How To Pair Water and Food with Water Sommelier Jessica Altieri
Pairing Water and Food: A Crash Course
Just like wine, water has a myriad of different flavors and qualities blending to create the end taste and perception. Understanding these qualities not only makes for a better meal, it makes you a more interesting person to talk to at a cocktail party. And especially when you’re holding a bourbon with branch water (look it up), that’s important. Jessica Altieri, America’s Water Sommeliergive you a crash course on how to pair wter and food for your next dining adventure.
Mouthfeel, or the sensation of the water in the mouth, is the first thing we notice when we take a swig of life-giving water. Highly carbonated water has a bright, lively and distinct mouthfeel: You know it’s happening. Mineral water is perfect with hors d’oeuvre and, in a more reserved state, with salads and desserts.
On the other hand, still water is perfect for seafood and soup, as it won’t overpower the dish. Lightly effervescent water goes well with poultry. In the case of a lighter red meat dish, you can get away with bubbly once more. Just like a big, bold red wine stands up to a steak, a big,bold bubbly water would be a perfect match as well. Who said a certified water sommelier couldn’t help you?
Other Watery Qualities
The total dissolved solid content, or TDS, is the next most distinct element. The more minerals that are dissolved into the water, the crisper it tastes … to a point. After that point, water becomes heavy and unpleasant
And let’s not forget about a water’s story. That, while intangible, is an important aspect of any drink, and just because we must have water to survive makes it no less important to understand its roots. Luckily, most artisanal water makers have a pretty darn good one, so look into it.
Notes from the Roasting Room
If you consider coffee a food, loosely, then it matters here too. While you might think a blank slate de-mineralized water is best for coffee, not so. Minerals such as magnesium, calcium and sodium bring out the piquancy of coffee’s many lively notes, and are a crucial addition to any brewing water.
Overwhelmed yet? The wide world of water wisdom has yet to be fully unfurled, but tastemakers are here to ensure that road gets paved. One such is Jessica Altieri, America’s Water Sommelier, who would love to help you learn more about the role of water in your tummy, your kitchen and your world. To learn more visit: JessicaAltieri.com