Cooking with Mineral WaterWater
The knowledge regarding the benefits of mineral water during food preparation is spreading.
A growing number of chefs around the world incorporate mineral water into their cuisine in order to improve taste, quality and appearance. From Italy to Australia to the United States, there is an evolving awareness of the positive benefits of adding mineral water to cooking.
There’s even a group known as the “Fine Water Chefs,” based primarily in South America, who have incorporated mineral water (and other types) into their esteemed establishments.
In order to reap the benefits of mineral water in your cooking, one does not need a background in the culinary arts. We’ve pulled together some cooking tips, which can be incorporated into the kitchen whether one is dining solo or preparing a special, hearty feast.
Vegetable Soups & Purees
Soups, and vegetables in general, seem to get a boost from the properties of mineral water.
When putting the final touches on sieved vegetable soups, some of the heaviness is lost when a small amount of mineral water is added shortly before serving. This is also true of tomato puree, for which you’ll actually be making a replacement. Rather than using milk, if you swap with mineral water, this allows your creation to become more light and fluffy.
Depending on your taste and preference, you can also utilize half milk and half water.
Vegetables, such as broccoli and carrots, can be cooked in mineral water, as the minerals help the food to keep their original colors. Of course, presentation isn’t always important to everyone, but it’s nice insight to know if this is of importance for your dish. This can come in handy over the holidays, when hosting a dinner party or if you simply or if you simply want to ensure a pop of color on the plate.
The most optimal water for cooking vegetables is calcium-rich water, as this specific mineral positively impacts the texture, as well as keeps the vegetable crispy.
If you’re focused on pleasant aromas, steam your raw vegetables briefly in oil or butter before you add them in the water – this will produce an intense smell that will keep in the broth.
Are you looking to make your home-made dressings a little more fresh and refined? Simply swap a portion of the oil with sparkling mineral water – it’s a tad bit healthier, too.
Across the globe, cooks are in the habit of adding mineral water to their dough when making dishes such as dumplings, noodles, pancakes, crepes, waffles and other cooked doughs.
The reason? The dough is lifted by carbonation, which allows it to become lighter and fluffier.
However, we know not to recommend this to any folks in New York City, which is internationally known for having the best bagels and pizzas in the world. But why?
Many attribute the delicious, regional dough with the public water system in New York.
You can sauté meat fat-free in carbonated mineral water. Note that a coated pan is of importance.
Simply, add enough mineral water so that the bottom of the pan is coated. If more than a coating is used, this cooks the meat (rather than being sautéed).
There’s also a method of wet-aging meat by using a process called “aqua aging,” which is suggested for people who don’t enjoy dry-aged beef and wet-aged beef. The concept, developed by Dirk Ludwig, allows the meat to remain tender and juicy, as well as consisting of light mineral notes. This allows for an emphasis of the fresh and natural flavor of the meat.
Amongst those who dislike dry-aged beef, the complaints are the consistency and strong flavors, while the latter includes concerns about metallic-acidic notes.
Mineral water also has an impact on desserts, particularly yogurt, curd and mousse.
When blended with carbonated mineral water, low-fat yogurt and lean curd are easily made into a creamy (but still light) dessert.
For a dessert like creamy mousse au chocolat, which is typically heavy and filling, the mineral water (added just before serving) allows it to be a little more light. However, it’s important to note that the use of carbonated water with a low mineral content is suggested, otherwise, the flavor may be distorted.
Compliment Your Meal
Of course, there’s even more ways to incorporate mineral water into your dining experience.
In this case, it’s old fashioned water consumption. At the start and end of your dining experience, mineral water is a perfect substitution to be used as an aperitif or digestif.
While an aperitif is typically an alcohol beverage used to stimulate the appetite and put the guest in the right mood, mineral water is also an acceptable replacement. Specifically, mineral water with high carbonic acid or sodium opens the taste bud and is appetite-stimulating.
At the end of your meal, mineral water rich in sulfates helps to stimulate digestion, while hydrogen carbonate-containing water aids to assist against heartburn.
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