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Do you use bottled or tap water for your cooking?


cteavin
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Since water can make up a significant part of a dish I'm curious if restaurants, bakeries and even home cooks are using bottled/imported waters or water from the tap. If it's from the tap do they/you use a filter and if so, what kind do you recommend?

I just read two very informative forum threads here about how water in pasta cooking

and in pizza dough

and wanted more information on the topic of what kinds of waters are in cooking.

Cheers,

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it would never occur to me to use bottled water. From what I read, the regulations for tap water in the US are much tighter than those for bottled water, and a lot of bottled water is tap water anyway, and if you look at it's price, it costs more than gas in most places :laugh: Gas which is made in complicated factories from a resource shipped half around the world. And people complain about Chevron getting rich and being greedy, :cool:

If you live in a place where the water is overly chlorinated or just tastes/smells bad, get a britta or similar filter or just have some water sitting out in a pot for a day or so. I can imagine that some super fancy restaurants filter their whole water supply, but that's certainly not the majority.

Imported water is the biggest nonsense ever IMO. No - wait, it was recently topped by water sommeliers in some restaurants, haha!

I would only use bottled water or filtered water in something very fancy and delicate, something that takes all day to make, where I'd think it might benefit (or be harmed by tap water).

Some are concerned about the fluoride in the water supply here in the US, I'm not. But you can get under the counter filters at any hardware store, pretty easy to install. If you go that way, maybe combine it with an instant hot water heater, to get something quite useful. Immediate hot tea etc!

I don't know about water quality in Japan, you might want to do some research or contact your water supply company, maybe they have test charts available? I'm pretty sure here in the US I could get the results of the most recent tests from my supplier (which has the somewhat funny and unfitting name of EBMUD), maybe that's the same in Japan?

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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The tap water in Orange County CA eats the pipes and faucets. It tastes horrible. So I never use tap water when I cook. I don't put it in the cat bowl. I don't brush my teeth with it. I recently installed a filter on my shower head to protect my hair.

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Tap water.

Except for coffee.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I have a filter system (Puremaster) on the main water line coming into my house because the water here contains a lot of minerals and it tends to collect in the pipes, in kettles and would leave water spots on glass and stainless steel.

In particular, I used to notice that greens cooked in the water would often develop a grayish color which was unappetizing.

Since the installation of the filter system I have noticed that coffees and teas taste better, there is little or no buildup of precipitates in vessels in which water has been boiled and the "strainers" in the faucets do not have to be removed and the particulates washed out - as was a monthly chore prior to the filtering of the water.

Another reason was that when I had the tankless water heaters installed, the plumber recommended a filtering system to prolong the life of the water heater.

The tank type water heaters rarely lasted more than 4 years because they would "silt-up" so rapidly that within three years, a 50-gallon heater would only have 2/3rds of the original capacity and weighed considerably more than when first installed.

My studio is separate and has a separate water line so there I have a Crown Berkey water purifier which produces excellent water. It has to be filled by hand but that is no problem to have water that tastes great and will be handy in case of a disruption of water supply after an earthquake.

The inline water filter will help but to be extra sure I will use water from the Berkey.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Saw this movie at a film festival recently and I thought it did a good job of explaining the B.S. behind bottled water:

http://www.tappedthemovie.com/

Buy yourself a filter and don't get tricked into paying ridiculous prices (500x tap!) for bottled water.The regulation is lax on bottled water, which is regulated by the FDA and not the EPA. Where tap water is quality tested many dozens or even hundreds of times a month, bottled water is not subject to such strict regulation. Add to that the potential for chemicals to can leach out of single-use bottles and you can count me out on the bottled water front! Not to mention the carbon output from shipping water all over the country, the demand it puts on community water sources, and the shady marketing tactics used by companies like Nestle, Pepsi and Coca-Cola to convince people that tap isn't safe, even though they're just reselling tap water themselves.

Man, you're making me sound like a real hippie here (and living in Eugene, Oregon I really try to distance myself), but bottled water is something I just can't get behind.

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Imported water is the biggest nonsense ever IMO. No - wait, it was recently topped by water sommeliers in some restaurants, haha!

The existence of water sommeliers is proof that there is not a sucker born every minute... there are actually several born every minute.

I use tap water for baking, cooking, drinking, bathing, etc. I use it to mix powdered gatorade for my bike rides rather than buy the premix. I don't even have a filter system, the water here is actually good. I've lived in areas where it was less good and I did put a filter in the kitchen but I still used tap water.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Depending upon your water source, there are a few applications where a person without a filter might want to allow water to sit overnight to release chlorine. The best example I can think of if you are just starting a sourdough culture. (if you have fish as pets, you already should be doing this to any water you add to the tank)

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I get excellent water from our well that's been filtered and treated with UV light. I fill water bottles with this water for travel or just to have in the fridge. We test and shock the well once a year, so far so good.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Detroit, and the suburbs it supplies, has extremely high quality tap water. Not too chlorinated, either. I use it for all cooking, even "delicate" stuff.

