Water in gastronomy
Natural mineral water has special status among connoisseurs. For some time, it has been not only a drink to quench thirst but much more. According to Mr. Masche, the most known sommelier in the world and the author of the bestseller Fine Waters, water is "a gourmet’s trend of the century".
The trend of drinking bottled water, especially natural mineral water, has therefore moved onto the tables of prestigious restaurants and bars. In prestigious restaurants, special menus for natural mineral water and other waters are no longer rare, but to be found alongside the wine menu. In some places, "water bars" are popular, where only fine water is served.
Natural mineral water offers special pleasures in consuming food and drinks, depending on the mineral content and carbonation. It can be served as an appetizer, inducing the appetite with its carbon dioxide bubbles or as a light drink that goes well with meals and snacks.
Natural mineral water is served in original packaging so that its natural purity and organoleptic characteristics are preserved. Maximum joy in drinking natural mineral water can only be attained with a suitable choice of glass with as thin a glass wall as possible. For carbonated natural mineral waters, glasses with large volumes are not suitable; it is better to choose glasses that keep the carbon dioxide bubbles from being lost into the air.
Some additives, such as ice cubes and a slice of lemon are not recommended when serving natural mineral waters, as both deprive the water of their specific taste and characteristics of natural mineral waters. If we add a slice of lemon, its aroma and acid content become a disturbing factor, and in combination with natural mineral water, it becomes a prevailing taste; whereas, an ice cube dilutes natural mineral water, while at the same time lowering its temperature. Namely, sommeliers recommend natural mineral waters to be served between 8 and 10°C.
Mineral waters in combination with food and drink
If natural mineral water is served as an appetizer, a higher content of carbon dioxide is recommended, because it stimulates blood circulation. With light hors d'oeuvre such as pasta or salad, natural mineral water with less mineral content and carbon dioxide is suitable because it does not disguise the aroma. With cream soups, water with no carbon dioxide is also recommended. Namely, the combination of fat and carbon dioxide causes the taste of metal.
With strongly seasoned meat dishes, experts recommend rich mineralized natural water containing less carbon dioxide, which intensifies the taste. The situation is similar in serving water with fish specialities.
Natural mineral water stimulates taste buds and, therefore, the tongue can respond more strongly to the quality and diversity of tastes and aromas. As a result of this, water is an excellent companion in tasting wine. Not only does it replace lost liquid, but, in a special way, it underlines the wine's characteristics. It has a similar effect when drinking whisky and other spirits.