Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Champagne of Tap Water


"New York City water is the best in the world. It's the only thing that tastes right to me."

The reason that I found this article so interesting was because I am originally from Seattle, WA. and I always thought that we had the best mountain water anywhere.

When I learned of the passion that New Yorker's had for their very own water I had to learn more.
Like some massive God-given Brita filter covering 2,000 square miles on both sides of the Hudson River, the oak and pine forests, the organic vegetable farms, the muddy swamps and all the other green space in the watershed provide New York City one of the purest, most abundant supplies of drinking water of any metropolis on Earth.

New York's remarkable water depends partly on natural phenomenon: (the gradual slope of New York State towards the city moves water by gravity, not pumping), geology (underlying rock and minerals in upstate soils are ideal for removing pollutants) and lots of rain. The success is human invention too, boasting the longest tunnel in the world and more stone than all the pyramids in Egypt, together moving 1 million gallons of water every minute.

More stone than all the pyramids in Egypt, that sounds impressive.

When Goodfella's Restaurant on Staten Island took first place in the 2007 International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas for their Smokin' Goodfella(made with a blend of smoked cheeses, roasted peppers and sweet Italian sausage), they also hauled in their hometown aqua pura. (This was the 4th time they won the competition; although the toppings changed, the water remained the same.)

I have yet to eat this pizza, but I look forward to eating it one day.

When Steve Ross of the Coney Island Bialy and Bagel bakery made his specialties at the 2001 Smithsonian Institute Folklife Festival, he brought 36 gallons of New York's finest.
But interviews with bakers, brewers and food chemists indicate that Gotham's tap can't take credit for the quality of bagels and pizza. "Water is unlikely to be a major factor compared to flour quality and bakers' skill and competition and consumers' demanding standards," writes food chemist Harold McGee in an email. "NYC water is just not that different from most municipal waters."
Even if the water doesn't affect the taste of baked goods, several bakers acknowledge that the relatively neutral pH of the city's water means that, compared to dough made with more alkaline water, dough bearing New York water better lends itself to kneading, including large-scale automated kneading that the bagel and pizza industries depend on. Some experts have said that "New York's water is juicy with notes of clove and a hint of benzene."
I didn't know the scientific makeup of water had so much to do with baking or could be described as juicy with notes of clove and a hint of benzene. I had to go on Wikipedia to find out was benzene is and I'm still don't know how it could be used to describe water.
I do admit that the first New York bagel from H and H Bagel changed what I thought of bagels forever. Despite the great water here, I haven't found a cup of coffee or latte that can compete with a latte from the Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA.
So the next time you visit New York, don't order a bottle of Perrier at a restaurant, ask for an iced tap water and know that you are having the Champagne of Tap.
(Source: edible Manhattan)

1 comment:

Nuluve said...

Thanks for this great article. I knew there was something special about New York City water!