On the other hand, my aunt's well water was highly sulfured and I couldn't stand to drink it, even after it had been filtered.

So, as in all things, your mileage may vary.

V

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We have fairly unappetizing tap water, so I filter it all, for drinking and for cooking, through my Big Berkey water filter. Like Andie's Crown Berkey (I'm jealous), it has to be hand-filled, but that's not a big deal. I can get five gallons of water out of it in about 8 hours, or so, if I keep it filled and filtering.

I'm currently borrowing a friend's Kenmore distiller to make distilled water, but not for drinking or cooking. Instead, that will be used for my SO's semi-permeable contacts, and other health- and hygiene-related things, like rinsing my hair. We have somewhat hard water, although it's not as bad as it was when I lived in Rolla, MO, but it leaves a film on my hair if I don't do a final rinse with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, diluted with distilled water (to eliminate minerals).

I LOVE my British Berkefeld filter system. I used to use a Pur faucet mount filter, but the cartridges are expensive, and the faucet mounts break after a while. Filtered water now costs me about 2.5 cents a gallon, where it used to cost me about a quarter a gallon with the Pur filters.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Man, you're making me sound like a real hippie here (and living in Eugene, Oregon I really try to distance myself), but bottled water is something I just can't get behind.

My parents used to live in Eugene. Your water is wonderful. One shower at their house and my hair would be soft again. I loved to drink it. We would also get very good milk from the DairyMart on Cal Young.

Another complaint about the water in Orange County, CA, is that about 2 years ago our tap water started to come, in great part, from our sewage treatment plant. Really. This is supposed to be very futuristic! But I am not keen on the concept. I have not noticed any difference in the taste of the tap/sewage water because I wasn't drinking it in the first place. But you don't hear about this on the Housewives of Orange County, do you. Nobody asked us if we wanted to drink sewage water. It was announced. This may be something the rest of the country can look forward to.

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Tap water; as others have said it would not occur to me to use bottled water.

My water is well water from a community association for ~ 60 households. Water quality is tested four times a year and the only problem is too much uranium (!?!) which I guess explains why there is a slight glow to my pasta dishes.

Edited by fyfas (log)

Bob Sherwood

____________

“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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Tap water. Our municipal water is expensive - we pay for what comes in the house and what goes out of the house so buying water on top of paying these water rates doesn't strike me as much of a plan. I keep a Brita pitcher of water in the fridge for drinking and for making hubby's Gatorade. I do try to keep a case of bottled water for emergencies but at present don't even have that. I am appalled when I walk through our park and see the thousands of empty water bottles littering the grass, the playground and the soccer field.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Tap water. Of course, I live in the Bay Area and we have great tap water. I suspect, though, even if I lived in an area with less great tap water I'd still use it for most cooking. It would be too expensive any other way.

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Unfiltered tap water.

There's a filter pitcher of water in the fridge for working with sourdough starters, which are supposed to be sensitive to chlorine, and because it's chilled, it gets used for pastry & a few other things.

I have your basic bottled spring water dispenser at work and have used it occasionally for making tea--primarily when I'm in a hurry I use the water from the hot tap to kick start things--but have never noticed a difference between the spring water and tap water teas.

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Unfiltered tap water.

There's a filter pitcher of water in the fridge for working with sourdough starters, which are supposed to be sensitive to chlorine, and because it's chilled, it gets used for pastry & a few other things.

I have your basic bottled spring water dispenser at work and have used it occasionally for making tea--using the hot tap to speed things up when I'm in a rush--but have never noticed a difference between the spring water and tap water teas. I have never done a head-to-head comparison, though.

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Thanks for all the replies.

Still, no one has really posted about restaurants and bakeries. Does anyone know how likely they would be to use imported or filtered water? I was at the local ramen shop the other day and saw them put water in straight from the tap. I didn't see a filtration system so I'm assuming it's pretty standard. But what about the more expensive shops? Could that be one reason for their quality?

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We use filtered tap water for most cooking, coffee, tea ... even washing produce.

I use spring bottled water for bread baking, starters.

Though filtering removes the harmful chlorine, it apparently also removes many beneficial minerals which the yeast likes. Hopefully my choice of spring water has all the right minerals. Bread seems happy.

Many restaurants do use filtered water. I guess you'll just have to ask each one.

Also, filters will vary in quality of output.

I was visiting a local hospital a couple of weeks ago; I was told the water was filtered, it tasted terrible. I could smell it before it hit my lips. Our city tap water is notoriously good. I wonder what kind of filter they could be using that would make the water worse than untreated tap?

Edited by maurdel (log)
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Though filtering removes the harmful chlorine, it apparently also removes many beneficial minerals which the yeast likes.

That's why I like my Big Berkey. It doesn't remove minerals, as evidenced when I used Berkey-filtered water to run through the distiller, just for grins. There was a layer of scale left on the bottom of the previously pristine distiller reservoir. The white filter elements, which I have, will reduce chlorine, rust, sediment and organic chemicals about 98%. The black filter elements remove more stuff, but I won't get them until I need them.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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