Day 13. Taste Matters

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I don’t care.  I’m going to say it anyway:  All water does not taste the same.  So there.

When I was a kid I hated the water at our house.  It never came out of the tap cold and no matter how long you let it run it stayed lukewarm.  Yuk.  It also tasted ‘earthy’.  It looked clear and, most likely, it was.  But it tasted like earth smells.  Sorry, that’s the best description I can come up with at the moment.  At my grandmother’s (paternal), the water was delicious.  Even the first drop out of the tap was icy cold.  It was so clear it was blue.  And it tasted ‘clean’.  Pure.  Refreshing. Like you’d gone way up in the mountains and found it, gurgling away, in a spring.  Amazing.  I’d drink glass after glass, and so did everyone else who ever went there for a visit.

My mother, who never could duplicate any of my grandmother’s recipes, was convinced that her water made a difference.  Not sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

The water where I live now is definitely not tasty.  It usually comes out of the tap warm although, on occasion, it’s cool.  But most of the time it has a metallic taste.  Most unpleasant.  And there’s often a slight chemical odour that accompanies it.  I stick to bottled water — but not all kinds.

To begin with, I prefer ‘still’.  From time to time I want some fizz, and my favourite is Apollinaris.  A naturally sparkling mineral water from Germany, it’s considered “The Queen of Table Waters” — something I did not know until right this minute, when I googled it.  What I’d do without google search I don’t know, but I’ll save that discussion for a future post.  Who knew I was such a connoisseur.

Haven’t seen Apollinaris around, lately.  Wonder if it’s still available here.  Looks like I’ll be going on a water safari sometime soon.  I’ll be sure to report back. In the meantime, though, I’ll get back to talking about still water.

As far as I’m concerned the bottled varieties each have their own taste as well.  My least favourite is Dasani, which makes it very difficult every time I go to a movie, because that’s the only brand Cineplex sells.  To me it tastes metallic, just like my water at home.  The two brands I love are Volvic and Fiji.  Although they do each have their own, unique taste, they both remind me of the water at my grandmother’s house.  Pure.  Clean. Refreshing.  No need for lemon, lime or anything else.  Delicious, thirst-quenching and oh-so-satisfying, all on their own.

Curious to see if I was actually on to something here (or simply insane), about not all water tasting the same, I started googling again.  Starting with an ecologist seemed to make sense to me, but Mr. McMahon (quite a dishy looking guy, actually) wanted me to pay $0.99 for his pdf.  Are you kidding me??  Maybe if he delivered it personally.

Moving right along I found the Gayot website.  Gayot (pronounced guy-OH), claims to be “the guide to the good life”.  Certainly good enough for my purposes.  Happily, in a taste-affirming moment, I found both Volvic and Fiji on their list of the “Top 10 Bottled Waters”.   Before I tell you where they ranked, I’ll give you a surprising little factoid I discovered along the way:  Believe it or not, there are 3,000 brands in the marketplace.  Can you believe that?

So to find my two picks among the top ten makes me very proud, indeed.

Fiji is #2, after Evian, which I also like.  And no, I am not just saying that because it came first.  Fiji, you should know, is a natural artisan water and has only been bottled since 1996.  It comes from the Yaqara Valley of Viti Levu, one of Fiji’s two principal islands; and it’s now the number one imported bottled water in the United States.  It is known for its soft, smooth taste; and, as part of a strict commitment to quality, no human hands touch it until you unscrew the cap yourself.

Volvic, which they rank in 9th place, is exclusively bottled at its source in France — at a Regional Park of the Old Auvergne Volcanoes — dormant for 10,000 years.  The spring was discovered in 1927 and the French Ministry of Health authorized the bottling in 1965.  And I’m sorry to disagree with the discerning folks at Gayot, but I think Volvic deserves better than a nine.

And all this information not withstanding, I challenge you to find anything that is more satisfying when you’re thirsty than a cold glass of water — whether or not it’s the designer variety.  Think I’ll have one, right now.  With a tomato sandwich.

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