.

What is The Herman Project?

The Herman Project is a fun way to keep track of Herman as the sourdough starter travels from person to person across the world. By doing so, you can also contribute to a scientific research project by sending in samples of your Herman.

The purpose of this study is to track how a microbial community---in this case a sourdough starter---changes through time as it experiences continuously differing environments. By tracking the lineage of the sourdough starter and collecting samples along the lineages, we will investigate how fast and in what way microbial communities change and adapt to new circumstances.

How to participate

Because we want to keep track of Herman's family tree, it is important that you receive a Herman from a friend. So if you have friends that are currently participating, the best way is to wait until they have completed their four day cycle and then get a Herman from them.

If you don't know anyone that has a Herman, we might be able to put you in touch with one of the other participants. Best is to sign up and register by clicking the No Herman Code? button, or write us an email.

See the map List of Hermen